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    All you Need to Know about Organizational Commitment

    March 9, 2022

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    Organizational Committment
    Noor Karkara
    Written By
    Noor Karkara

    Building the strength of an organizational culture comes from facilitating rewarding employee experiences. The management in an organization must recognize employee involvement. This helps to foster loyalty and commitment, which builds organizational commitment. 

    Employees have to understand the core mission and ethos of an organization. They also have to meet targets and propel the brand's vision by dedicating their skills and time. But, the real success of an organization always transcends the employee salary. 

    Organizational commitment influences various aspects of your company's performance. This includes productivity, morale, loyalty, engagement, and fulfillment. Why? Because employees are the core of your business continuity.

    A survey by Gallup revealed that 51% of employees feel disengaged in the workplace. More than 13% of them are actively disengaged, meaning that their lack of engagement is so extreme that it spreads to their coworkers. 

    The first step is to understand what is at the heart of an employee's commitment to your organization. This knowledge can help reduce attrition and increase employee retention.

    This article will take you through the three types of organizational commitment. You will also learn about factors that influence the dedication of a group towards the collective cause.

    What is Organizational Commitment?

    According to Meyer & Allen, 1991, organizational commitment refers to the "psychological state that characterizes an employee's relationship with his/her organization and the actions and decisions taken to continue or discontinue their involvement in the organization."

    A clear understanding of organizational commitment is essential. It is crucial to bridge the gap and understand the fundamentals. Organizational commitment is the strength that an employee identifies with for their involvement in your organization.

    Stronger the commitment to your business objectives, the more value they bring to their role and responsibilities. This type of commitment spreads through the company hierarchy. It also produces results that every CEO, Supervisor, Team Lead, or Manager applauds.

    Let us now look at the different types of organizational commitment.

    Types of Organizational Commitment

    Thought leadership surrounding the theories of organizational commitment continues to evolve. This means that some key areas always ensure that their influence remains constant.

    Ongoing research about the industry's best practices has revealed three main types of organizational commitment:

    • Affective commitment
    • Continuance commitment
    • Normative commitment

    The 3-component model of commitment has been explored in great detail over the years. This documentation has insightful data on human psychology and workplace dynamics. 

    • Affective commitment

    Affective commitment deals with how much an employee wants to continue working with an organization.

    If an employee shows a sincere commitment to their work, they want to stay involved in your organization. Their responsibility also indicates that they can relate to the goals set by the organization. They can identify their roles as befitting to the organizational culture.

    Committed employees are ambassadors for your company. This is a by-product of employees feeling valued and wanting to contribute in the best way possible. This type of commitment is a valuable asset for any organization.

    • Continuance commitment

    Continuance commitment refers to the compulsive need to stay at an organization employees feel. Various reasons, such as the lack of other job opportunities, salary, or confidence in their abilities, may affect this. Employees stay back at an organization since they lack any other viable choices. 

    Here is an example:

    When moving from one company to another, an employee who gets no benefits, like a salary hike, faces continuous commitment. In these cases, this may lead to dissatisfied work morale and tedious work life. The employee will continue staying back at the organization.

    • Normative commitment

    Normative commitment is about how an employee feels the need to stay back at your organization. Some employees expect leaving your organization to have unfavorable consequences for the organization. They believe that the organization would be negatively affected because of them. For example, some employees tend to feel guilty about leaving your organization.

    There are various reasons for this. The thought that their absence will lead to a gap in skills or knowledge, adds pressure on their coworkers. This type of experience affects their productivity and performance levels.

    To summarize, the 3-component model:

    1. Some employees are effectively committed and want to continue being a part of your organization,
    2. Some feel the need to stay back due to compulsive reasons
    3. Some others stay back due to imagined consequences.

    There are many reasons for the three types of commitment. Let's look at the list of most determining factors that influence organizational commitment.

    Why is Organizational Commitment Important?

    Bill Gates once said, "Great organizations demand a high level of commitment by the people involved." 

    If you expect this commitment, you have to prioritize employee experience within the organization.

    Another fact published in Forbes is that disengaged employees cost the company 34% of their compensation.

    Engaging work culture is always more productive and result-driven than a monotonous regime. Organizational commitment at work is the unique connection employees feel towards your organization.

    Employees who build this bond with your company's goals and values are valuable to the organization. They are productive and determined to contribute to the organization's growth.

    Organizations should encourage and nurture practical commitment among employees. They benefit because of the following:

    • Increased employee retention
    • Heightened productivity
    • Improved overall organizational performance
    • Positive organizational growth
    • A better corporate image

    Your organization should always focus on results. Focus on enabling experiences at work that make it an engaging journey to achieve those results together. Effective leadership plays a vital role in nurturing an employee's interest and involvement.

    What influences Organizational Commitment?

    Business leaders everywhere study the role of organizational commitment. It is observed at varying levels of their organization. A better understanding helps improve the overall performance of their employees. The result is that business process efficiency increases.

