In week 3 of his 15 week blog Carl discusses the first of Barnett Waddingham’s 6 pillars of employee wellbeing; job security.
We are now getting into the business end of this 15 week blog series and it’s now time to go into more detail around each of the pillars and for me to start opening up about how I feel in my role as an employee and a manager against the relevant pillar of wellbeing; this week we start with job security.
Last week I completed our own wellbeing survey to determine my score in each of our 6 pillars of employee wellbeing and within job security I scored a relatively high 7.5 out of 10. To me job security is feeling as though I am an important part of the company and that the company includes me and engages with me around company performance both operational and financial. I firmly believe that Barnett Waddingham get the most out of me by being open and honest with me and by caring about me and importantly asking me my opinion on relevant matters.
It is the nature of my role (I head up the workplace health team) that I am privy to certain information relating to company performance and strategic direction and fortunately my manager (who will love reading this) very much seeks my opinion in the direction of our part of the business. When it comes to me managing my team I take a similar approach with them as my manager takes with me; I share all of the information that is relevant to them (and sometimes shield them from things that they need not worry about) and I seek their input into the strategic direction of our part of the business. I believe this approach - and my experience tells me this is true – enables us all, irrespective of level, to feel included and engaged. I am not a fan of the paternalistic (hand-holding) approach some take, I believe that people respond better to being asked rather than told; Steve Jobs famously said “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.
So why is my job security not 10 out of 10? I think it is natural and actually important to have an element of apprehension over job security because this is what ensures we become better at our jobs and progress and importantly that we don’t become complacent; however there is a fine line between this and having fear for your job that detrimentally affects your performance. I think it is also natural that the more senior you are the more pressure you feel to perform and deliver to the business, this theory is supported by our ‘Why BWell?’ employee research that found that 7.5% of those earning less that £20,000 stated their job security as a concern compared to 18.9% of those earning over £75,000.
So what improvements do I need to make so that when I report on job security again in a couple of months my score will have increased? I do think that as a manager I am quite good at discussing options rather than dictating an answer and I am lucky to have a great team working with me who all have their own individual strengths, however there is always room for improvement and I will try and adopt even more of an inclusive approach over the coming months to see what impact that has. Personally, for my own job security, I think I need 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. I think that this greater interaction will increase my confidence that me and my team are doing the right thing.
I’ll report back on this subject in a couple of months: next week's pillar will be financial security.