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Fear leadership erodes productivity, costs $36 billion annually

9 November 2023

Fear has infiltrated the leadership styles of over a third of emerging corporate leaders, causing an annual loss of $36 billion in productivity, a startling revelation from a recent report by leadership expert Margot Faraci. These leaders, riddled with anxiety, imposter syndrome, and a resistance to feedback, create a workplace culture steeped in fear. The consequences are profound: decreased productivity, reduced employee satisfaction, and increased turnover.

The data uncovers the grim reality in corporate offices. In a survey of nearly 2,500 managers aged 24-54, Faraci discovered that 36% lead through fear, resulting in a productivity loss of 10 hours per week. That's a staggering $36 billion annual loss nationwide. These fear-driven leaders often witness a drop in team performance and employee happiness, even while mistakenly believing that stress can be a positive force.

The impact is even more detrimental in workplaces lacking psychological safety, particularly for employees of color. Such environments exacerbate turnover rates and foster a culture of silence. However, hope is not lost. The report highlights opportunities to reverse the fear-based leadership trend, with a majority of leaders expressing a positive view of compassion and vulnerability in the workplace.

Leadership training is the key to breaking this toxic cycle. As employee trust declines due to inconsistent, ineffective leadership and poor communication, training can help leaders improve efficacy, communication, and overall company culture.

The bottom line is clear: Leading with fear depletes your talent pool and productivity. The solution? Open communication and active listening. Don't wait to make a change. Contact us today to improve your workplace culture and transform the way you lead.

Reach out to ergon now. Our learning & engagement solution can help you to build a fearless, thriving workplace together.

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