Pre-job loss grief reactions and work attachment among sick-listed employees: Introduction of the imminent Job Loss Scale

Janske H.W. van Eersel*, Inge L. Hulshof, Miriam I. Wickham, Geert E. Smid, Paul A. Boelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: With this study, we aimed to explore the emotional experiences of sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss, as this emotional distress may hinder successful job search outcomes. The study had two objectives: (1) to develop and validate the Imminent Job Loss Scale (IJLS) for assessing pre-job loss grief reactions and (2) to examine its relationship to work attachment. Methods: Development of the 9-item IJLS was carried out using feedback from an expert panel, consisting of five academic experts in grief and labour, five re-integration specialists, and five sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss. The psychometric properties of the IJLS were evaluated, and its association with work attachment was examined using data from 200 sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss. Results: The IJLS demonstrated strong internal consistency and temporal stability, distinctiveness from depression and anxiety symptoms, and solid convergent validity. Work-centrality and organizational commitment were positively related to pre-job loss grief reactions, while work engagement and calling showed no significant associations. Conclusion: This study provides valuable insights into pre-job loss grief reactions and shows the potential utility of the IJLS for screening and monitoring purposes. Understanding pre-job loss grief reactions can improve the re-integration and job prospects of sick-listed employees. In future research, explorations of these dynamics should continue to provide better support to sick-listed employees during this challenging period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC psychology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Imminent job loss
  • Organizational commitment
  • Pre-loss grief
  • Re-integration
  • Sick-listed employees
  • Work attachment

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