If you have worked a job where this constantly ran through your mind; it would be very difficult to describe that job as an enjoyable one. When every single step you take is simply to please a boss and move you further away from losing your job, work becomes a tedious grind.
Stability of Employment
Countless employers who use the constant threat of being fired as a motivator to get people to work. Not only does this not produce the results they expect. It is also unethical because it is the responsibility of employers to provide stability of employment for their employees.
Why is Stability a Good Idea?
When the fear of being fired is removed, it frees up the mind to take on new challenges. Employees innovate more, improving processes they work on and coming up with better ways to do things.
When an employee knows that the company has his interest at heart, they feel like they are part of a family. This is what makes an employee go above and beyond with the company’s interest at heart. A trait you can not teach, but is grown by showing your employees that you genuinely care.
Stability in Practice
It is obviously impossible to keep every employee around forever. If an employee goes against one of the company’s core principles, for example, stealing. It is perfectly understandable to even other employees, the reason that person was let go.
During hard times such as a global pandemic for instance, it might be difficult to ensure this stability to employees. But an effort has to be made, and the employees need to see this effort. A 25% pay cut across the company for instance in order to keep from firing a quarter of the staff. You might think would not go down well, because salaries get reduced. But this helps build comradery among employees; they can see the difficulty of the times and tend to understand why these measures were necessary.
How Far Does Stability Go?
“You just learnt a very expensive lesson, why would I waste that by firing you?”
When an employee makes a mistake that costs the company a lot of money, a lot of managers take the knee-jerk reaction of firing them on the spot. As you can already guess, this is not the best course of action every time.
The employee may have been a good one, always delivering on time and putting in that extra effort when needed. But got distracted due to personal troubles; a sick family member, a deceased relative, financial issues etc.
This doesn’t justify the error, but thinking about it logically; firing them will not bring back the money lost or damaged equipment, it actually makes things worse. All the money invested in the employees training goes down the drain combined with the headache of trying to find a new person who fits the company’s culture.
There was an incident at a factory once, where a machinist got distracted and damaged an expensive part worth over $30,000. He was scared to the bone while reporting the incident to the plant manager.
The manager knew he was one of the most devoted people he had and told him to sort it out and go back to work. The machinist asked what his punishment would be when the shift ended and if he even had a job anymore. The plant manager simply replied with “you just learnt a very expensive lesson, why would I waste that by firing you?” You can obviously imagine the effect it had on the machinist and his co-workers who all assumed he was going to be fired.
Simply by providing stability in the lives of employees, the entire culture of the company is improved with so many employees taking the interests of the company to heart.