Two new concepts, employees' Expectations of Organizational Mobility (EOM) and Workplace Social Inclusion (WSI), were developed in part from the burgeoning literature on social capital. Two independent tests of the hypotheses in two different organizations found that the greater employees' EOM, the lower their WSI, which in turn was associated with lower employee job performance ratings. Further, the mediating role of WSI was confirmed. Our findings support the arguments of those who have warned that employees' EOM, and implicitly the human resources philosophy of ‘employability’ that encourages such expectations, is associated with comparatively worse individual job performance via lower levels of employee WSI. The value of these concepts for current employability debates, for the use of subjective supervisory judgments in performance appraisal ratings and for researchers interested in organization-based communal social capital, is discussed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.