Anxiety is a major negative impact in work performance. It needs new solutions as it won’t just go away.

Over the last few years, there has been an increased awareness of mental health issues in work and more is beginning to happen within companies to focus on how the negative dynamics can be changed. So such issue that is often overlooked is anxiety and yet research tells us it affects close to 73% of employees.

This is important to correct as anxiety naturally makes a person play within their comfort zone and not take risks.
One of the challenges is how to free up the psychology of talent so that they do feel free able to less afraid of failure. Failure is an important part of the learning process that allows each of us to grow and be successful. There is no successful CEO who has not experienced failure – often bitter failure – at some point. It is part of learning and part of what motivates many to change and grow.

One of the issues at the moment that is misunderstood is that it is noted that anxiety within employees has doubled in the last decade. There is genuine fear and concern over work, over performance and over financial stability. Over 45% of employees are concerned about their financial stability. At a time, when standards of living, have arguably never been higher, we also have a higher level of talents that are being restricted through the pressures of life. The argument is that many feel expendable and just a number within a company. There is not a strong enough company culture or ethos that makes people feel valued and important.

In business terms, this is an own goal. One can argue over ROI but it is all pretty pointless if the culture does free up people to be at their best. Anxiety can reduce work performance by around 15-20% – so how does the ROI question work? How is it relevant?Our argument is that companies need to have its own lead player with a focus on culture and people that sits apart from HR.

Another recent survey noted that 56% of surveyed employees say that anxiety affects their job performance, and half report a negative impact on relationships with co-workers and peers. Stress in the workplace can take a toll on the entire business operation.

Here are some other facts to place the issue into context:In the USA, anxiety affects 40 million.A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology noted that one of the biggest drivers of work performance is interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, those experiencing anxiety are more likely to avoid their co-workers, hoping to avoid interpersonal conflicts. Since work is a collaborative environment, it’s easy to see how workplace anxiety may affect the performance of an entire operation. This means that workplace anxiety is more than just a matter of employee health – it has a direct effect on a company’s bottom line.Turnover has increased amongst middle management by 10% in the last decade. This alone can equate to anything from £100,000 to £2m depending on the size of the company. It does place the dull ROI question into perspective.Top talent wants to work with those companies that possess top cultures that does free up people.

Most of the research on anxiety in the workplace says the same thing: When depression and anxiety are effectively treated, companies can reduce rate of employee turnover and sick days, and can improve employee productivity. Providing effective intervention to your employees can help improve your company image and your bottom line.

There is a need for thinking thinking and new strategies that bring back a focus on people and culture. It needs to be different to the past.A progressive approach to mental health can help businesses attract and retain top talent. Today’s workers want more than just sick days and paid time off – they want to know that their employers care about them, both personally and professionally. Creating an emotionally and mentally healthy workplace will keep your current workers engaged in their jobs, as well as make your company a coveted place to work.

It needs a new approach.