Amidst the ongoing hiring freeze that impacts many companies in 2022, job security seems like a luxury. Although not all businesses face the issue of layoff or hiring freeze, employees begin to develop a feeling of insecurity towards their job. According to a Gallup study, the number of people feeling anxious about their work reached an all-time high; the intensity and pace of the turmoil left even those who were employed feeling insecure. If you find it difficult to convince your employees about job security within your company, read this insight.
Nowadays, having a job is not enough; there needs to be a sense of security of keeping your job, if not also climbing up to a higher job position. Job security, according to Youth Employment UK, is the ability to maintain one’s existing job. Individuals with low job security are more likely to lose their jobs. Most employees perform better and are more involved in their jobs when they feel safe and it is difficult to deliver the best performance when they are often worried about if their career will end soon.
The pandemic pushed employment uncertainty to the forefront, but the concern was there before and will continue beyond. Even among employees who keep their positions, witnessing people lose their employment causes significant stress, according to a study from the London School of Economics. The negative effect on communal well-being is “four times greater than the effect on the person alone.” Factors such as business mergers and acquisition downsizing, add to the mindset. It is not a secret that a significant number of employees are often “intentionally eliminated” when a company restructures and tightens expenditures.
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What Employers Can Do to Prevent Job Insecurity
If your company is among ones that do not implement a hiring freeze sooner or later, it is crucial that this gets to the heart of your employees. In good times, employers must foster trust; in tough times, they must uphold trust and openness. They must realize that employees require psychological and social support. More than just being confident about it, you need to know how to communicate this with your employees and act upon it. Here is how:
When a job loss is approaching, managers typically withdraw, but this is because they have little power over the situation. However in uncertain times, when employees are paying specific attention to a company’s business operation, managers must be open and truthful about changes within the business. Address any speculations that could be going around if the business is stable when there are no chances of mass layoffs.
Companies should intend to show that they acknowledge employees who exhibit amazing performance or work ethic by providing regular and meaningful employee appreciation. Forbes suggests that employee appreciation be timely, real, and related to something that the employee appreciates in order to be successful. It’s also most efficient when managers prove how the job their staff performed contributed to the company’s overall performance.
Provide Training and Upskilling
Provide employees with training and upskilling opportunities to make them feel assured in their path for growth and development. According to this study, employees’ job insecurity decreases when they participate in training, even in an unstable business environment. Opportunities for training provide determined employees the chance to improve their own job security by developing their abilities.
Training leads to career advancement, which is also a good way to show employees how they can feel safe and sound about their job. Companies should provide employees with clear career paths so that they feel like they are a valuable contribution to the business. According to this research, just one-third of managers have career development discussions with employees. Thus, companies that provide a positive effect on future may easily recognize themselves as ones that care about their employees’ future.
Strengthen Personal Mental Health and Team Bonding
Aside from professional efforts like awards and training, mental aspects of employees need to be taken care of to prevent them from experiencing prolonged job insecurity. Employers must support their employees in managing stress by providing practical solutions such as one-on-one counseling. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, 90% of employees surveyed may not be mentally unwell, but they are also not working at their best. They are unsteady, and even the slightest hint of job anxiety might hold them back. Counseling enables employees to develop the knowledge and behaviors necessary to keep optimism and work toward their goals in a volatile business environment.
Employees may also need their peer support and a way to pursue this is through team bonding, which can alleviate the feeling of struggling alone. Research on coping strategies found that social engagement and team support helped minimize feelings of work insecurity, particularly among women. Therefore, companies through the HR department need to come up with team bonding initiatives, such as a fun weekly sharing session or occasional fun outdoor activities. The impact of this effort may not be directly seen, but the long-term feeling will linger on among employees, since they are reminded of how they have each other.
Good employees can truly feel job security by getting a good combination of corporate policy and sensible communication with employers. Therefore, it should be in employers’ best interest to create psychologically secure workplaces in which employees may focus on performing their duties rather than worrying about their job security.
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