Overcoming Fear in the Workplace
Fear in the workplace is like a disease that many organizations have. Throughout the structure of an organization, you can see the use of fear. Companies, whether big or small, use fear to keep competitions pressurized. There are managers who think that fear in the workplace will retain their team in line and get them to perform and achieve better. Co-workers use fear in the hopes of putting others behind and getting attention from the boss. Lastly, teams use it to gain and increase the power they have in the organization. This post-pandemic situation has also started affecting the workplace by putting fear in employees reading their jobs, wellbeing, childcare, and many other issues caused by this Covid-19 situation.
“The first and foremost step in getting an organization free from fear, then one has to acknowledge fear in the workplace.”
Triggering fear is a powerful tool when wanting to get results in the short term. However, in the long term, it can become precious. Fear in the workplace can damage not only the physical but also the mental health of employees, which will affect their work and efficiency. Furthermore, impacting the company’s performance and operations. If that were to happen, then employers have to spend time and money to repair the damage that they cause to their staff and the reputation of the company.
Companies that have a fear-culture and encourage bullying will be disastrous to individuals and teams. In an organization, managers can never be get held responsible, because individuals will have too much fear in them to speak up, which in return will put the company at risk. After all, it will affect the decision-making process.
To overcome fear in a workplace can get achieved by creating recognition of how fear can affect the working of the brain and damage it, and what simple behavioral techniques managers and employees can use. One of the eight emotions is fear that has come to be known as the main support on the process of how people act, think, and feel.
From the eight emotions, the most damaging emotion and easily activated in fear. Why? Because it is structured to ensure that an individual is safe from any harm and danger.
Fear is not a new thing; it has been around from the beginning of time as it helps humans to acknowledge safely different dangers like snakes appearing in the grass or facing wild animals.
When threats become perpetual, then problems begin. When facing threat the brain starts focusing all on responding to the threat and also starts analyzing all threats in all other activities. When one cannot solve the problem occurring, then that is when anxiety and depression begins. When one faces fear, the body becomes high alert, and if that situation does not get solved, it starts damaging the immune system and cause severe ailment.
When working with other people (whether it is beside them or with them), it is always better to trigger the emotions of ‘attachment’, which are trust, respect, enthusiasm, and delight. This lets the brain know that everything is going well, there are no threats, and that it can turn all its focus on the work presented in front of them. When this attachment happens, the brain and body have optimal energy flow, resulting in positive relationships and productive work. To increase creativity, the emotion of surprise and delight should get triggered.
“Consistence can get taken as setting principles to benefit all or inserting fear that is negative over the long haul.”
There is no use of any training or awareness if an organization does not understand how important it is to identify and accept that help is needed to overcome fear in the workplace- In organizations where there is fear, this point is most challenging.
Organizations can get the help of experts in the field of learning and organization development to help managers to analyze and acknowledge when there is a lot of fear in an organization, and when interventions have got to get made. The first step in getting a fear-free organization is by acknowledging fear in the workplace.
The most common and easy way of recognizing fear in the workplace is when individuals do not speak their thoughts or opinions because of having fear of the consequences. A simple question “what will you not talk about here?” will give you an overall view of how much people are in fear and the general communication culture.
Common behaviors that one can see in an organization filled with fear are criticism, excuse-making, being skeptical, and not getting included in information or decision-making. Other standard things are stress regarding procedures, operations, policies, discrediting one another, and no one takes accountability, and not appreciating one another.
Physical and emotional symptoms of fear have gotten reported by individuals. Things like headaches, stomach-aches, or insomnia. People facing fear in the workplace find it hard to concentrate and get other work done in their daily life. Such people have said that they feel irritated, anxious, intimidated, which causes them to end up having problems with family and friends. Some may even turn to alcohol drinking or using other addictive substances in hope of cope with that fear.
One can also see how much fear there is in an organization by seeing the behavior of managers and staff and seeing how their systems, and policies work, most importantly the HR. Compliance can get taken as setting guidelines to benefit all or inserting fear that is adverse over the long haul. An organization has is free of fear is the one that has a culture based on trust in the center of it. Great quality connections are the establishments for building trust between individuals.