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Barnett Waddingham
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Six pillars of employee wellbeing: job security

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In the first week of this blog series, Carl Chapman discusses the six pillars of employee wellbeing - an ethos that derives from the idea that employee performance is linked to six key areas of wellbeing in the workplace. Week one: job security.

I recently completed our own wellbeing survey to determine my score in each of our six pillars of employee wellbeing and within job security I scored a relatively high 7.5 out of 10. To me job security represents being part of a company that is inclusive and values its employees while engaging them in operational and financial performance. I firmly believe that Barnett Waddingham achieve optimal performance from me by being open and honest, by caring about me on a personal level and importantly, by asking my opinion on relevant matters.

It is the nature of my role (I head up the workplace health team) that I am privy to certain information relating to company performance and strategic direction and fortunately my manager (who will love reading this) very much seeks my opinion in the direction of our part of the business.

“I am not a fan of the paternalistic approach some take because I believe that people respond better to being asked rather than told.”

When it comes to managing my team, I take a similar approach to the one my manager takes with me; I share all of the information that is relevant to them (and sometimes shield them from things that they need not worry about) and I seek their input into the strategic direction of our part of the business.

I believe this approach (and my experience tells me this is true) enables us all - irrespective of level - to feel included and engaged. I am not a fan of the paternalistic (hand-holding) approach some take because I believe that people respond better to being asked rather than told; Steve Jobs famously said 'it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do'.

“7.5% of those earning less that £20,000 had stated their job security as a concern, compared to 18.9% of those earning over £75,000.”

So why didn't I score 10 out of 10? I think it is natural, and sometimes important, to have an element of apprehension over job security. This fear can help to drive us forward and ensure that we don’t become complacent, however, there is a fine line between this and having an immediate fear for your job that detrimentally affects your performance. I think it is also natural that the more senior you are the more pressure you feel to perform and deliver to the business, this theory is supported by our ‘Why BWell?’ employee research, where we found that 7.5% of those earning less that £20,000 had stated their job security as a concern, compared to 18.9% of those earning over £75,000.

So, what steps should I be taking to improve my score? I am lucky to have such a great team working with me who all have their own individual strengths; we discuss ideas and collaborate as team, rather than me dictating my ideas. However, there is always room for improvement and I will try to adopt more of an inclusive approach over the coming months to see the impact that has. For my own job security, I need to be better at communicating and sharing my work with my peers in terms product development and innovation, in order to gain their feedback and improve. I believe this greater interaction will increase both mine and my team’s confidence and further prove that we are doing the right thing.

This article first appeared on Reward Guide as part of  the 'Six Pillars of Wellbeing' 15 week blog series and was written by Carl Chapman. For further enquiries please contact Damian Stancombe, Head of Workplace Health and Wealth.

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