Management needs to ensure that her employees are and remain committed to the organization. This is so since the employees greatly influence the functioning of an organization and if at all they are not committed then the organization may fail to meet its objectives. Currently, there has been great competition in the business organizations and many technological changes that have had a direct effect on organizations and this factor consequently calls for a suitable and dependable workforce to uphold an organization’s standing within the marketplace.
It is worth noting that incentives are not the only ways that can inspire or encourage employees to perform more efficiently and prolifically. In such a state of affairs, the workforce dedication becomes of supreme significance. This is so since an elevated dedication of the employees at the workplace results in a positive outcome, elevated efficiency, and yield, whereas a depleted dedication results in a poor outcome of an organization’s operational in totality.
Definition of terms
According to Meyer and Allen (1997 p.3), commitment is an evening out the force that takes the action of upholding social way when anticipated or fair circumstances conditions are not encountered and do not perform. From their definition, one can as well refer commitment to as a courteous force that needs one to respect and be dedicated even when there is a confrontation of changing opinions and passing impulses.
Salancik (1977, p. 7) defined commitment as a condition or a situation in which a person turns out to be bound by his or her acts to opinions that nourish one’s pursuit and one’s participation.
According to Allen and Meyer (1990, p. 3), commitment is a mental or psychosomatic condition that attaches an individual to an organization.
It is therefore the comparative might power that a person can be identified within relation to his or her participation or connection in a certain organization.
Employee commitment is a mental or emotional connection of an individual to an organization. It is the power that wholly depends on an employee’s extent of participation, or the employee’s devotion and faith in the principles of an organization.
One can as well define employee commitment as the relative power of one’s recognition with and participation within an organization. This strong desire is characterized by: a powerful willingness to continue being an associate of an organization, a powerful trust in, and recognition of, the principles and objectives of an organization, and lastly an employee’s willingness to put forth substantial exertion in an organization.
Types of commitment
There exist several commitments. O’Malley (2000, p. 12) identified five major types of commitments namely:
- Affiliative Commitment
In the affiliative type of commitment, the interests and values of an organization and those of the workforce are well matched. This makes the workforce regard themselves as being recognized by the organization.
- Associative commitment
The associative commitment entails the workforce acquiring an organizational membership. The membership alleviates employees’ sense of worth and class. The employees thus get an impression of being advantaged and honored in being linked with the organization.
- Moral/Normative commitment
With the moral commitment or as well known as the normative commitment, the workforce identifies themselves with the organization. The organization brings to mind a sense of common responsibility to one another.
- Affective commitment.
With affective commitment, employees get their fulfillment or contentment from their fellow workers and their chores. Meyer and Allen, (1991, p. 62), put it forward that affective commitment is the most vital type of commitment for it holds the highest possible payback for an organization. They suggested that employees having a high affective commitment go beyond the demands of their obligation for the benefit of their organization. It is the form of commitment mainly measured by businesses. It is as well-referred to as an engagement form of commitment.
- Structural commitment
The workforce trusts that they can be concerned in a just financially viable trade if they can reap any substance out of the organization. There exists a temptation to enter and remain in an organization and there are barriers when one wishes to leave the organization. The structural type of commitment is also referred to as the continuance commitment.
Factors affecting employee commitment
An organization is an energetic and vibrant field that remains competitive and therefore an employee has to be fully committed if he or she has to remain within the organization. However, there exist some factors that can affect his or her commitment namely:
- Workplace values
Employees will tend to be involved in acts that will result in elevated quality if they believe that the organization in which they work regards highly quality products. In addition, the employees will tend to feel that their participation in an organization will make a significant difference if at all they realize that the workplace values participation. Thus they will be provoked and even be more ready to hunt for solutions and come up with proposals that can lead to an organization’s success.
- Subordinate – manager interpersonal relationship
A manager’s acts and deeds consist of giving out suitable information, permitting empathy of influence, identifying and recompensing those workers exemplifying and producing good results, and not ill-treating those that are weak. The levels to which the managers display their actions and deeds have a great impact on the level of commitment of the employees.
- Job characteristics
This entails the degree to which a task is well thought out to present habitual feedback and sovereignty in addition to a sense of job completion. An elevated alleged control leads to a reinforced social tie with a business or organization. Similarly, an elevated sense of one’s power correlates with one’s approach and deeds at the workplace. If the chores are satisfying, then the employees are seen to be more dedicated to their work. Research has shown that the employees’ dedication to work gets low when they are given recurring usual chores to complete. They would require chores that permit an elevated level of sovereignty and with less or no supervision at all.
