Effect of Career Development on Employee Commitment

A Rigorous understanding of the academic literature

Employees are committed to their work if they are fully satisfied. Commitment towards something avoids conflict between employer and employee. Conflict may arise due to a lack of understanding between employer and employee regarding the company goals. Career development is the ultimate aim of each and every person. Employee empowerment, team empowerment, participative management, and strategic planning usually create a gap between employer and employee. Empowerment is usually adopted by the employer when he feels that his employee is not active, unmotivated, and not responsible for the work given to him. In employee empowerment, the non-managerial staff takes independent decisions without seeking the advice of the manager. The decision-making powers are given to the employees by the company based on the trust they have in those employees. Training is given by the company to the employees when giving empowerment. In some cases, if the company provides training based on empowerment, then also there may be a chance of building a gap between employer and employee. In employee empowerment the decision-making power vests on the employee itself. “An agreement to perform a particular activity at a certain time in the future under certain circumstances.” (Commitment: Definition, para.1).

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Human resource is the important assets of an organization. Team empowerment is another governing factor in human resource management. Team empowerment means assigning power to the team members. Team empowerment helps in building an effective and efficient power for the team. It also helps the employees to do their work qualitatively. The needs of the employees are met through effective participative management. Self-control is essential for participative management. Strategic planning is necessary for human resource management. In an enterprise, strategic planning helps in determining the strategy based on its capital and employee. It consists of SWOT analysis, an important analysis in strategic planning. Effective career development of employees can be built up by giving proper training. Training is given to the employees on the basis of their level of affective commitment, normative commitment and continuance commitment. Affective commitment is related to the working attitudes and the outcome received through that work.

In affective commitment the employee may spend his future life in his career in the same organization he his working. This may be due to the attachment he feels towards that organization. He may think that his career development starts with that organization. An employee working in an organization may tell about his organization to the outside people or to the employees of the other organizations. When any problem occurs in the organization he may think that this problem is his own problem and he tries to solve it as quickly as he can. When he his attached to another organization he is enlightened that he belongs to that organization. Affective commitment may give a personal meaning to an employee. (Meyer and Allen, 118).

In normative commitment a person remains in an organization for various reasons. He is committed to the organization because of his responsibility towards that organization. The loyalty towards an organization depends upon the behaviour of the employer and the co-workers. Normative commitment reduces the rate of turnover because of recognition of the organizational values. It has a concise place in literature. “Normative commitment was also associated with desirable outcomes, albeit not as strongly. No unique antecedents of normative commitment were identified.” (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch and Topolnytsky, para.1).

When an employee has normative commitment, he may rely on that organization itself. If any one comments badly on that organization, he may react and argue for his organization.” Commitment to a group or organization based on an ideology or a sense of obligation.” (Normative Commitment: Definition).

Continuance commitment is closely related to the literature review. It means the dropping membership in an enterprise. It is related to finance as well as of non financial aspect of an organization. Continuance commitment has multi dimensional appearance. One is related to the existing employee’s choice and next is related to the employees who are leaving an enterprise i.e. the personal sacrifice of an employee. The study is conducted on the basis of a famous hotel in USA. The name of that hotel is Hilton which has branches all over the world. “Conrad Hilton created the Hilton Hotel chain of hotels. Beginning with his first hotel in 1919, Hilton grew his enterprise to a nationwide chain of hotels catering to business travellers. By 2000 there were more than 500 Hilton hotels worldwide.” (Conrad Hilton Biography: Biography-Information, para.1).

The review is conducted on a chosen branch of it, i.e. in USA. It is selected to know their training procedures they have given to their employees in order to remove the gap between the employer and the employee through their affective commitment, normative commitment and continuance commitment. Hilton hotel is a fabulous hotel which provides all types of facilities. It provides various cultural, artistic facilities and also helps the customers to do their shopping within the centre. It serves the customers in a good way as they can. “Extremely creative, knowledgeable and resourceful Hotel General Manager with great experience in consistently delivering results that contribute to the mission and overall success of the hotel by accomplishing performance objectives focused on business revenues, guest and associate satisfaction and effectiveness and efficiencies.” (Haider Ali: Summary).

