Can fear make people more productive? Some recent studies and research have shown this to be true. Having said that, the method to increase productivity may have some negative side effects if implemented.
Keep reading if you want to know why scaring someone can get them to work harder – and why it might not be the best of ideas.
Can Being Afraid Really Help You Perform Better?
How Fear Increases Work Productivity
Here’s a look at some of the ways that being afraid can make people work harder.
Economy – The biggest reason fear works is because of the state of the economy around the world currently. Many people feel they’re lucky to have a job – any job. Even if they hate going to work, they take this as a part of life and something that must be done.
Other Workers – When people are fired for not working hard enough, it can have a big effect on how hard other people work. Once a culture of fear has invaded a workplace, it can be hard to disperse. And this can have long-lasting negative effects.
Fear of the Unknown – Not having a job in the current employment market can be a scary thing. When people with college degrees and many years of experience are having problems finding a job, people are more loathe to lose the job they have and face the unknown.
Why Productivity Through Fear is Bad
Here’s a look at why this might not be a good thing in the long-term.
Morale – One of the biggest problems with increased production via fear is that it can be very bad for morale. While production may increase, the quality may be missing. When morale of workers is low, it can affect a company’s ability to operate.
Burnout – And when morale becomes too low, burnout is a very real problem. When this happens, productivity can go through the floor – and stay there for a while which can really affect your bottom line.
Negative Image – If a company uses tactics of fear to get their workers to work harder – either overtly or on the sly – word can quickly spread, harming the company’s public image. With the Internet, this bad publicity can spread quickly and have a lasting effect on a brand.
As you can see, even if people are working harder because they are afraid, it might not be the best thing in the world for everyone involved. From the workers themselves – who may face burnout – to the employers – who may have quality control issues – fear can do more harm than good.