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If You Want Engaged Employees, Offer Them Stability

The importance of having engaged and happy employees who are finding that drive to come to work everyday can never be underplayed.  It is only when employees feel secure in their job and satisfied with their work, that they remain engaged and motivated. 

Stability with the job helps build trust between employees and their employers.  It provides them with a sense of stability and a commitment from their employers. Additionally, when employees are provided with job satisfaction through recognition and other benefits, they become more emotionally connected to their roles and will put in additional effort and time to ensure the success of their tasks. 

By providing job stability and satisfaction, employers can create a culture of engagement, where employees are dedicated and enthusiastic to their work, resulting in improved productivity and potential business growth.  In this article, let us delve into the interconnectedness of the two – employee engagement and job stability.

Why Stability Is Important

In order to perform at one’s highest level, stability is essential. Disruption to your employees’ ability to concentrate, adapt, and succeed can be expected during a company policy or management change and during times of uncertainty.

For instance, if your organization undergoes a merger, your employees may feel uneasy and uncertain about the company’s future and their own jobs. Individuals and groups may struggle to maintain their focus and efficiency under these conditions.

In order for an organization to be successful, managers and leaders must establish stability, regardless of the reason for the disruption.

 There are two primary elements of stability: psychological and physical.

  • Psychological security has a significant bearing on how you experience your mental health, how self-confident you feel, how optimistic you are, and how resilient you are in the workplace. These qualities are what are meant when people talk about “psychological capital.”
  • Physical stability indicates that you are not at risk of suffering any sort of harm while performing your job and that you have the necessary equipment and resources to do so.

Characteristics of a person with high psychological capital include:

  • Ability to complete difficult tasks
  • Confidence in present and future success
  • Adaptability to keep working toward goals and change them as needed
  • Capacity to overcome setbacks and make progress

Fostering stability and employee engagement is directly proportional to how well you develop and support the psychological capital of your staff.

Here are a few key factors to know for how businesses can foster a more secure environment, giving workers the assurance they need to throw themselves into their work.

1. Psychological Safety 

Psychological safety at workplace is the belief that one can speak up and be heard without fear of being judged, shamed, or ridiculed. 

This forms the most pivotal feature of a positive workplace that encourages employees to be themselves, to share their ideas without feeling like they will be criticized.  It fosters an environment where innovation can thrive. 

The noteworthy feature of psychological safety at work not only helps eliminate stress and anxiety, but also encourages collaboration and allows everyone to feel valued. 

It is the cornerstone for a valued workspace and can be enhanced through open communication, positive reinforcement for ideas, and supportive leadership. It helps create a workplace culture that is both respectful and inspiring.

According to William Kahn, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, psychological safety refers to the ability to show and employ oneself without fear of a negative impact on one’s self-image, career, or status. Even though this concept has been studied for decades, its significance in our professional lives is yet to be fully appreciated.

To confront real-time challenges, psychological safety allows individuals and teams to be open and honest with each other. By establishing security, developing issues can be recognized earlier, allowing a better response to be implemented. When team members detect that the organization or environment is incapable of handling such issues, they may back away and demur – even if this serves the organization and team’s interests.

Consider the following questions to gauge the state of psychological safety within your organization:

1. Do you feel that team members openly share ideas and issues?

2. Have there been any organizational or team events in the past that could make people less open?

3. Has someone’s trust been damaged in some way?

The psychological security of employees at work is crucial for the company’s continued success, despite numerous changes.

2. Acknowledgment of the Psychological Contract

The psychological contract is an unspoken set of promises we make to our employers in exchange for the benefits they receive at work. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to mend once this contract has been strained or broken. 

Reviewing the health of these contracts is an excellent way to increase stability and, consequently, retain valuable employees. In other words, psychological contracts are associated with job satisfaction, performance, commitment, and trust.

Managers can discuss psychological contracts more openly if they regularly talk with their employees about what they give and get from each other. This can help employees explore career planning by clarifying goals, motivation for performance, and encouragement for developmental conversations. It’s important to have regular discussions about how organizational changes may impact individual work and performance. 

Psychological agreements need to be revisited frequently during times of profound change. For instance, it is vital to reassess your organization’s goals and performance metrics periodically and immediately following any major structural shifts.

Managers can start to learn more about the psychological contract by asking the following questions:

1. Have your team members openly discussed the employer-employee exchange agreement?

2. Do contributors believe that the compensation they receive for their work is proportional to their time and energy investment?

3. Are the majority of perceived promises regarding work and career paths fulfilled?

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To maintain the proper performance of the employees, the company must also ensure that the benefits received by each one are fair.

3. Psychological Capital 

Positive psychology also provides us with opportunities for fostering workplace stability. The relationship between psychological capital (PsyCap) and several desirable workplace outcomes, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and psychological well-being, has been established by numerous studies. These “HERO” assets consist of:

  • Hope. A belief in one’s ability to persist toward goals and discover the means or routes to achieve them.
  • Efficacy. The conviction that one can make an effort to influence outcomes.
  • Resilience. The capacity to recover quickly from adversity or failure.
  • Optimism. A generally positive perspective on work and its potential for accomplishment.

This concept can be applied in real life by asking the following questions:

1. Are the HERO variables (components of psychological capital) present?

2. Do people on the team have faith that they can reach their objectives?

3. Have you candidly shared with your team members any experiences or circumstances that might compromise one of the HERO elements?

Through those questions, you will know the employees’ emotions in their work. And you will also know the solution in case they have issues regarding work.

Final Thought 

To succeed in the workplace, it is essential to create an atmosphere of psychological safety. When this happens, each team member can feel secure and confident in sharing their ideas and insights without fear. 

This allows for more innovative solutions to arise and encourages collaborative problem-solving and trust building among colleagues. By making psychological safety part of the workplace culture, teams can maximize their productivity and create a more successful and thriving company.

When employees feel connected to their work, fulfillment and satisfaction follow – leading to a joyful, happy workspace.