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Are your employees held back by workplace fears?

New research has found that over a quarter of workers admit they have made specific decisions about their careers in order to avoid dealing with workplace fears.

The biggest fears, according to the survey of 3,000 UK professionals by job website CV-Library, are: public speaking (16%); presenting (12%); cold calling (12%); leading a meeting (7%); missing targets (7%); speaking on the phone (6%); attending social events (6%); managing budgets (6%); liaising with senior staff (5%); and being away from home (3%).


The survey also asked those surveyed how they deal with their workplace worries. The majority of respondents said they chose to face their fears in a positive, proactive way. However, some adopted potentially damaging behaviour such as making excuses, calling in sick or even becoming aggressive. Overall, 26% said they had chosen their career paths in order to avoid dealing with their biggest workplace fears.


The top ten responses to fear are: tackling it head on (27%); using it as an opportunity to grow (16%); ignoring it (12%); avoiding the situation for as long as possible (9%) and keeping a low profile (8%). Only 1% of respondents said they become aggressive.


Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library, said: 

"While it's discouraging to see that so many workers are closing themselves off to career opportunities as a result of their fears, it is positive to see that many are choosing to face their worries confidently."

The survey also found that many employees would appreciate more support from employers to help them overcome their fears of certain tasks. When asked to identify the best ways to address workplace fears, 52% said that "training opportunities and managerial support" would be the most helpful.

"Many workers would massively benefit from extra support from their employer," said Biggins. "Businesses can help their staff address and overcome their anxieties by providing additional training and mentoring programmes."

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