Tuesday 10 September 2019 5:08 am

What fears would Pennywise use to terrify you and your office?

Jamie Mackenzie is director at Sodexo Engage.

With the final instalment of Stephen King’s epic horror tale It now in cinemas, offices will be buzzing with talk of Pennywise and the various monsters the character transforms into. 

But what if the dancing clown decided to leave the fictional town of Derry and pay a visit to the modern workplace? In honour of It Chapter 2’s release, we’ve decided to look at the phobias that It would exploit to terrify the average boss. 

The venomous spider

One of the biggest fears for business leaders is seeing the company’s culture deteriorate over time. 

The initial ideas that a business is based on can quickly shift once more employees join the company, when new clients come onboard, or as the result of an office move. This is even more terrifying if the initial culture of support and mutual growth ends up transforming into a venomous, “sink or swim” atmosphere.

Of course, some changes are inevitable, so it’s important that bosses accept the fact that their initial view of the company won’t stay the same forever. However, if the business wants to maintain a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, it’s vital that the right hires are made. 

Read more: Check out City A.M’s review of It Chapter 2

If senior management honour their commitment to employee development and support when growing the team, this monster is unlikely to rear its head. 

The lumbering zombie

There’s another kind of phobia that keeps leaders up at night – the fear that, eventually, the company and its people will grind to a halt. Staff will become disengaged, productivity will drop, and the business will just be plodding along. 

Even when things are good, it’s easy to worry that the company has hit its peak and it will only be downhill from here. 

Ultimately, the ability to maintain a company’s momentum and productivity is in the hands of its managers. Working with senior leaders, managers need to identify how the organisation can continue to grow while still maintaining employee engagement and motivation. 

A tailored employee recognition programme can often prove useful here – this can help to ensure that those in the business are continually motivated to deliver high-quality work over a long period of time. 

The absolute nothing

But as the saying goes, the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. For many employers, Pennywise would transform into the uncertain future where the livelihood of the business and its staff are a mystery. 

Many factors can contribute to this fear – the economy, client sentiment, or even just a bad day. But regardless of the cause, business leaders need to remain confident that the company will continue to succeed. 

Having a clear plan and working closely with the senior leadership team can significantly reduce this concern, as bosses should never shoulder all the stress of keeping the company afloat on their own. 

Collaborating with the wider leadership team also makes the job of running a business far easier and allows the company to remain relevant, fresh, and client-ready through the sharing of ideas. 

Come out from behind the workplace sofa

Fortunately, Pennywise won’t be visiting the office anytime soon (we hope), but that doesn’t make these fears any less real. And it’s okay for bosses to feel worried from time to time. 

As long as they have a plan and method to overcome these concerns, they can be sure that it won’t impact how their business runs. 

Main image credit: Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

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