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Customer satisfaction is the main objective of any hotel. Hotels must be built with a view of attracting a number of customers. A hotel’s reputation is based on the employees’ performance as well as its employer’s performance. If an employer’s behaviour towards an employee is bad, it may result in the work he is doing. Achievable goals must be given to the employees. They must be given effective training on empowerment on how to perform their work. The organization must create an effective environment in which the employees can work happily. If an employee is given overwork in which the payment is less it may cause a gap between the employer and an employee. Responsibilities must be assigned to a person on the basis of his ability to do the work. In affective commitment, patronage plays a vital role in recognizing the customer loyalty. It is the characteristic of a person which creates a relationship among other people. Likewise, it is the behavioural characteristic that creates a good relationship among the employer and an employee. Training and development depends upon the security given for a job and also the long term employability. “’Employers commitment’, a concept that has been neglected empirically to a large extent in management and work sciences, serves as the backbone of our argument, and refers to the commitment the employee receives from the employer. From the workers’ perspective, ’employers’ commitment’ has everything to do with ‘traditional’ expectations about social aspects of the employer-employee relationship and with (individualized) employment relations.” (Looise and Kees, para.1).

Affective commitment is based on the attachment of an employee in regard to an organization. If their expectation about an organization works, they are fully satisfied; otherwise a thinking of dissatisfaction is generated. “A study is based on survey data from 986 workers and 30 LTC organizations and an organizational informant’s report as to whether individual workers were still employed at their facility approximately 15 months later. The aim of this is to understand the relative influence of economic, organizational and individual context on direct care worker job satisfaction, affective commitment (intent to leave) and ultimately on behavioural commitment (turnover) using a multivariate structural approach.” (Direct care work in context: Job satisfaction, Commitment and turnover: Abstract, para.1).

Affective commitment has high reliability and its appearance is one dimensional.

“Hotel chains can have a significant advantage over independent hotels in that respect due to their network of properties across the country and the consequent potential for cross selling. This study explores the relationship between association meeting planners and hotel chains, with a particular focus on loyalty issues. It investigates meeting planners’ reasons for being loyal to a specific hotel chain and their future intentions.” (Weber).

So, Hilton hotel has a recognizing role to play in giving training to the employees based on their commitment towards the organization. Training is assigned on the employees on affective commitment on the basis of their emotional commitment on the Hilton. The advantage of this commitment is that turnover rate will be less. In continuance commitment, importance is given to cost. So training must be given by focusing on those criteria. In normative commitment the employee must be given training on the basis of the responsibility assigned to them. An employee will be responsible for that work which is assigned to him. It is on the basis of the training, commitment is divided. “Strength of the feeling of responsibility that an employee has towards the mission of the organization.” (Organizational Commitment). Commitment towards a job leads a person to success. So, when an employee commits towards an organization, it may lead that organization to success. So, training and development is essential in an organization along with the affective commitment, normative commitment and also continuance commitment. This is the age of survival of the fittest. In order to survive in an organization, employees must work hard by attaining the training given to them by the organization. Hilton Hotel gives training to the employees through disciplined and self attainable ways. Hilton Hotel offers various opportunities in their hotel, so that large numbers of people are able to get job. The objective is to reduce unemployment rate by using skilled workers. It is a rigorous work which is done by Hilton Hotel employers in the training workshop. Based on the individual worker, a commitment is assigned. It is a very difficult task to give training to the employees by considering their commitment on various matters. Sustainability is the main matter of an employer as well as an employee. Gap must not be built between an employer and an employee. In order to reduce the gap, there must be a good understanding between the employer and employee. Hotel Hilton is a best example of maintaining a good relationship among the employer and employee by accepting the employees’ commitment towards the job as well as the organization.

Documentary evidence supporting the Case material

In the recent years, the concept of organizational commitment has become an important aspect to be considered. The commitment level of an employee reflects the extent to which the goals of organization are identified by the employees and are committed towards that goal. There is strong relationship between the job satisfaction and the commitment level of the employees. Training program is provided to the employees to increase their skill and knowledge to do a particular task for what he/she is selected. “…the psychological attachment felt by the person for the organization; it will reflect the degree to which the individual internalizes or adopts characteristics or perspectives of the organization.” (Chapter 5: Employee Commitment, 5.2).

An effective training program will enable the employees to improve their skills and thus to work efficiently. If the training program is given for the employees based on their requirements it will increase the employee’s commitment towards the organization. The employees should feel that they are a part of the organization. So, in order to create such a thought in the minds of the employees, all the facilities required for the employees should be facilitated. “Organizational commitment is defined as a strong desire to maintain employment in the organization (Mowday & McDade, 1979), loyalty to the organization, and mobilization of all employees in the development of its goals, purposes, and infrastructure (Lee, Allen, Meyer& Rhee, 2001).” (D’Annunzio-Green, Maxwell and Watson, 95).

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Nowadays, survival can be ensured only through efficient, qualitative, innovative, competent and flexible work force. So, in order to make such a work force the organization must provide high class training programs for the employees for increasing their capacities and capabilities. To increase the efficiency of the employees, they must be good performers inside and outside the organization. “According to Bolwijn and Kumpe (1990), survival nowadays can be ensured by a combination of efficiency, quality, flexibility, and innovation. It is assumed that this renewal of management has a dual effect on the human dimension.” (Looise, para. 1).

