Is job security a motivating factor?
Considering factors of motivation n a management development workshop recently, we were reflecting on the place of job security in motivating staff for good performance. Traditionally of course, Herzberg’s two factor theory suggests that job security is a hygiene factor, the absence of which is dissatisfying to the employee.
But the presence of job security is not a motivating factor to the employee according to this theory. Interesting work and opportunities for promotion and growth are more motivating for people.
The debate in the room was interesting as people wondered considered whether job security was now a more important consideration for everyone. Most managers seem to believe it is. One went so far as to say that she believed that it would be the number one concern for her people at the moment.
Of course, even if she’s right and job security is the most critical concern for front line staff at the moment, this doesn’t necessarily mean that having job security is a motivating factor (i.e. I think I’ll work hard because I’m less likely to lose my job here than if I were some other company). Also, it may not be here team’s biggest concern, but rather her biggest concern.
Nevertheless, job security is clearly an issue that is playing on people’s minds at the moment. People are experiencing their present moment based on their learnings from the past and their particularly uncertain expectations for the future.
Witness the large numbers of applicants for jobs these days as contractors and temporary employees seek what they see as much more stable icome prospects as a permanent employee.
I still maintain, as a resolute corporate refugee, that our best security is in being excellent at our craft, whatever it may be, and developing enough marketing nouse to be able to connect with those who would find our services valuable.