Friday, 23 January 2009

Motivation Bite Size - Job Security

In tough economic times when job insecurity is a concern for so many people, the prospect of job security is high on the motivational scale. When jobs are plentiful, this is much less of an issue.

But as leaders and managers of people what can we do to positively affect people’s job security?

The first thing is to focus on helping your people to become high performers, making them a valuable asset to the company. This will be particularly relevant if an organisation is using a matrix methodology to select employees for redundancy.

The second thing is to help your people to develop new skills and capability. This will not only enhance their performance capability and reduce the chances of redundancy but also, it will help them to find a new job should the worst happen.

Of course, a really effective people leader will not wait until tough economic times to implement these actions – they are a core part of the leadership role. And if you have been paying due attention to performance and development issues during the good times, your staff will have much better employment prospects right now than those less fortunate souls who have been working for an ineffective manager.

And if the worst does happen and you need to lay off any of your staff members, do everything you can to support them through the process, including generating job leads via your network and providing some level of career counselling at the point of exit. You might also want to stay in touch with them as they could form a useful part of your network going forward. Providing this type of support is not only a decent thing to do but it will also have a motivational effect on your staff that remain - i.e. having a leader who genuinely cares and tries to support their team members.

Simon Cooper is cheif executive of the Experiential Learning Centre, author of the best selling leadership development book, Brilliant Leader and architect of the Brilliant Leadership workshops.

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