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Is it normal to be this insecure about my job and future in the workplace? Insights, please!

Is it normal to be this insecure about my job and future in the workplace_ Insights, please!.png

My regular paycheck, benefits, friends, even my sense of identity- all in danger of being lost. This nerve-wracking feeling grips me at times, and it’s not a pretty picture of health, I know. But I can’t help it! 

Employees of late have been feeling insecure about their jobs for a variety of reasons. An acute reason is the news of layoffs among huge companies worldwide. Others may have this feeling of apprehension about their jobs chronically due to perceived low job performance, poor management, and the feeling of being stuck at work without professional growth. 

Whatever the reason might be, it is undeniable that job insecurity plays a part in the mental health outcomes of employees. (1)  In addition, the future of the workforce and workplaces might be bleak if this possibly debilitating feeling and its  mental, behavioral and economic effects are not addressed. (2) 

Effects of Job Insecurity: 

Although it is a perceived loss of job, and not actual loss of job, job insecurity is still a key risk at the workplace. 

Psychological  and Physical effects

When employees feel a lack of control over their future due to job loss, they are more prone to having negative mental health outcomes. In fact, a summary of more than 220 researches on job insecurity clearly stated that situations that trigger stress, especially chronic stress, have a correlation with missing workdays and decreased job performance. (3) 

Furthermore, stress in the workplace has been shown to affect both the cost of healthcare and health outcomes. Employees who are stressed are two times more likely to report being sick and this impacts their families and finances in turn. 

Behavioral and Economic effects

Job insecurity triggers a cycle of events as employees with low-morale tend to decrease their performance at work and avoid team interactions, causing participation and communication in the team to also decrease. This often leads to further lowering of team collaboration, their chances to be creative, performance and productivity. 

Some studies also point out that it affects behaviors in the workplace like building trust in company management. (1) Other work stressors that affect job insecurity is a perceived presence of workplace bias or lack of fairness in management, low social and mental health support, and low job independence. 

Handling Job Insecurity

Job insecurity is quite a significant life stressor because the perceived and actual loss of a job is a stressor to the person on the grips of it, but also to those who are depending on that person for support. This is quite a heavy burden to carry, thus learning not to be overwhelmed by it is crucial. 

  • Get rid of the fear. 

Suffering in silence because we are too scared to express our thoughts and feelings to higher ups is more common than we think. Expressing possible job dissatisfaction, low morale and other “negative” behaviors can be seen as a sign of weakness and people don’t want to be viewed as such. 

It is therefore imperative for companies nowadays to encourage and train every member of the staff on effective communication at work and make it the center of building trust in the team. 

  • Train on Leadership Development. 

It is in the realm of managers and supervisors to cushion the impact of workplace stress, thus investing in them to develop themselves as better leaders can reward companies who do it. 

  • Train on Emotional Intelligence

Sharing about job insecurity and dissatisfaction and such can be such big emotions to deal with and by knowing how to teach employees to regulate their emotions, companies can build a more resilient workforce. 

  • Boost personal growth

Setting up roadmaps for employees to let them grow in their personal and professional life addresses one of the root causes of job insecurity. Engaging employees to grow makes them feel valued by the company. 

These tips show employees that their well being and development are cared for, so it is inevitable that they respond with enthusiasm, trust and eventually feelings of job security.

Is it normal to be this insecure about my job and future in the workplace? Insights, please!
Brandon Resasco