Don’t Lose Employees over Job Security Concerns

“We were always worried about being on the chopping block because of jobs being eliminated so I decided since my security was at risk, I would find other more secure employment where layoffs were less common.” – Actual quote from an employee exiting a company

If employees do not feel secure in their current jobs, your business could be at risk of high turnover rates. As an employer, it is vital to ensure your team feels valued, appreciated, and knows that if they continue to work well, there is a place for them long term. With economic uncertainty, many individuals place high value in a company that can assure them of some form of job security, not simply advancement opportunities, challenging work, or the business’ reputation.

How to Provide Job Security

Most aspects of a job are easy to provide, such as the salary, benefits, and how the position interacts with the manager, but items like job security can be a bit more abstract. The easiest way to give your employees a sense of job security is by keeping open communication on business information like the financial health of the company and any upcoming strategic plans. Surprise changes and many closed-door meetings will result in office gossip which can easily take a negative turn to rumors of layoffs and downsizing. Be as open as possible with your team in discussing what certain changes may mean for the company, and if there is a major shift, how you intend to help them into a new role.

Of course, job security is a two-way street as you cannot guarantee a poorly-performing employee will keep a position within the company. Discuss with your team the expectations and regularly meet with each person to go over what is going well and what may need improvement. If behaviors are not addressed, the employee may not believe they are doing anything wrong before it is too late to correct.

Keeping an employee in a stagnant role while creating new positions for new hires could be viewed as rendering the current job useless, and will ultimately result in a current employee looking for opportunities elsewhere. Showing employees you are invested in them helps bring a sense of job security. Provide opportunities for each to improve their skills or learn new tasks, allowing them to evolve with the company.

Outside the Box Job Security

Sometimes, it is worth it to think of some different, innovative solutions to ensure your employees know that, no matter what, you’ve got their backs. Develop a program that offers employees partial salaries (such as 20% to 30% of their pay) plus reduced benefits for a brief, specified period of time should the business run into financial hardship. This may help in recovering the business quicker without having to layoff valued employees.

Offering employees the opportunity to work half-time, job share, or offering voluntary leaves all help reduce costs by retaining the employee for the long-term, avoiding costly training and hiring when the economy and business recovers. Depending on the employer, another option could be to allow employees to take another job (but not with a competitor) or request they work at a non-profit organization associated with the business. In companies that utilized and sponsored these strategies, at the end of the specified time period, most employees returned to full-time employment.

Replacing layoffs and severance programs or employee buyouts with a creative solution helps make the employer/employee contract stronger, while also reducing employees’ fears about job security. It also allows employers the ability to reduce overhead costs and retain talent, resulting in a true win-win for all.

Do Your Employees Feel Secure?

Without job security, your employee engagement may be lower and your turnover could be higher than desired. But how do you know if your current employees feel like they have job security? One step to take would be to perform comprehensive exit interviews, such as with our ExitRight® survey, as the data will reveal what demographic groups, company teams, and functions place greater importance on job security, helping you develop tailored, long-term retention strategies.

To get information and resolve any potential concerns before they result in great employees leaving your business, utilize stay interviews as part of your retention strategy. Outsourcing employee stay interviews will provide you with comprehensive, anonymous feedback quickly with data-driven insights from current team members to identify where improvement is needed right away. With customizable options, you can get insight from employees on matters that are most relevant to your business now. 

If you are unsure of how your employees feel about their job security, or are curious to figure out why you may be experiencing low engagement and high turnover, contact us today. Our Employee Stay Interviews and ExitRight® interview program will help get your company the information needed to improve retention, morale, and more.