Nearly half (47.8%) of UK professionals admit to having fears in the workplace, with a staggering 87.3% believing that those who don’t address their fears could be risking their career development. This is according to new research from the UK’s independent job site CV-Library.
The study, which surveyed over 1,600 professionals, found that of those affected, 35.7% believe that these fears have impacted their career, with a further 34.5% stating that they have suffered with anxiety as a result. Other responses included: not applying for certain roles (20.5%), turning down job offers (19.9%), and leaving companies (17.1%) all to avoid facing their fears. When asked to share their biggest anxieties, workers cited the following responses:
1. Making a mistake (20.1%)
2. Public speaking (18.4%)
3. Not meeting deadlines (13%)
4. Not being skilled enough (11.7%)
5. Having to say ‘no’ (10%)
6. Leading a meeting (6%)
7. Speaking on the phone (4.9%)
8. Talking to senior staff (3.1%)
9. Managing a big project (2.5%)
10. Managing a team (2.4%)
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “It’s concerning to learn that so many of the nation’s professionals are being affected by workplace fears, and that these are having a negative impact on their career progression. The fact that workers are turning down good opportunities, or perhaps not even applying in the first place is alarming and could impact your organisation when looking to take on new recruits. It’s important to be able to identify when this is happening in your business, and address the situation to offer support to those being affected. Otherwise, you could risk talented employees leaving your company in a bid to avoid facing up to their fears.”
Despite many being affected by workplace anxieties, the majority of workers said they would tackle the problem head on by facing their fears and getting on with it (47.8%) or by approaching their manager or colleagues for help (24.5%). That said others admitted that they wouldn’t cope so well, with some employees stating they would become stressed and irritable (10.2%), ignore it altogether (5.7%), or get upset (2.4%).
Furthermore, the research also explored what workers needed to help them overcome their fears. The majority (44.5%) agreed that support from their managers or colleagues would be beneficial, while 19.4% said that additional training could be the key. Worryingly, one in 10 said that nothing could help them to face up to their fears.
Biggins concludes: “It’s great to see that the majority of workers would step up and take control of their fears, and approach their co-workers for help. It is, however, sad to learn that a proportion of the nations workers feel like nothing can be done to help them. As the New Year approaches, January is the perfect time for your business to step in and offer additional training, support and services to employees to ensure they are getting the most from their career.”