A recent study at Australia’s RMIT University revealed that long-term job insecurity can make people less emotionally stable, less agreeable and less conscientious.  The study used national data to answer questions about job security and personality for more than one thousand employees over nine years.

They found that the personality traits affected were tied to reliably achieving goals, getting along with others and coping with stress.  Chronic insecurity makes people more likely to withdraw their effort and shy away from building strong, positive work relationships.

This is important research to consider when managing struggling employees.  In light of this new data, it may be wise to identify ways to determine if they are struggling because they’re unfit or because they’ve been subjected to the stresses of uncertainty that have accumulated over time.