Dealing With Fear In The Workplace

1166626_sad_girl_1 When you hear the words “workplace fears” the first thing usually to pop into your mind is that there is something happening at work that is causing fear in the employees.

There is also the issue that certain employees have fears that they bring into the workplace that have nothing to do with what actually is taking place at work.

Both types of fear are very important and need to be addressed as fear restricts the ability for people to be able to think well, which affects their productivity.

Today I want to talk about the second type of fear, which can be very difficult for management to understand and to work through, but this is what practical practice management, is all about.

A young woman was hired as a receptionist for a small business and overtime the office manager realized that this employee would only come to her for any questions she had. This was okay for the most part, but there were many times that this employee would work closely with the business owner, but when she had a question about something she would continue to go to the office manager. The office manager would then have to go to the boss and ask the question to get the answer for the employee.

After this went on for a while the office manager explained to this employee that she needed to go directly to the boss for questions that pertained to what he wanted her to do. The manager was very surprised when this employee told her that she was afraid to ask her boss questions directly.

After a long and informative conversation with this employee the manager was able to find out that this young woman had been abused by her father and had a genuine fear of men.

With the willingness of all parties, the employee, office manager and business owner were able to sit down and work through ways that made it easier for this employee to approach her boss that worked for all of them. The employee was very grateful that her employer and manager cared enough to understand and were willing to work things out.

It is vital for management staff to be open and understanding of people’s fears and how they can affect the workplace. The situation above is true and the extra effort that this team put in to making their workplace relationships better was well worth it. Understanding one another is a key factor to making a successful business.

08/06/14

2 thoughts on “Dealing With Fear In The Workplace

  1. Tina,

    Wow, this is a really powerful example.

    I think it was handled extremely well by the office manager and business owner. It’s great that there was a conversation where the issue could be addressed and then an appropriate plan of action was put together so the employee would feel comfortable approaching the business owner.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • It was a valuable learning experience for all involved. She was a good employee and it was well worth the time and effort. It was a turning point in my management style, and I am a better manager for it.

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