One benefit that’s often overlooked, yet is highly desirable to employees, is job security. While job security was always important to workers, the massive loss of jobs during the pandemic has made this one of the top priorities for employees. In fact, both blue-collar (16%) and white-collar (19%) workers rank job security as one of the top motivating factors for changing jobs.
While it’s easy to see why job security is so critical to today’s workers, many employers are reluctant to offer any promises due to their own uncertainty about the company’s future in a post-pandemic market. The good news is that employees aren’t necessarily looking for promises from their employers. Rather, they want open and honest communication about the future of the company and signs that their position, along with their work schedule and hours, is secure within the company.
Employers looking to attract and retain top talent must take steps to give their workers a sense of job security or risk losing them. Based on our recent research in partnership with Ipsos, Randstad surveyed more than 1,000 Canadian workers, and we have identified four areas for employers to focus on to build a sense of security among their employees.
company’s financial stability
When it comes to job security, the number one factor employees consider is the company’s longevity and financial stability. This level of importance is significantly higher for white-collar workers (75%) than blue-collar workers (61%). It’s also extremely important to both blue and white-collar workers living in smaller communities, where 71% consider the company’s financial stability a vital factor.
As significant as this factor is to employees, many employers may still be hesitant to share financial data with its workers. Certainly, there are some financial records that just can’t be shared with the entire workforce. Employers should, however, be as transparent and honest as possible with its workers. This step can build trust between management and the workforce and help to foster a sense of job security.
Keep in mind that employees are concerned with the financial stability of the company, not just for today, but for the months and years to come, so it’s essential to remain forward-focused. For example, employers should take the time to share the company’s vision for the future as well as its overall goals and objectives. The most important thing is to remain honest with your employees and to be careful about making any promises the company can’t keep. Misinformation can destroy trust and entice employees to leave the company.
bonuses for years of service
All employees want to be recognized for their hard work and the contributions they make to the company. This fact is especially true for long-term workers who have remained loyal to the company for years. If there ever was a time to reward workers who stuck with their employers throughout the pandemic, it’s now.
A rewards program based on years of service can show your employees that you appreciate loyalty and that you anticipate them staying with the company for years to come. Best of all, employees tend to link years of service bonuses with increased job security. According to our research, 56% of blue-collar and 61% of white-collar workers consider an employee recognition program that provides financial rewards for years of service to be a sign of job security.
If you don’t already have one in place, consider creating an employee recognition program that includes providing long-term workers with financial incentives based on their years of service. If you already have this type of program in place, take the time to assess your program to make sure it still aligns with company goals. For example, if your company faced massive layoffs during the pandemic and is now bringing some of these employees back, you may want to adjust company policies to allow these employees to apply this layoff period to their total years of service.
no probationary periods
For years, employers have used probationary periods to assess their new hires’ skills and fit within the company. Oftentimes, it’s easier for managers and supervisors to fire these new hires that are still on probation. Additionally, some company benefits may be tied to these probationary periods, whereas new hires may not be eligible for all types of benefits, such as paid time off, until the conclusion of this probationary period.
Today, the highly competitive job market has spurred some employers to eliminate this probationary period and bring new hires on as permanent employees from day one. Our research shows that workers not only want this type of benefit, but many consider it a valuable part of the job offer.
The desire for no probationary period is higher among blue-collar workers (26%) than white-collar workers (14%), and male workers are twice as likely to seek out employers that don’t have a probationary period. This factor is particularly true for male workers under the age of 35, where 27% want to work for employers without a probationary period.
To add a layer of job security for new hires, your company should consider eliminating this probationary period, or at the very least, reducing the length of this period to one month instead of three or six months.
It should come as no surprise that employees connect unionized jobs with job security. After all, unions are well-known for protecting workers’ rights and for helping workers develop employee-friendly contracts with employers. Even though unionized jobs also face terminations and layoffs, many feel more secure knowing that there’s a third-party organization protecting their job.
What may come as a surprise is that according to our research, more than one out of five workers consider unionized jobs an important part of the job offer and a sign of job security. This holds true for both white and blue-collar workers and is especially meaningful to younger workers.
If your company does not have unionized jobs, you may want to consider creating a structured layoff and termination process, so employees fully understand what to expect. This step may help to provide a sense of job security for your workers even without a union.
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