Just in time for Halloween, a new Accountemps survey reports on what frightens employees. According to the results, 28 percent of respondents said making a mistake on the job is their biggest workplace fear.
Workers were asked, "Which one of the following is your greatest workplace fear?" Here are their responses:
Making errors on the job (28%)
Dealing with difficult customers or clients (18%)
Conflicts with your manager (15%)
Speaking in front of a group of people (13%)
Conflicts with coworkers (13%)
No fears (3%)
Don't know/no answer (4%)
"Mistakes will happen from time to time, and a healthy concern for avoiding them improves job performance—as long as that concern doesn't undermine one’s confidence," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your CareerFor Dummies(®) (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Fear of failure holds many people back in their careers, but without smart risks new ideas would never take shape."
Like successful trick-or-treating, navigating frightening workplace situations requires forethought and the right approach. Accountemps offers these five tips:
- Plan your route. A long to-do list would scare anyone. To ease workload-related worries—and be more efficient—prioritize your responsibilities, and delegate when possible.
- Ask for directions. When facing a challenging project or new responsibilities, make sure you know what is expected of you. If you have concerns, let your manager know, and work with him or her to develop a strategy for overcoming them.
- Bring a friend. Don’t be afraid to tap a mentor for advice when faced with a challenge. When preparing a critical project or communication, ask a confidant for his or her feedback.
- Say "thanks." Whether it’s for candy or help with a difficult task, a sincere thank-you can go a long way toward building strong business relationships.
- Give out treats. Volunteer to assist overburdened colleagues, and be quick with praise for those who deliver outstanding work. You’ll make people—including yourself—feel good and foster an environment where colleagues help each other on a regular basis.
This survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 420 working adults 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.