- Demographics and Age
According to Mathieu and Zajac (1990, p.173), there exists a variety of demographic changes that are connected to an employee’s dedication. It has been viewed that age is one of the sure forecasters of a person’s commitment. Mathieu and Zajac (1990, p.174), proposed that the elderly employees have lesser substitutes available. It is with this regard that the elderly employees perceive their employment more satisfactorily. According to Dunham et al. (1994, p.372), the older employees can be more dedicated to their work since they possess a powerful investment as well as a superior account of their organization.
Numerous studies have been carried out regarding the relationship between gender and commitment. Women are perceived to be more dedicated to their work than men (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990, p.175). This is so since women triumph over many barriers in comparison to men to acquire their place in any organization.
- Marital Status.
According to Mathieu and Zajac (1990, p.176), married employees show more commitment at their place of work than those who are not married. Research shows that this is so since the married are faced with greater responsibilities about those that they are expected to support financially more so their families. This is the sole reason that makes them be attached to their jobs.
It is worth noting that this applies to the continuance commitment (Structural commitment) since the cost linked to leaving the organization alleviates the dedication to the organization. As indicated earlier, continuance commitment does not necessarily lead to an alleviated performance.
- Recruitment Procedures
According to O’Malley (2000, p. 15), an organization is required to be more considerate in dealing with the communal wants to affiliate and fit in, to enhance commitment, the corporation should acquire the correct kind of employees from the inception of the organization. The employees’ thoughts of being part of an organization develop before they even secure a job with the organization. Therefore the managers should do the following to the employees to build up commitment:
- Share details or particulars relating to the organization.
- They should make themselves available and support employees through the interviewing process.
- Express the morals and interests that the corporation shares with its workforce.
It is therefore very crucial for an organization to be very keen when recruiting personnel.
Benefits of employee commitment
An alleviated level of employees’ dedication implies that the employees show a passionate interest in their chores, in addition, their manner of functioning improves as their yield increases.
An employee’s dedication also brings to mind an insightful interest in a worker in his or her work. This simply implies that the worker ends up enjoying the work he or she does. In addition, if the employee is dedicated to his or her work, then his level of fulfillment will be alleviated. Workers’ commitment as well implies that that the costs will be reduced. This is so since the dedicated workforce is highly inspired and therefore they do not require incentives to encourage them to work. This however should not be taken to mean that the employees should not get their end year financial remuneration since the total expenses that the organization may end up incurring are greatly reduced. For example, many organizations and industries like the hotel industry give service charges. This is arrived at calculating the total sales in a year and the employees are awarded a certain percentage.
The benefits of working effectively resulting from intensified employee dedication have been addressed as well by other researchers and scholars, for example, Cohen A (1993, p.146) said that it decreases one’s intent to look for different employers.
It is important to perceive employee dedication as unavoidability. Corporate and organizations face difficulties in enhancing effectiveness if they do not maintain and reinstate a competent workforce. The expenses incurred are not only the instantaneous expenses incurred within the enrolment period but there also exist other concealed costs for instance the administrative time in addition to lost yields as fresh employees orientate themselves with their work. Dedication has subsequent results:
- It consequently leads to self-drive or self-motivation in doing work.
- A habitual attendance.
- Minimal supervision.
- An elevated level of endeavor.
- An elevated willingness to stay allegiant.
Negative effects of low commitment
Minimal or lack of commitment of the workforce can result in negative consequences which weaken the usual running in an organization. This is a result of a considerable decline in the efficiency of the employees. According to O’Malley (2000, p.16), the lack of commitment of the workforce can result in several demerits which weaken each employee’s work and of the whole organization.
Minimal or lack of commitment of the workforce can result in a declined level of concern by the workforce at work. The declined level of interest can make the workforce unsurprisingly perform worse. Therefore, minimal or lack of commitment of the workforce declines the effectiveness and the yields of work since the workforce has no interest in their work as well as to what it yields. In such a state of affairs, the workforce can barely pay attention to the positive operations of the corporate or organization in which they work in.
Ways of enhancing employee commitment
An organization can employ several approaches to raise the employee’s commitment. Some of those approaches include:
- Induction and Training
The ultimate step when recruiting and assorting employees should be the induction process. If the induction is carried out appropriately, then the employees become familiar and feel relieved while within the organization. This is so since the employees get to the organization with a supposition of reliability.
- Relationships with Managers
Relationship with managers refers to how the two principals correlate towards the advancement of commitment. A dedicated or committed employee maintains a habitual link with their immediate managers informing them on the progress of the job and sharing possible solutions which can lead to increased productivity in the organization. Therefore an effective communication within an organization is very vital for it secures an individual’s performance. The immediate managers have a responsibility, to an extensive extent, of making sure that the maintenance actions are practiced.
Deprived management can lead to the ruin of a well-laid-out organizational plan at its peak of transmission.
- Relationships with Colleagues
In any organization, the social attachment among colleagues plays a crucial role in promoting commitment. To enact powerful feelings of attachment within an organization, there should be events for rewarding interactions. Organizations should thereby encourage group works both within and outside the workplace to increase the level of commitment.