In the previous project proposal there were many research techniques used to analyze and measure the effectiveness of the training opportunities provided to the employees in Hilton Hotel and how it reflects the three different levels of commitment. Other than the research techniques, there are other relevant data that can help us in understanding the effectiveness of the training program in career development of the employees. Many other researches have been done on the topic training and development and how it helps in developing the career of the employees. Usually, in the Hilton Hotel the training program is conducted with a time period of 18 weeks. This is mainly given for the employees to increase their skills in customer handling and how to concentrate on their services that are offered to the customers who are visiting the hotel from all over the world. The commitment level of the employees is highly related with the quality of the training program provided by the organization. In Hilton Hotel the employees were given required training program and the employees were highly productive and efficient. After the research work it was found that the continuance commitment includes two dimensions. Those two dimensions are the cost incurred in leaving the organization and the availability of alternative job. “According to Katz (1964), employee behaviour essential for organizational effectiveness includes employees (1) entering and remaining with the organization, (2) carrying out specific role requirements, and (3) engaging in innovative and spontaneous activity that goes beyond prescriptions.” (Chapter 5: Employee Commitment, 5.1). After giving the training program it was found that the training opportunities given have reflected the degree of commitment of the employees.

Critical examination of the three issues

The issue to be discussed in this report is how the training opportunities provided by the hotel affect the level of the three types of commitment. “Attitudinal commitment focuses on the process by which people come to think about their relationship with the organization. […] Behavioural commitment, on the other hand, relates to the process by which individuals become locked into a certain organization and how they deal with this problem.” (Chapter 3. A Typology of Commitment: Two Schools of Thought, para 1). (Mowday et al. 1982, p.26). The organizational commitments are mainly classified into three. The three types of commitment are affective commitment, normative commitment and continuance commitment.

Normative commitment

Normative commitment means it is the responsibility in the minds of the employee towards the organization. It differs according to the individual. If the organization is loyal to the employee and if any help has been provided to the employee, the commitment of the employee towards the organization will be more. This type of commitment is termed as normative commitment. “It occurs when an employee remains with a particular organization because he or she feels obliged to do so due to pressure from others.” (Heery and Noon, 239). This commitment is formed due to the favour that has been provided by the company to the employee. So, this type of commitment will not be there with the employees who have not received such a favour. The training opportunities provided by the organization will increase the normative commitment of the employees, because the employees feel that they are recognized by the organization. The training program is given in order to increase the performance of the employees. If more and more training opportunities are provided by the organization, the level of normative commitment will also increase. But, this type of commitment will not exist forever. This type of commitment arises only when the company gives any benefit to the employees. If such a benefit is not received the chance for arising normative commitment is very less. Various researches state that normative commitments are in dual nature and its effectiveness depends on the strength and effectiveness of the other two components. Normative commitment always depicts differently based on the other components. When we consider certain theories, we can see that the form of normative commitment is different in different approaches. In the theories, such as motivation, leadership, psychological contract etc. the form of normative commitment is entirely different. This type of commitment is not given by the employee as he wants, but it emerges only due to the pressure that is arising around him. So, when measuring the employee commitment, it is better to exclude the normative commitment because it cannot be considered as a true fact. In the normative approach the commitment reflects the obligation of the employees towards the organization. Even though the employee is not satisfied with the working condition in the organization, the employee will work in the organization due to certain personal problems or due to the pressure from others. “Wiener defines this type of commitment as the totality of the internalized normative pressures to act in a way which meets organizational goals and interest and suggested that individual exhibits this behaviour solely because they believe it is the right and moral thing to do.” (Yusob and Gill, Normative Commitment, para.1).

Normative commitment is characterized in such a way that an employee will maintain loyalty to that particular organization where he is working and it is the result of the internal pressure faced by the employee. Those employees who have high normative commitment will think that they must remain in the organization to meet their requirements. Some of the items that are included in the normative commitment are as follows:

  • I strongly believe that we all must be loyal towards the organization in which we work.
  • I feel that loyalty is most important criteria to be maintained by the entire workforce.
  • If I get an opportunity to work in other organization, it is difficult for me to switch to other.
  • I always stick to my organization for which I am already committed.

Affective Commitment

Affective commitment means perception of the employee regarding a particular organization and that particular employee will be emotionally attached towards the organization. “Affective commitment refers to employees’ perceptions of their emotional attachment to or identification with their organization.” (Williams, para.1).

