In week 10 of his 15 week blog Carl revisits the first of Barnett Waddingham’s 6 pillars of employee wellbeing; job security.
Back in week 3 when I discussed job security for the first time, I talked about how it is really important to engage with our employees and seek their input - while also treating them as adults and sharing with them all information that is relevant to them. I stand by these comments: I believe that without an inclusive relationship between employer and employee we are at risk of making our employees feel as though they are not important and are merely a ‘cog in a wheel’. In reality we all know that our employees are our most important asset.
At the end of the job security blog I promised to “adopt even more of an inclusive approach over the coming months to see what impact that has” and “to share upwards what I am up to in terms of innovation and product development more often so that I can sense check this and get feedback”. Have I achieved this and has it had a positive impact? Let’s find out….
I would like to think of myself as quite an open person: I don’t lock myself away - instead I sit among my team and we all chat regularly through the day about projects we have on, specific bits of work and, on the not so odd occasion, football. Therefore when I promised to become more inclusive I thought that I was starting from quite a high base and that not much improvement could be made. I was wrong.
A few weeks back I got my team together and we spent an hour or so where I told them all in some detail what I had been up to over the past few months by way of proposition development and new business leads. Some of this they knew about but some they did not. My default position is (or should I say was) to only share information about a project once it is complete. Letting the team know about the new proposition I had been working on and which was very much still in its infancy proved to be a masterstroke: all of a sudden I had a room of excited, engaged colleagues (it really was a good proposition) who were offering to get involved and help me push this through to completion and launch. Very quickly I went from having the bones of a product that I was excited about to a nearly completed product that the entire team was excited about.
That situation taught me a very important lesson about engaging with colleagues that I think can apply to all aspects of management whether delivering good news and bad: be open and honest. As I said at the beginning we should treat our employees as adults and share information with them. What we deem relevant to them is not always what they deem relevant to themselves, and therefore I would encourage more openness and honesty. My experience was a positive one and I am sure that even if the message was a negative one my team would appreciate knowing, and would pull together to overcome the situation.
So is what I have just said a load of nonsense or is job security an issue for employees? Here are some statistics from our ‘Why BWell?’ employee wellbeing survey from 2015:
- 16.1% said that job security was a concern for them
- 14.9% had considered leaving over their job security
- 19.6% of over 50's said they had considered leaving over their job security compared to 9.3% of those aged 18-29
- 18.8% of those earning over £75,000 had considered leaving over their job security compared to 7.4% of those earning less than £20,000
I would class these figures as significant minorities. We looked at over 300 employees across a range of industries, ages and levels of affluence. What would your perception be if these statistics were representative of your workforce? Personally I would find it alarming that 1 in 7 employees had considered leaving my employment over their job security and potentially even more alarming that this jumps to nearly 1 in 5 when looking at those earning over £75,000, i.e. the senior employees within my workforce.
I think we can draw the conclusion that based upon these statistics there is potentially a problem with job security and hopefully through this and the preceding blog on I have given some insight into how this might be addressed. However my advice (as always) would be to conduct an analysis of your own workforce first. Feel free to contact me for any advice on this or anything else relating to the 6 pillars.
Read Carl's first blog on job security HERE