Do you work in fear? Employees cannot do their best work when they are worried about their future, are discouraged from thinking for themselves, aren’t respected for their recommendations, don’t feel in control of their destinies, or are treated like children. People can’t do their best work when they feel that every decision will be scrutinized and second-guessed, and every mistake will be ridiculed. This lack of confidence causes employees to waste more time trying to impress people internally than they spend getting their job done; to play Monday-morning quarterback and second-guess each other rather than making innovative suggestions.
Confidence and security increase employee efficiency and effectiveness. Fear and insecurity have the opposite effect: They cause employees to take on more and more work, trying to look busy so they won’t get fired (and then they do it poorly because they don’t have enough time to do it all well— if at all). When this happens, employees spend their time on things they know well, not because these things are priorities but because they feel secure doing them. This leads employees to ignore problems, waiting for them to go away rather than fixing them, and then to look for someone else to blame when the problems eventually surface. Sound familiar? If so, promise yourself to help bring about change.
The Destructive Force of Fear