I suppose there may be times when micromanaging isn’t evil, however in my experience it created the atmosphere that you laid out, oppressive, depressing, stifling. (And it can be even more fun when the micromanager couldn’t do your job to save their life, but sure loves telling you how to do it.)
One situation I was in the micromanger would augment the experience with a level of nitpicking that was maddening. They would leap on any and every mistake made by others. If an employee did something wrong, no matter how minor, that person would be ‘teased’ about it for weeks/months. So some tiny error that had zero effect on the outcome would be tossed out every time that person could think to toss it out. You got to the point where you were like ‘Yeah, I left the semi colon out six months ago, can we move on now???’
It ended up creating an air of ‘yeah, what they know doesn’t hurt us’. I’m sure it maddened the micromanager to feel excluded and not ‘in’ on everything, but they could never see that their judgemental and near bullying attitude is what caused people to shut up and shut down. If someone wants an open atmosphere they can’t also be judgmental.
It was a very, very dysfunctional atmosphere.
And it was all created because of one person’s need to micromanage and then how peoples’ behavior adapted to deal with it.
I have to wonder if the employee that needs the structure and micromanaging, if what they really need is to be put in a position with very little freedom or ‘guesswork’ to eliminate the need of the supervisor to spend his/her day ‘babysitting’ that person. Maybe instead of micromanaging them to help them perform, a better course of action could be to see if there’s a position within the agency that naturally has the greater amount of structure that the person needs to thrive.
Why should you as the supervisor, have to spend lots of time holding an employee’s hand guiding them through their day?