Here’s What Your Employees Are REALLY Afraid Of

In his monthly blog, Lee Biggins takes a look at what’s holding back your workers from bringing real value, and growth, to your small business

Here’s What Your Employees Are REALLY Afraid Of

According to recent research from CV-Library, nearly half (47.8%) of UK professionals admit to having fears in the workplace, with over a third (35.7%) believing that these fears have impacted their career. In fact, many workers admitted to suffering with anxiety, not applying for certain positions and turning down job offers as a result.

These findings are very concerning, and as an employer it’s vital that you can recognise when these fears are getting all too much for your employees and help them to overcome their anxieties. So what exactly is holding professionals back, and how can you address this in your business?

Making a mistake

One in five workers (20.1%) said that their biggest workplace fear is making a mistake. While it is a horrible feeling knowing you’ve made an error, we are only human and it’s important to remember that these things do happen. While mistakes can be costly for a business and its clients, more often than not they are fixable.

If a member of your workforce makes a mistake, try to avoid becoming irate and instead gather all the necessary background information to work out what went wrong. Then you can coach your staff through fixing the mistake and putting measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

This will help them to feel more confident in their abilities, and reduce the risk of an error in the first place.

Public speaking

Speaking in public was cited as one of the top workplace fears by 18.4% of professionals. This is not an uncommon fear, but is a great skill for workers to have on their CV – and as a result employers should help their staff to combat this.

By encouraging your employees to get involved in group discussions, or lead team meetings, you could boost their confidence and give them a chance to practise addressing larger groups of people. This could be all it takes to help them feel more prepared should they find themselves in a position where they need to speak in public in the future.

Not meeting deadlines

Deadlines are something everyone has to deal with during their working day, yet 13% of workers fear missing their deadlines. While it’s important to try and get your work completed on time, things can occasionally build up and get a little stressful.

Some worry that missing deadlines will reflect poorly on their ability to do their work, so try and create an environment where your staff feel comfortable asking for help, or delegating their workload when they need to. This should help to take off some of the pressure and stop them from worrying.

Not being skilled enough

Not feeling confident in their abilities is causing 11.7% of UK workers to feel anxious, to leave or turn down jobs, or not even apply in the first place!

As an employer you should offer training opportunities to your staff so they remain confident that they’re learning and progressing in their career. Praising and reward your staff for their hard work is also important. It shows them that you appreciate their skills and the role you play in the company and its success.

Having to say ‘no’

One in 10 professionals (10%) said they were filled with dread at the thought of having to say no. We all want to keep our boss, colleagues and clients happy, but the truth is that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Your staff need to feel like they can say no if they need to without it reflecting badly on them. By creating a working environment with strong and open communication your employees can ask for help or delegate tasks where they need to, and won’t end up feeling the pressure of a huge workload.

Being able to identify when your employees are being affected by workplace fears is important so you can help them to address the situation.

By creating a strong company culture where your employees feel they can ask their colleagues or managers for help is vital. And offering new training opportunities is a positive step towards keeping your team feeling confident, helping them to upskill and reducing the risk of mistakes being made. Ultimately, by helping your staff to combat their fears you can create a strong and productive workforce.


Lee Biggins is the founder and managing director of CV-Library. Read his business owner profile here.

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