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A Post for My Readers That Have Employees Like I do

What the Boss Doesn’t Understand About Job Security

It shouldn’t come as a shock that workers crave job security.

But that idea hasn’t registered with employers, according to benefits consultancy Towers Watson.

A pair of new surveys released Tuesday by the firm – one of 32,000 workers worldwide and another of 1,637 human resources executives – found that employees rate job security as a critical factor when deciding whether to accept a new position or stay with their current employer. Yet for employers asked to consider the most important drivers of retention and hiring, that factor either comes dead last in a list of seven or doesn’t register at all.

On the relative importance of most other employee attraction and retention incentives – from salary to career advancement opportunities to an organization’s reputation – employers and workers share similar views.

“It makes sense in terms of what’s been going on in labor markets around the world for the past five or six years” that individuals want some relief from anxieties about layoffs and downsizing, said Towers Watson managing director Laura Sejen.

So why aren’t executives getting the message?

Attraction DriversEmployee
View
Employer
View
Base pay/salary12
Job security27
Career advancement
opportunities
31
Learning and development
opportunities
46
Challenging work53
Organization’s reputation
as a good employer
64
Vacation/paid time off7
Organization’s mission/vision/ values – 5

Source: Towers Watson

The charitable explanation, she said, is that employers simply can’t or don’t offer long-term job guarantees anymore. That was once a relatively common, though implicit, aspect of the traditional employment relationship; now some executives like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman are pushing for a model based on fixed-length “tours of duty.”

In addition, said Sejen, employers may assume workers have greater mobility than they either do or feel they do. After all, Towers Watson also found that 35% of the companies surveyed are experiencing rising turnover, and the latest government figures also show that workers are getting restless. In May 2014, 2.5 million Americans quit their jobs, up from 2.2 million a year earlier, suggesting that workers are finding more opportunities and feeling more confident about jumping ship.

And a third possible reason, she added, is that job security is more abstract than items such as salary and paid time off. “But that’s doesn’t let companies off the hook in terms of ways to give employees the sense that there is job security,” Sejen said. They may not be able to offer job guarantees, she added, but they can communicate a company’s financial state, along with its strategy and vision. “Those things can indirectly translate into more feelings of security on the job.”

However, especially at a time of intense merger activity and short-term profit-hunting, workers have learned the hard way that a company’s quarterly profits or long-term prospects are not always an indication of whether individual jobs will last.

Retention DriversEmployee
View
Employer 
View
Base pay/salary11
Career advancement
opportunities
22
Trust/confidence in
senior leadership
3
Job security4
Length of commute5
Relationship with
supervisor/manager
63
Manage/limit work-related
stress
74
Learning and development
opportunities
5
Challenging work7
Short-term incentives6

Source: Towers Watson

This is a reposted article from here, I didn’t write it – but its a good one.

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