Many workers believe that they don’t have the job security of previous generations. And they’re right: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, modern workers will have 12 to 15 jobs over the course of their lives. That’s why unions can be so attractive to workers who worry about their future job security.
Working to change the perception of job security among employees can be a vital part of your union proofing strategy, particularly if the company has suffered or even has had to layoff workers in recent years. The perception of job security is made up of a number of elements, these 5 will help you get a great jump-start in your efforts.
1. Create Regular Advancement Opportunities
Unfortunately, unions often prey on these fears unfairly because a union cannot ensure complete job security. With or without unions, companies fail, and poor workers are fired. To achieve true job security, companies should offer opportunities to good workers to progress with the company. This way to boost job security allows workers to take an active role in securing their own marketability by building their skill sets and advancing up the corporate ladder.
Businesses should create clear career paths for employees so workers feel they are a valuable asset to the company. Because only one-third of managers conduct career development discussions with workers, companies that offer advancement opportunities can easily distinguish their businesses as ones that care about the future of their employees. Common advancement opportunities include tuition reimbursement, flexibility to attend school, regular opportunities for junior workers to take on more meaningful tasks and a culture of promoting from within.
2. Offer Meaningful Employee Recognition
Companies should strive to show that they notice employees who demonstrate outstanding performance or work ethic through regular and relevant employee recognition. To be productive, Forbes recommends that employee recognition be timely, authentic and tied to something that the employee values. It’s also most effective when managers show how the work their employees completed was tied to the overall business success of the company.
3. Increase Training Opportunities
Training opportunities allow interested workers a chance to increase their own job security through skills development. “High-road” employers improve productivity by offering more training opportunities and fostering skills development. This significantly decreases employee turnover, which also increases the perceived job security of the overall workforce.
4. Have Policies to Protect Workers in Case of Disability
Even if it’s not required by law, companies should have plans in place to accommodate and protect workers who have a short-term or long-term disability. Accommodating a worker who has a disability is usually less expensive than paying disability benefits. It’s also a valuable way to demonstrate that the company cares about its workers. Companies should encourage disclosure and have a visible HR policy that addresses disabilities.
5. Encourage Communication Between Workers and Management
The financial stability of a company is a critical factor in employee recruitment and retention. Companies can’t offer life-long employment guarantees, but management should be transparent about a company’s goals, strategy and vision. Although quarterly earnings and long-term prospects aren’t a guarantee of future job security, businesses that talk about these indicators of financial security help develop feelings of job security among employees.
Managers should be transparent when firings or other workforce changes occur. By explaining to their current employees exactly what’s happening, the managers eliminate misunderstandings created by the rumor mill. It also allows managers a chance to affirm what level of conduct is required for continued success in the workplace.
Companies that demonstrate they can offer job security to their workers reduce the chance of union recruitment while retaining a loyal employee base. Through the right mixture of company policies and manager communication, good employees can be assured their jobs are secure without union interference.