Is someone on your team operating with fear overload?
Let’s face it: “job security” is now officially an oxymoron. As I work with leaders, I see some people thriving in the less secure work world. The majority, however, are dealing with elevated levels of fear, which at times can get in the way of doing their best work. That in turn can make those fears self-fulfilling prophecies.
While unhelpful, these fears are understandable: potential job loss, another difficult economic downturn, unemployment statistics and competition for jobs and clients--these are the background radiation of the workplace and media today, which has risen exponentially over the last three years.
If, as a leader, you care about your people’s well being, then you can help them to identify and address a layoff mentality, particularly if you keep tuned in to these six warning signs:
1. Too tolerant of issues: Putting up with stressful conditions or issues for too long without addressing them
2. Taking on too much: Saying “yes” to too much / not saying “no” when appropriate
3. Good news or nothing: not bringing up substantive issues to you proactively
4. Avoiding necessary conflict: if people aren’t having healthy conflicts, then the dialogue in your organization isn’t as healthy as it can be
5. Teflon coating: When something inevitably DOES go wrong, blaming, hiding or being overly fearful
6. Me against the world: Every person for him- or herself mentality
Those working with some level of layoff mentality are the vast majority. As a leader you can help, if you are so inclined, by recognizing and empathizing with the fears and helping your people work through them.