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Members of SAP SuccessFactors’ Value Realization Research team are constantly reading up on the topics most important to you, your employees, and your managers. Each week we will be sharing an interesting finding we’ve read about to give you innovative and data-based ideas on how to better structure your HR processes and more effectively manage your workforce.

This week: In uncertain times, make sure your employees know it’s OK to take care of themselves

Extensive research has shown that what happens to employees outside of work impacts their productivity and job performance. In response, the past decade has seen an explosion of organizational programs and initiatives designed to help employees manage their health, families, and other aspects of their non-work lives. These programs are generally thought to improve employee engagement and performance, but there is one key issue: sometimes employees don’t use them. In their recent study published in Personnel Psychology, Boswell (Mays Business School, Texas A&M University) and colleagues found that employees experiencing greater job insecurity compensated by using available work-nonwork support programs less, and letting work permeate their non-work lives more. These employees had a much higher chance of reporting emotional exhaustion at a later point in time. In today’s fast-paced world where the only certainty is change, organizations can’t always provide their employees with absolute job security. But this research suggests that in order to maintain employee well-being and productivity in uncertain times, employees should continue to be encouraged to leverage available programs and set boundaries for themselves without fear of possible consequences to their jobs.

For more information, access the research abstract and full article here.