Job Security: Just An Illusion?

Here’s a news story that isn’t really surprising: Despite the slow—but present!—economic recovery, employees are still worried that their jobs might vanish.

In fact, out of 600 employees surveyed by Right Management, 71 percent said they felt less secure in their jobs this year than last.

Another survey, from Glassdoor.com, asked more than 1,000 people about job security, and 17 percent said they thought they’d be laid off within 6 months. That’s down just one percentage point from the first quarter of 2010, which by any objective standard was a much worse time for the job market.

It isn’t surprising, though, that some employees still feel skittish. At a medical collections company that lost 4/5 of its staff due to a takeover last year, any new hire makes current employees worry they’ll be replaced.

Turns out that nervous employees are a problem not just for the employee, but the organization, according to Workforce magazine. “Failure to address the anxiety could diminish productivity and cause top performers to seek jobs at organizations that promise greater security… Talk… about severance benefits that at least provide a short-term cushion for laid-off workers. He also recommends one-on-one conversations with workers about career goals and greater investment in training programs if possible.”

Even workers with in-demand jobs are feeling the stress. Workforce talked to a software engineer who works for a defense contractor, which should be the most secure job on the planet. But he wouldn’t even speak on the record because he “fears possible retaliation by his employer” and feels “considerable anxiety” about his job stability.

Which should mean that media folk are quaking in their boots.