    To understand better, here are the factors which influence commitment among employees:

    • Workplace dynamics

    Great places to work are enjoyable and safe for professionals across all domains. Such workplaces nurture employees' trust in the leadership because their needs are prioritized. They inspire a sense of commitment when the employee finds value in maintaining their morale. To achieve this, coworkers often help uphold standards and encourage each other to feel more satisfied by their workplace.

    • Compensation

    Fair compensation motivates professionals to be committed to their organization and goals. Suitable remuneration packages make employees feel appreciated and respected for their work. A competitive salary is one way to go. Other policies like health coverage, subsidiary taxes, monthly bonuses, and paid holidays can also boost employees' commitment.

    • Leadership

    Leadership is a core aspect that influences organizational commitment. Leaders can encourage employee commitment by allocating specific responsibilities to individuals. They can also assign skill-specific tasks and implement employee feedback mechanisms. 

    A leader must trust their team's potential and reward their efforts. This will help create a robust organizational culture based on appreciation and commitment.

    • Communication

    Communication between varying levels of the organization impacts employee dedication. A clear, usual, and two-way communication strategy at work often makes work life so much better.

    Employees who feel that their ideas and concerns are paid attention to, feel more committed. Effective communication combined with transparency helps create the right kind of atmosphere. This type of environment encourages employees to contribute to the growth of an organization.

    Individual feedback sessions and group discussions about employee concerns are vital. This is one of the things that the management can do to ensure employees' commitment.

    • Job stability

    Organizations that provide better job security and stability to their employees encourage commitment. People who feel secure in their job roles are not preoccupied with looking for other alternatives. They aren't afraid of losing their job. When employees have job security, they can grow with the organization while advancing their careers. This directly impacts an employee's commitment. 

    Let's talk about some strategies for organizational commitment. 

    How can HRs increase Organizational Commitment?

    To maintain high levels of commitment is to ensure better business performance.

    Organizational commitment leads to the following: 

    • Increased productivity,
    • Profitability,
    • Employee morale
    • Retention
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Satisfying work culture

    Leaders and HR experts are responsible for creating fulfilling work environments. It is also their job to reward the efforts of their workforce.

    Here are some ways HRs and the Management can improve commitment:

    • Emphasize Teamwork

    Creating an impactful team culture enables a better work environment. Every employee has a unique skill set. They are all from different backgrounds and have different work styles. Organizations must encourage teamwork and provide everyone an opportunity.

    Employees will then be encouraged to work through their differences towards a common goal. Motivating employees to work and achieve more together helps boost their commitment levels. This makes the workplace more harmonious. 

    • Clear communication of set expectations

    Employees who are keen on being a part of the organization's future are expected to know its goals. The management must set clear expectations and targets for achieving the best results in their job. 

    When communication is clear, employees gain a sense of ownership. This accountability improves their commitment to work.  

    • Transparent and open work culture

    HR professionals have to make efforts to increase employee participation in events. Observing their behavior will reveal their level of commitment and their individual productivity. 

    Another way to get the workforce involved is to share the company's achievements. Become more transparent. Let them know what they have done towards that success. All this will make employees feel more valued.

    This sense of belonging creates an open work culture to improve overall performance.

    • Work ethics

    Employees feel good about an organization with an emphasis on work ethics. Setting high standards of work ethics can motivate employees to respect one another as well as the organization. It helps foster a sense of equality and acceptance. This, in turn, boosts employee retention.

    • Positive affirmation

    Positive affirmation and recognition of employee efforts make them feel happy. When they feel motivated to do better, they conjure more ideas for collaboration and action. It also creates less room for misinformation. Employees feel personally committed to the company culture.

    • Building trust

    Trust-building activities are a great way to nurture commitment. Employees seek leadership to stay motivated.

    Trust-building activities also teach them the core aspects of decision-making. Let your employees be responsible for these trust-building activities. It will show that you trust them and allow them to trust you. 

    • Encourage a spirit for innovation

    Finding new ways to encourage innovation in your company is a strategy for long-term growth. When employees are encouraged to share ideas and do things differently. Appreciation and support from management can work wonders.

    Even when employees may not meet the standards, a good word of encouragement can make all the difference to help them better their ideas.

    • Constructive criticism and feedback

    A great way to build a productive work culture is through constructive criticism and open feedback. Employees should feel appreciated for their work. It is also essential to let employees know where they went wrong. It is equally important to tell them how to do better. This makes them more committed to learning and developing within your work environment.

    • Effective task delegation

    Organizations have to learn the art of effectively delegating tasks among employees. Dedicate the right resources to different tasks and functions. Organizations must distribute work evenly. This ensures that employees do not feel burdened or overwhelmed.

    • Incentives

    Performance bonuses and extra holidays are a great way to show employees that you recognize their efforts. They motivate employees to stay committed and keep up their standard of work.

    Engaged employees are an asset. They tend to be more satisfied and committed to the organization. The management must value employee contribution by rewarding them along their journey.


    Dig deeper into the employee experiences to create organizational commitment. Make sure it aligns with your business objectives too. 

    Take a look at our blog about 4 Easy Ways To Boost Employee Engagement During The Holiday Season.

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