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As more people settle into the work-from-home routine, many of the communication issues that go unnoticed at the office have become apparent. When an employee feels like their manager is never off their case, the problem is usually caused by each party’s inability to understand the other.

What Micromanaging Looks Like

When most employees are asked what micromanaging is, they all have the same answer: micromanaging occurs when a leader is overly involved in their employee’s work. Running a team is all about trusting each member to do their job. If the manager steps in too often, it can leave the employee feeling frustrated, disrespected, and undervalued.

In the work-from-home world, micromanaging often takes the form of checking in too often. Many employees complain that they can’t work if their boss constantly asks them when the work will be done. Managers can also overstep their bounds by making surprise changes to projects, completing responsibilities that belonged to someone else, or asking to review the project at each small stage of development.

Of course, accusations of micromanaging aren’t always accurate. Managers need to check-in with their employees regularly, and they should also be involved in the development of a project. This is why it’s important to develop a healthy relationship with team members to ensure that no one feels like they’re being left out.

Learning to Communicate as a Leader

One of the best ways to stop micromanaging employees is to learn to communicate more effectively. Most employees thrive when they receive fewer messages that are more clear and to-the-point.

Struggling managers should ask a neutral third party to assess their current communication skills. Show the party the messages in question, and ask how they would feel if they were a team member. Receiving criticism can be difficult, so make sure to be patient and maintain a calm attitude.

Next, start identifying the issues that have led to the communication problems at hand. Work to make all messages clear, concise, and directed. Ensure that both managers and employees know their responsibilities and what kind of check-ins they can expect. With a little work, most micromanaging issues can be left behind in favor of clear discussions and steady workflow.