Organizational Commitment: Definition, benefits, and How to Improve It

Organizational Commitment

What is organizational commitment?

Organizational commitment is defined as a view of an organization’s member’s psychology towards his/her attachment to the organization that he/she is working for. Organizational commitment plays a pivotal role in determining whether an employee will stay with the organization for a longer period of time and work passionately towards achieving the organization’s goal.

If an organizational commitment is determined it helps predict employee satisfaction, employee engagement, distribution of leadership, job performance, job insecurity, and similar such attributes. An employee’s level of commitment towards his/her work is important to know from a management’s point of view to be able to know their dedication to the tasks assigned to them on a daily basis.

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Theory of organizational commitment

A distinguished theory in organizational commitment is the Three-Component Model (TCM). According to this theory, there are three distinct components of organizational commitment:

  1. Affective commitment: This is the emotional attachment an employee has towards the organization. This part of TCM says that an employee has a high level of active commitment, then the chances of an employee staying with the organization for long are high. Active commitment also means, an employee is not only happy but also engaged in the organizational activities like, participation in discussions and meetings, giving valuable inputs or suggestions that will help the organization, proactive work ethics, etc.  
  1. Continuance commitment: This is the level of commitment where an employee would think that leaving an organization would be costly. When an employee has a continuance in commitment level, they want to stay in the organization for a longer period of time because they feel they must stay because they have already invested enough energy and feel attached to the organization – attachment that is both mental and emotional. For example, a person over a period of time tends to develop an attachment to his/her workplace and this may be one of the reasons why an employee wouldn’t want to quit because they are emotionally invested.
  2. Normative commitment: This is the level of commitment where an employee feels obligated to stay in the organization, where they feel, staying in the organization is the right thing to do. What are the factors that lead up to this type of commitment? Is it a moral obligation where they want to stay because someone else believes in them? Or is it that they feel that they have been treated fairly here and that they do not wish to take the chance of leaving the organization and finding themselves in between the devil and the deep sea? This is a situation where they believe they ought to stay.

Learn more: FREE Employee Satisfaction Survey Template 

It is important to understand that the level of commitment depends on multiple factors and can vary from one individual to another. For example, hypothetically consider, an individual is working with a lucrative market research firm and is being paid handsomely.

In this situation, there are chances that the individual would have affective commitment where he/she is happy about staying in the company, but can also have continuance commitment because he/she doesn’t want to give up the pay and comfort that the job brings. Finally, given the nature of the job the individual would feel the necessity to stay in the job which would lead to normative commitment.

Learn more: Top 20 Employee Engagement Survey Questions

Key benefits and advantages of organizational commitment

Since organizational commitment determines how long employees will stay with your organization, committed employees are any and every organization’s assets. Some of the key benefits and advantages of organizational commitment are as follows:

1. High employee productivity

Committed employees are highly productive. They believe in the organization, its goals, vision, mission, and the leadership team. These employees not only demonstrate high levels of productivity, but they also ensure their colleagues and team members too display the same.

2. Reduced absenteeism

A committed and motivated staff will report much lesser absenteeism than their peers. Committed employees look forward to going to work, completing their work, helping out projects, and contributing toward organizational goals.

3. Excellent team players

Since dedicated employees are heavily invested in the organization, and it’s success, they are great at collaborating with, and working in teams. They contribute significantly to boosting the team’s productivity.

4. Strong advocates

Dedicated and committed employees believe in their organization, and hence, are effective and positive advocates of their employers. They are strong believers and supporters of their employer’s products, services, and policies.

How to improve organizational commitment?

High levels of organizational commitments are related to superior business performance, increased profitability, improved productivity, employee retention, customer satisfaction metrics, reduced customer churn, and above all improving the workplace culture. That’s the level of commitment an organization would expect from its employees. But how do we get there?

Here are some tips to improve organizational commitment:

1. Create a strong teamwork culture

Building a strong teamwork culture facilitates a healthy work environment. No two employees in an organization can be exactly the same. When people come from different backgrounds, there will be differences in the way they see and perceive things and the same holds true when people work in a team. However, if an organization promotes a culture of team building, employees will be motivated to work together and achieve more. This will help boost their commitment levels and create a long-term work culture harmony.

2. Communicate clear goals and expectation to the employees

Most employees want to be a part of an irresistible future, they want to know what is most important in their job and how can they achieve excellence in their job. For objectives to have meaning and be effective, employees should be communicated clearly the goals and expectations of the management. Employees, when they feel a sense of ownership tend to stay longer with an organization.

3. Be transparent and encourage open communication

Let employees be participative in what is happening within the organization, as well as how they can contribute more towards the development of the organization. When an organization is transparent with its employees and shares numbers and figures with them, they are greater chances that employees feel valued and increased sense of belonging. Thus, improving the performance of employees through transparency.

4. Maintain work ethics

Employees would want to feel good about the organization they are working with. Having high standards of work ethics makes employees feel motivated and respectful towards the organization. When employees know that an organization has high morals, they stay associated with the organization. Good work ethics assures any employee, that they have an equal playing field in the organization to perform and to grow their careers.

5. Foster a positive work culture

Positive work culture is where employees feel happy to be a part of the organization, where they feel motivated and encouraged to share new ideas and facilitate communication with the management without having the fear of being misunderstood. Encourage employees to find a personal fit with the organization’s culture.

6. Develop trust

When employees start developing trust among themselves as well as leadership, it is a positive sign of organizational development. Employees constantly watch the organization’s leadership for motivation and example, learn decision-making skills, and how it helps strategic changes within the organization and if their behavior reflects what they say.   

7. Encourage innovation

Innovation is one of the bests ways of encouraging employees. When an employee has an idea of doing things differently and in a better way, do not discourage them, on the contrary, motivate them to come up with more good ideas.

8. Provide constructive feedback and not criticism

Employees should be provided with constructive feedback whenever needed. They should be appreciated for what they are doing good which will help them raise their morale. Tell employees when they are wrong, but do more- tell them why it’s wrong and above all- how to do better. There is a difference between criticism and constructive feedback. Criticism only tells what’s wrong, constructive feedback tells you what is wrong, why is it wrong, and how to get it right!

9. Efficiently delegate tasks

An organization that functions efficiently knows the art of delegating tasks. One should understand not all work can be done by one single person, there are dedicated resources in an organization to carry out particular tasks. When the work has efficiently distributed no one, in particular, is burdened.

10. Offer incentives

When an employee performs exceptionally well, organizations need to value his/her contribution. In such cases, it is a good idea to offer incentives to the employee to recognize his/her good work and dedication. If the organization wants employees to have sufficient work commitments it is essential that management rewards them appropriately as different things motivate different people.  

Satisfied and engaged employees are an asset to any organization. It is important to value people who show dedication and commitment to the organization. Organizations need to dig deeper and find the root cause of issues faced by their employees and take timely actions to reduce employee turnover.

Learn more: FREE Employee Engagement Survey Template