Could FOMO be harming performance in your organisation?

If you have ‘phone age’ kids (kids old enough to own a mobile phone – about 3 years old these days!) you’ll know that FOMO, or the fear of missing out, can drive people to waste time (in my opinion!) on social media.  Having talked to my kids about this it’s also apparent that people are often not aware this is happening!

While FOMO is most commonly associated with social media consumption and people could be wasting time on their phones at work, I did find it useful to think about other ways the fear of missing out could drive behaviours that could harm performance in the workplace.

What could this look like?  Perhaps people…

  • Feel concerned they won’t be given ‘better’ projects if their current project doesn’t go well and spend too long trying to do a ‘perfect’ job. The project then runs over and they miss an opportunity to develop the skill of producing ‘good enough’ work within tight deadlines
  • Worry they will miss out on becoming an accepted part of a new team if they give critical feedback, so they hold back and miss the opportunity to learn how to positively impact performance by providing difficult feedback

These examples may not be relevant for you.  But they might.  A LITTLE BIT of fear can also be useful in driving performance and taking time to understand what is useful and what isn’t seems like a good use of time to me!

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