Insecurity at work can reduce commitment

A person's commitment to their job can be impacted when they fear their job security may be at risk. According to a new study published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, dissatisfaction at work is associated with insecurity.

In addition, the research suggested the prospect of redundancy can impact satisfaction levels in other areas of life, with thoughts on health, family, work-life balance and financial circumstances likely to take a hit when unemployment looms.

However, the likelihood of being relieved of a position can have a different effect on people from various occupational groups - with professionals, blue collar and white collar workers reacting to the prospect of losing their job in separate ways.

Amparo Caballer, Researcher at the Psychology Department of the University of Valencia - which has been in operation for more than 500 years - observed blue collar workers "are less satisfied with life and they work less productively than the other groups studied". 

Dr Paul Brewerton, Chartered Psychologist and Director of Strengths Partnership, commented: "At Strengths Partnership, we have found in our research and practice on deploying a strengths-focus at work that the current uncertain economic and job climates can lead to a disproportionate focus from some employees on engaging in self-protective behaviours, as they attempt to shore up their jobs and careers from attack. 

"In practice, this can manifest as so called continuance commitment (where an employee may have given up and stayed for lack of employment opportunities elsewhere) and reduced affective engagement with the organisation, with employees expending greater energy on hiding weaknesses and mistakes and less energy on developing and promoting their strengths. 

"While in the short term, this survival behaviour may have a benefit (you keep your job), it is difficult to see how it is sustainable in the long term, psychologically, emotionally or physiologically due to the high toll it takes in all these areas. 

"One positive response to such uncertainty is to develop a range of strategies to deal with whatever may happen next (e.g. update CV, explore work/career alternatives, discuss internal career options with a senior), thereby increasing the sense of control over one's future. 

"Another may be to develop an optimistic outlook or mindset rather than ruminating over negative possibilities. 

"Finally, developing greater resilience is regarded as a particularly worthy pursuit these days and many workshops and self-serve/online development options exist to support this. 

"We have certainly found that a focus on strengths has increased currency in organisations where there is uncertainty over the future - so much so that we are currently recruiting for several roles at Strengths Partnership."