Do You Have a Fear-Based Work Culture?
In a workplace culture where fear is the dominant energy, employees feel anxious and frequently worry about unwanted consequences including job loss. The source of motivation can have a drastic impact on workplace culture. On the contrary, in a workplace culture built on trust, employees feel a sense of security and meet their objectives out of desire rather than fear.
THE SOLUTION: Work towards creating a culture that is built on trust. TRUST is the antidote to fear!
5 Signs That You Work in a Fear-Based Company
1. In a fear-based workplace everyone is focused on their daily goals. They have to be because if they miss a goal, they could lose their job. You won't get collaboration or innovation out of people who are scared to death! 2. In a fear-based culture, managers and HR people specialize in assigning work, measuring results, punishing infractions and maintaining order. 3. In a fear-based environment, people are afraid to tell the truth because they already know no one wants to hear it. This includes reporting issues of harassment or inappropriate workplace conduct. 4. In a fear-based company, people talk incessantly about who's up and who's down in the company stock index. The rumor mill is more credible than official communication. 5. In a fear-based company, employees wonder whether they'll still have a job next week.
These internal and external fear behaviors do not reinforce creativity, engagement or innovation. Instead of feeling value within the company, employees feel rewarded for following the directives of the leaders, which also reduces the use of critical thinking skills.
FEAR REDUCTION IS AN ESSENTIAL STEP IN CREATING A COMPANY CULTURE OF OPENNESS AND IDEAS
How to Reduce the Fear Factor at Work
Respond Instead of Reacting
A common behavior when presented with a challenge is to let your emotions drive the situation. We all have a fight-or-flight reaction when we feel unsafe. Incorporate a technique into your workplace culture that will help you take a moment to respond instead of reacting.
Building trust takes time. It is not usually a one-time event. You can build trust by maintaining authentic interactions during daily work activities. One highly effective way to build trust is to make sure that verbal commitments and behaviors match the actions.
Maintain a Process
A process offers employees a road map for what they need to do, how they need to do it, and when it should be done. You reduce fear at work when employees have this process-driven road map in place to monitor workloads and time lines. The process provides an organized sense of movement that gives constant feedback and accountability of individuals for each part of the project.
Take Action to Improve Your Culture
It’s never too late to make improvements to your culture. Think of it as a living, breathing entity — one that requires constant care and nurturing to maintain its vitality. And when this care is taken and your cultural standards are implemented consistently across the board, you can minimize your exposure to legal risks such as employee-initiated litigation.
Empower Behavioral Services, LLC. is an innovative consulting and training company focused on helping businesses strengthen workplace culture, to help minimize issues of harassment and other related workplace issues. We help you bring out the best in your people so that everyone feels respected, valued and protected. We provide the education, strategy and tools that foster collaborative work environments and/or address negative behaviors before they get out of hand.