A recent Accountemps survey found more than one in four (28 percent) respondents said making a mistake on the job is their biggest workplace fear.
The 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.
Other responses included dealing with difficult customers or clients (18 percent), conflicts with managers (15 percent), speaking in front of a group of people (13 percent) and conflicts with coworkers (13 percent).
“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 staffing firm Accountemps. “Fear of failure holds many people back in their careers, but without smart risks new ideas would never take shape.”
Accountemps offers five tips for navigating workplace fears at your staffing firm:
- Plan your route. A 20-page to-do list would scare anyone and is a recipe for mistakes on the job. 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. If you have concerns, work with colleagues and clients to develop a strategy for overcoming them.
- Bring a friend. Don’t be afraid to tap a mentor for advice on a particularly devilish challenge. When preparing a critical project or communication, ask a confidant for his or her feedback.
- Say “thanks.” A sincere thank-you can go a long way toward building strong business relationships with your staffing firm.
- 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.