- Group Membership
In enhancing commitment, an employee need not only be an associate of an organization to comply with the employee’s communal wants to affiliate as well as to belong, he or she further needs to build a joint identity that can be used to show the dissimilarity between the organization he or she is working from any other organizations.
There exists a variety of attributes that have a say in group membership. The employees should be in a position to experience those attributes since they greatly contribute to how one feels like a part of an organization.
- Organizational Justice and Trust
Meyer and Allen (1997, p.15), argued that the workforce can assess themselves at their workplace by looking at how reasonable or unbiased they are to their colleagues and their superiors. One can say that the management is loyal to its employees if it treats its employees in a just or fair manner. It, therefore, follows that an organization that wishes to advance its employee commitment should first show the same example to them with expectations that the employees will emulate the same. If there is reliance, then there will be organizational suppleness despite lack of remuneration and work will continue without any hitch. According to O’Malley (2000, p.28), there are four areas in which the workforce trust can be increased to an employer. This is:
- Growth. The best way to reinforce trust in an employee is by adhering to the employees’ development wants.
- Work-Life balance. Several employees would wish to be awarded more time by the organizations to do their stuff.
- Individual accommodation. This entails organizational suppleness towards employees.
- Health and Safety. Corporations and organizations that are dedicated to caring and providing health and safety measures to their employees tend to be more trusted than those that do not offer the same.
- Psychological Contract
According to Armstrong, Smith, and Donnay (2004, p.301), a psychological contract is a structured way of life that covers what employees know is expected from them and what they anticipate in return from their boss as well expectation the employer has from the employee.
The roles of the psychological contract in developing employee commitment as stated by Armstrong ( 2005, p. 307)included;
- Before employees are employed, they always go through an interview process that creates an awareness of the characteristics of the job, what is expected of them by the employer as well as what the employer will give the employee in return. This gives the to be employed a clear picture of what to expect from the company so as not to have unachievable expectations from the company which may bring about a lack of commitment once employed.
- During orientation, new employees are informed of the organization’s rules and regulations as well as the procedures and policies of the organization. This is to make sure new employees know the kind of performance the employer anticipates from them and with this knowledge, to remain committed to their job and give the results expected of them.
- New employees, apart from being informed by word of mouth about the policies, procedures, and values of the organization, are issued with a book called staff handbook as well as job descriptions which summarizes Issue and update employee handbooks and intranet entries which emphasizes the information given during orientation.
- Coming up with performance monitoring and enhancement programs that ensure continuous performance improvement by giving out clear actions plans that need to be put in place to achieve the continuous improvement in the performance of employees.
- Emphasize employee training and development Use training and management development plan to spell out to employees the standards that describe high performance.
- Managers and supervisors need to be trained to know their duty in ensuring employee – employer’s relationships. When managers and supervisors show commitment to the organization the rest of the employees copy the same and become also committed.
- Ensure and emphasize high levels of contact between managers, supervisors, and their subordinates to realize common understanding in the whole organization
- Implement a common strategy of transparency making sure that all issues that relate to employees are well known to them and informing them on all occurrences and the effect they may have on their employment
- Ensure there are in place customized procedures for managing grievances, punishment, promotion, and job loss. They need to be put into action practically and constantly.
- Have in place or build up employee guiding principles covering the key areas of their employment, progress, motivation, and members of staff relationships
List of References
Armstrong, P. I. (2005). “Assessment of needs and values”. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, (pp. 305-329).
Armstrong, P. I., Smith, T. J., Donnay, D. A. C., & Rounds, J. (2004). The Strong ring: “A basic interest model of occupational structure”. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51,299-313.
Allen, N.J., & Meyer, J.P. (1990). “The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization”. Journal of Occupational Psychology. 63(1). 1-18.
Cohen A (1993), “Age and tenure in relation to organizational commitment”: A Meta-analysis’, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 14, pp. 143-159.
Dunham, R.B., et al. (1994). Organizational commitment: “The utility of an integrative definition”.Journal of Applied Psychology.79(3). P. 370-380.
Mathieu J, and Zajac D (1990), “A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 108, pp. 171- 194
Meyer, J.P., & Allen, N.J.(1991). “A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment”. Human Resource Management Review. 1(1). 61-89
Meyer, J.P. & Allen, N.J. 1997. “Commitment in the workplace”: Theory, research, and application. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publishing, Inc, p 2-16.
O’Malley M (2000), “Creating commitment”, John Wiley & Sons. Chichester, p.8-29.
Salanchik, G.R. (1977) “Commitment and the control of organizational behavior and belief”. In Motivation and Work Behavior. R.M. Steers and L.W. Porter (Eds.) New. York: McGraw-Hill, p.6-21.