Fear can be defined as a motivating force but isn’t often perceived as a positive trait in the workplace. When fear is a predominant energy instead of trust it can negatively impact workplace culture and employee performance. Top performing teams are not always found in the office or workplace but in your local park, these sports teams continually work together towards a common goal and learn to engage on another level. They celebrate small victories along the way and learn from their mistakes. They’re often led by a charismatic leader who helps them understand their roles and maintain the vision of the team. These leaders know that reinforcing culture will drive out fear and ultimately improve overall performance. How does fear translate to workplace performance?
The following signs are an indicator of fear in the workplace:
Fearful employees experience stress because they have concerns about their job roles. Those who sense a lack of control struggle to feel supported by their working environment and it can lead to a spike in stress levels. These stressful consequences can lead to absences, lowered performance and drop in morale. According to the Governments HSE report on work related stress it’s estimated that 440,000 people in the UK have suffered with work related stress in the past year, it’s important for managers to tackle these issues and communicate the care options. At Off Limits Corporate Events we’re seeing a spike towards clients requesting Mindfulness workshops for their employees to address stress related issues in the workplace. These classes are designed to inspire individuals, stop the rut of negative thinking and reduce stress. Introducing these techniques can help individuals navigate through a busy day in a calmer and more considered manner.
When employees struggle with negative feedback and fear in their team they may respond with a degree of resistance. Resistance in a team could mean lack of productivity, reduced participation and isolation. The best way for a manager to help employees deal with fear is to remain transparent, consistent and patiently navigate them through workplace issues. Team building when participation and productivity is reduced could mean a reverse in culture. Most importantly team building can reinforce stability and create a calmer working environment during a tempestuous time. The Quest for Best team building event is a great opportunity to tackle collaboration and interaction issues. This means employees will work together, building trust as they navigate through the fun activities.
Uncertainty and focus
Employees feel fear-inducing concerns can be overwhelmed workplace related concerns. Many employees need to communicate to individuals through times of workplace uncertainty by having regular catch-ups, meetings and team engagement sessions. Quite often employees just need to find their focus to ensure they’re on the right track, another tactic companies adopt is to help individuals regain focus and encourage better collaboration. Poor communication can creep in and cause a drop in morale in the workplace, the key to investment is to provide guidance through difficult workplace situations.
Fear can lead to silence in the workplace, forcing individual team members to refrain from expressing themselves and contributing to the creativity of the department. Many employees feel they’re unable to challenge viewpoints of management or colleagues as they don’t want to dispute authority or become critical of current practices. This fear can be addressed through team building events, cultural changes and encourages an open discussion with all levels of hierarchy. Team Work Challenges can support team unification issues whilst encouraging communication. The challenges include tackling pyramids, cracking brain-busting cryptic clues when trying to defuse a bomb and blindfold human sheep herding your colleagues around a course.
How does fear impact your workplace performance? How do you overcome it? We’d love to hear from you on Linkedin or Twitter.