How to Give the Gift of Job Security to an Uneasy Workforce

Monday December 7th, 2020

Estimated time to read: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Historically, the end of the year has signified a time for wrapping up big projects and wrapping up gifts for employees before heading off to the company holiday party. But, for many professionals, that won’t be the case this time around.

As it turns out in isolved’s Holidays 2020: End-of-Year Employee Experience Report, when respondents were asked what they wanted most from their employers this holiday season, “job security” came in as a close second to an end-of-year bonus

But, unlike other company gifts, the gift of job security is a somewhat abstract concept. What does this look like? Here are some ways HR and management can better express this to their staff as a tough year comes to a close. 

Understanding what job security means to the workforce of 2020

Job security is an employee’s perception that they aren’t likely to be let go from their current position. In 2020, many professionals have seen their peers get furloughed or laid off. Workers whose jobs were impacted by the 2007-2008 financial crisis are likely anxious about history repeating itself. It’s not surprising that so many professionals are reflecting on their job security (or insecurity) as the end of the year approaches.

Employees might be optimistic, but they aren’t entirely confident

Perhaps surprisingly, 81 percent of full-time employees who participated in isolved’s study actually said they felt their jobs were secure heading into the holiday season. Why, then, would so many wish for what they already seem to have? It might be that members of the workforce are optimistic, but their confidence is shaky

Employers can respond by providing direct and honest communications

If that’s the case, HR and organizational leaders need to spend some more time communicating with their employees. Provide insight into how the organization has fared throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Shine a light on what the financial situation looks like, and explain what contingency plans are in place. And, while acknowledging that the future is never certain, offer some direct reassurance to workers who have nothing to worry about.

Countering feelings of job insecurity in the workplace

In general, a lack of control and the inability to forecast what might happen next contribute to feelings of job insecurity. But, if HR and management can get a sense of what’s concerning their staff, they can turn anxiety and insecurity into confidence. Here are some example scenarios:

  • Problem: Economic disruptions are putting the entire industry at risk.
  • Solution: Communicate how the company is specifically being impacted and how leaders are planning ahead.

 

  • Problem: Workers are finishing up short-term contracts or projects.
  • Solution: Spend some time planning out the next several months to show valued employees they will play a role in the future of the business.

 

  • Problem: Staff members are experiencing a slow trickle of projects and have little work to do. 
  • Solution: Redistribute the workload to keep everyone occupied and/or spearhead new projects and initiatives that add value to the organization.

Learn more about employee expectations as we head into the New Year by downloading our Holidays 2020: End-of-Year Employee Experience Report.

Allie Howen

Senior Content Manager