Micromanaging puts a muzzle on your business

This post is part of a series celebrating SmartSign’s 15th Anniversary. In 15 posts, we reflect on lessons learned, good experiences, and company-wide changes that brought us to this milestone of success. You can view the entire series here.

Some of the SmartSign marketing team busy at work.

Some of the SmartSign marketing team busy at work. Employees are counted on to create new projects and initiatives that they carry out as a group.

Over 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln said, “The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.” And over the past 15 years, SmartSign’s leadership has been committed to cultivating a company culture rooted in self-accountability.

SmartSign Employees are expected to be their own managers in several respects. This notion has paid dividends as the company continues to prosper each year, and in turn, employees feel appreciated. However, SmartSign likely wouldn’t be where it is today if the company was founded with a strategy of micromanaging.

Micromanagement can clutter your company’s organization

One of the challenges of micromanaging employees is that it’s more difficult for a company to stay organized. Although hundreds of large corporations across the globe are successful doing so, adding layers to the structure of a small business can create a complicated reporting structure. If top management set their sights on supporting and creating rapport with their hires rather than focusing on less pressing objectives, everyone is given more room to keep all of their ducks in a row. For further demonstration of this concept, look no further than the classic film, “Office Space,” in which manager Bill Lumbergh‘s obsession with cover letters and “TPS reports” only serves to undermine company productivity.  

Granting workers more self-government promotes healthy collaboration and teamwork (via MySecuritySign, one of SmartSign's several brands.)

Granting workers more self-government promotes healthy collaboration and teamwork. From MySecuritySign, a SmartSign brand.

Micromanaging hinders effective time management and productivity

Time is money, and time is better used when managers aren’t breathing down their employees’ necks. This is particularly relevant in small to mid-size businesses where everyone has to pull their own weight. Micromanagement can give off the impression that leadership lacks trust in its team and can restrict worker confidence, creativity, and morale.

Main takeaways

Instilling a company culture that allows individuals to see how their work is directly impacting the business has been a pillar of SmartSign’s philosophy. Management puts trust in the employees, and they return the good faith by staying true to their goals and work ethic. Although SmartSign has only existed for one-tenth of the time that has passed since Lincoln delivered his remarks, the sentiment still stands.

Our founders have imparted his wisdom to everyone at the company. They believe that the key to a successful business is to hire trustworthy and motivated people — the rest will work itself out.

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