Some employees will have a special interest towards the organization. In such situations the commitment of the employees will increase at a higher extent. Affective commitment is mainly used to evaluate and predict the employee turnover and the absenteeism rate in an organization. It is seen that the affective commitment is reflected by the continuance commitment. In this type, the commitment changes over a particular time period and is not constant. This type of commitment will be flexible in nature and cannot be taken as a constant measurement. After analyzing the level of commitments if the level of commitments is very low, then the managers should take remedial measures to improve the commitment level of the employees. If proper measures are not taken, it may also affect the commitment of the new employees. Affective commitments can also be developed by creating an emotional attachment towards the brand. In case of Hilton Hotel, affective commitment can be developed in the minds of the customers who are visiting the hotels. If such an impression is created among the customers and employees, it will increase the profitability of the concern and also build a string and committed workforce. The employees are given in-house training and the vacancies that arise in the hotel are mostly filled by the existing employees in the organization. This will enable to develop a sense of commitment in the minds of the employees. Some authors describe commitment as the orientation towards the goals of the organization. “Kanter (1968), for example, defined what she called “cohesion commitment” as the attachment of an individual’s fund of affectivity and emotion to the group.” (Yusob and Gill, Affective Commitment, para.1).

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Porter and his associates state that commitment means the individual identifies his/her unique strength and involves in the functioning of the organization. The employees who belong to the affective commitment will be with the organization for a long period because they want to do so.

The items which come under the affective commitment are as follows:

  • I consider organization’s problem as my own problem and find ways to solve it
  • I feel like I am part of the organization or family member in the organization.
  • I feel that I am very emotionally attached towards the organization and I can’t leave the organization

Continuance Commitment

This commitment is mainly involved with the cost and environmental factors. Meyer and Allen suggest that the cost that is associated with the organization must be recognized and it is represented as psychological stage which is mainly shaped with the help of certain environmental conditions. The cost of leaving an organization composes the cost that includes efforts taken in acquiring the skills that are not transferable, disrupted personal relationship etc. It is said that, “the employees whose primary link to the organization is based on continuance commitment remain because they need to.” (Coetzee, 5.5).

The employees belonging to this category of commitment will also stay with the organization. Some of the items included in this type of commitment are as follows:

  • I can’t adjust my life if I leave my organization
  • Working in this organization is a necessity for me.
  • Even if I want to leave the organization it would be difficult for me.

Therefore, all these three types of commitment are directly involved in the process of career development of the employees within an organization. An employee must first identify the organizational goals and he should also analyze whether he can perform the particular task. The jobs should be designed in such a way that it should match the requirements of the organization and the ability of the worker to perform the task. From this it is clear that affective commitment is oriented towards sense of belongingness, the continuance commitment is oriented towards cost and environmental factors and finally the normative commitment is oriented towards the obligation towards the organization.

Case summary

The Hilton group of hotels comprises of 2,800 hotels all over the world. It employs about 77,000 employees which are functioning in 76 countries. The mission of the hotel is to become the first class hotel organization and to continuously strive for the excellence and allow benefiting the guests and the customers who are visiting the hotel and also the employees. Their vision is to rank as the best for all the travellers across the world. All the organizations are managed and completely owned by the Hilton Group. The hotel is very famous for its quality services and other value added services provided to the customers. The customers coming to the Hilton hotels expect the staffs to provide quality services, at the right time and in the right manner who deliver the service with a smile on their face. The quality of service provided is reflected in the front line staffs that are responsible for welcoming the customers. Therefore, Hilton’s quality service is reflected in the behaviour of the employees. Hilton Hotels give more priority for the development of the employee potential. Every employee participates in diversity and free work place training. It is mainly done to make all the employees work in a friendly atmosphere and to create a harmonious relationship among the employees. The important factor in the Hilton hotel is the training procedure followed there. It tries to understand the local communities and the society which include both culture and religion in which the hotel is operating. The CEO Mr. Bollenbach says that he wants to break down all the issues which are related with the race, culture and other ethnic issues. He wants to create a powerful and united atmosphere where the employees feel that they all are considered as equal. Hilton employs 60% minority workforce and within that 60%, 50% are female workers. And in that, 30% are employed in management positions and 40% comprises of female. Usually, the women and minority sections are made to attend a training program to make them fit for the managerial positions. The training program will be for 18 weeks. The company also conducts succession planning whereby they can develop strong and competitive workforce. Most of the higher positions that arise in the organization are filled by the existing employees. This system will enable the employees to motivate themselves to work more and strive towards the achievement of the goal of the organization. The company follows a philosophy that diversity always works. This makes the employees to work in any situation. In-house training program is also provided to the employees in order to increase their performance level. The hotel does not have any trade union functioning within them. It implies that the employees are highly satisfied and are very much committed to their work and towards the company.

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