Anxiety in the Workplace
Do you know who on your team suffers from anxiety? Don’t assume you’ll be able to tell. Even before the pandemic, up to 18% of people had anxiety disorders, but only 1 in 10 felt comfortable discussing it with their supervisor. When you compare mental health to physical health, this is remarkable since you can’t image 20% of your employees wandering around with a broken leg that they don’t discuss.
Many persons with anxiety opt not to disclose their condition at work for fear of being denied increases, promotions, or great assignments, not to mention losing social standing or being rejected by coworkers. However, because anxiety is so prevalent in today’s society, employers must respond as part of their attempts to acquire and retain people. Here are six suggestions to assist you figure out which individuals of your team require anxiety support and how you can provide it.
Encourage your team members to be honest with you about their problems. Many leaders who consider themselves to be good leaders may brag about their open-door policy and the fact that they’re easy to talk to and that their followers trust them. However, considering that 94 percent of employees experience work-related stress, and millions of employees suffer from anxiety, if none of your employees have expressed their anxiety to you, they’re most likely keeping you in the dark. Workers are scared that their managers will sympathize with their problems, but sympathy is distancing because it depicts the boss as powerful and the employee as weak, which is not how most employees want to be viewed.
Empathy & Compassion
Empathy and compassion are essential business skills, especially if you interact with young people. It’s a must to build work relationships that address the personal side: With everything going on, if you can’t empathize with your employees, if you can’t develop that skill, your chances of recruiting, retaining employees, and getting things done are slim to none. If you want to be a great leader, you have to be willing to talk about worry and empathize with the next generation of talented young people.
Be wary of “cowboy” culture. Hard-driving, star-based cultures are likely to increase turnover and be particularly difficult for younger employees, who are looking for collaborative environments. We don’t talk about mental health as often as the younger generation does… Seventy-five percent of Gen-Zers, or three-quarters of those in their early twenties, had already quit a job due to mental health issues. These kinds of cultures will not be tolerated by them. They’re on their way out.
It’s beneficial to talk about your personal problems. Because all high-performing employees suffer from anxiety, it’s more probable that others will open up as well when leaders exhibit their own vulnerability: It’s easier for them to relate their tale once you’ve told yours. Not only will team members feel comfortable sharing their personal tales in the knowledge that their worries will be heard, but they will also learn from your candor and genuineness that it is possible to deal with fear and worry while still succeeding.
Take actions to alleviate employee anxiety. Team members worry more and have more to worry about when conditions and expectations are unclear. Three specific concerns are addressed: The first stage is to explain where the company is going, including the company’s plan and the short-term activities your team is taking to achieve that strategy. The second step is to confirm that the employee is adding value and having an impact in order to demonstrate that they are confident in their position. The third step is to describe how the person can advance in the position and ensure that they have a future with the company. When leaders perform these three things on a continuous basis. You make me feel like we’re walking into the dark together as a team, and you’re going to dramatically reduce my anxiety levels.
Use a Tailored Approach
It’s a bad idea to standardize your company’s anxiety response. Employee engagement scores haven’t changed much in three decades of talking about it, and engagement initiatives don’t have the desired effect since what people need is so specific to them… It’s impossible to treat everyone the same way. Others may be more internally motivated…some may be perfectionists, while others may require external validation… However, they have a greater demand for professional development.
Everyone has a unique style of presenting themselves. When people are concerned, they may become more talkative, while others become quieter. As leaders, we must develop the ability to recognize it. We’re usually looking for shifts in conduct rather than a specific type of activity: I know this person, and this isn’t typical of them. It’s vital to find a technique to bring up the topic with them without openly asking if they suffer from anxiety. By pointing out their change in behavior and asking if they require extra assistance, you may be able to elicit more information about their predicament, allowing you to assist them.
Be a Leader & Build a Safe Environment
Anxiety is on the rise, and for the next five to ten years, it will have a substantial impact on the workplace. However, leaders who get to know their team members as individuals have a better chance of building psychologically secure environments and assisting their teams in retaining and developing talent.