Job satisfaction, job insecurity, work engagement, COVID-19 pandemic, counterproductive work behavior
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to impose physical distancing restrictions on employees and to practice teleworking on a large scale. Adapting to the new context has generated an increase in job insecurity, and a decrease in employee productivity concerning task completion, boosting stress and counterproductive work behavior. Although the challenges employees face when carrying out their activities and work-related responsibilities, together with an understanding of the factors generating counterproductive work behaviors and job insecurity have been intensely studied in the literature, their manifestation and impact within organizations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is barely covered. This paper aims to fill this research gap by evaluating the way internal vision communication, employee reward systems, knowledge, and skills capitalization, and the maintaining of task performance can diminish counterproductive work behaviors and job insecurity generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, influencing employee satisfaction and behavior in this stress-inducing context. The responses collected from 863 Romanian employees are modelled with the help of structural equations in SmartPLS. The results show that in the case of counterproductive work behavior, employee satisfaction diminishes, while efficient performance of tasks and responsibilities, knowledge and skills capitalization, internal vision communication, and the existence of an employee reward system for employee input can all generate greater organizational attachment. Job satisfaction mediates the influence of performance, internal marketing, and counterproductive work behavior in employees’ attachment towards their respective organizations. The paper contributes to the development of the Conservation of Resources Theory, highlighting, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, ways in which employee satisfaction and work engagement behavior can be enhanced, thus contributing to diminishing counterproductive work behaviors, and fostering a pleasant and safe work environment.