There is nothing employees dread more than making a big mistake on the job, new research shows.
A new poll from the staffing services firm Accountemps revealed that making a mistake on the job is the biggest workplace fear for nearly 30 percent of workers.
"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. "Fear of failure holds many people back in their careers, but without smart risks new ideas would never take shape."
The survey found that having to deal with difficult customers or clients, having a conflict with a manager, speaking in front of a group of people and having disagreements with co-workers are among the other fears keeping employees up at night. Just 3 percent said they are fearless in the workplace.
A common theme in employees' fears centers on navigating difficult circumstances. Accountemps offers several tips when dealing with tough situations, including:
- 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 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 on a particularly devilish challenge. When preparing a critical project or communication, ask a confidant for 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 Kudos: Volunteer to assist overburdened colleagues, and be quick with praise for those who deliver outstanding work.
The research was based on surveys of 420 employees over the age of 18 who work in an office.