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THEIR WOKFORCE INTRODUCTION Employees who are engaged in their work and committed to their organizations give companies crucial competitive advantages including higher productivity and lower employee turnover. Thus, it is not surprising that organizations of all sizes and types have invested substantially in policies and practices that foster engagement and commitment in their workforces. The effective functioning of an organization highly depends on the commitment of its employees. In fact, the commitment of employees may be a key factor that determines the success of a company in the modern world since, in the situation of the growing competition and the constant implementation of new technologies a company needs to have well-qualified and reliable personnel to maintain its position in the market. At the same time, the effectiveness and productivity of work of employees still remain the major factors that can contribute to the progress of the company. On the other hand, nowadays it is obvious that financial stimuli solely can hardly motivate employees to work more effectively and productively. In such a situation, employees commitment turns to be of a paramount importance since it is due to the high commitment of employees they can perform positive results of their work, increase its effectiveness and productivity, while low commitment leads, as a rule, to poor results of the functioning of the entire organization. Current research concerning employee commitment and engagement highlights the pitfalls of viewing commitment and engagement as a one-dimensional construct that can be enhanced by a particular human resource policy. This assumes that a particular practice, for example offering flexible working arrangements or more training, will have a significant and beneficial effect on employee commitment and engagement. Unfortunately, in practice it is not that simple because there is no single solution. All employees wants and needs cannot be addressed by a single policy. Origins of Employee Engagement and Commitment Employee Engagement is the extent to which workforce commitment, both emotional and intellectual, exists relative to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organization. Engagement can be seen as a heightened level of ownership where each employee wants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the organization as a whole. Employee engagement was described in the academic literature by Schmidt et al. (1993). A modernized version of job satisfaction, Schmidt et al.'s influential definition of engagement was "an employee's involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with work." This integrates the classic constructs of job satisfaction (Smith et al., 1969), and organizational commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991). Harter and Schmidt's (2003) most recent meta-analysis can be useful for understanding the impact of engagement.

Linkage research received significant attention in the business community because of correlations between employee engagement and desirable business outcomes such as retention of talent, customer service, individual performance, team performance, business unit productivity, and even enterprise-level financial performance. Some of this work has been published in a diversity context. Directions of causality were discussed by Schneider and colleagues in 2003. Employee engagement is derived from studies of morale or a group's willingness to accomplish organizational objectives which began in the 1920s. The value of morale to organizations was matured by US Army researchers during WWII to predict unity of effort and attitudinal battle-readiness before combat. In the postwar mass production society that required unity of effort in execution, (group) morale scores were used as predictors of speed, quality and militancy. With the advent of the knowledge worker and emphasis on individual talent management (stars), a term was needed to describe an individual's emotional attachment to the organization, fellow associates and the job. Thus the birth of the term "employee engagement" which is an individual emotional phenomenon whereas morale is a group emotional phenomenon of similar characteristics. In other words, employee engagement is the raw material of morale composed of 15 attitudinal drivers, (Scarlett, 2001). Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort. Engaged employees feel a strong emotional bond to the organization that employs them, (Dilys et. al., 2003). Emotional attachment The following findings were from a research done by Schmidt (1993); the findings showed that only 31% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs. These employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. People that are actively engaged help move the organization forward. 88% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact quality of their organization's products, compared with only 38% of the disengaged 72% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service, versus 27% of the disengaged 68% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs in their job or unit, compared with just 19% of the disengaged. Engaged employees feel a strong emotional bond to the organization that employs them. This is associated with people demonstrating willingness to recommend the organization to others and commit time and effort to help the organization succeed. It suggests that people are motivated by intrinsic factors (personal growth, working to a common purpose, being part of a larger process) rather than simply focusing on extrinsic factors (pay/reward). Involvement Eileen Appelbaum and her colleagues (2000) studied 15 steel mills, 17 apparel manufacturers, and 10 electronic instrument and imaging equipment producers. Their purpose was to compare traditional production systems with flexible high-performance production systems involving teams, training, and incentive pay systems. In all three industries, the plants utilizing high-involvement practices showed superior performance. In addition, workers in the high-involvement plants showed more positive attitudes, including

trust, organizational commitment and intrinsic enjoyment of the work. The concept has gained popularity as various studies have demonstrated links with productivity. It is often linked to the notion of employee voice and empowerment. Commitment It has been routinely found that employee engagement scores account for as much as half of the variance in customer satisfaction scores. This translates into millions of dollars for companies if they can improve their scores. Studies have statistically demonstrated that engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more customer-focused, safer, and less likely to leave their employer. Employees with the highest level of commitment perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organization, which indicates that engagement is linked to organizational performance. For example, at the beverage company of Molson Coors, it was found that engaged employees were five times less likely than non-engaged employees to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time safety incident. In fact, the average cost of a safety incident for an engaged employee was $63, compared with an average of $392 for a non-engaged employee. Consequently, through strengthening employee engagement, the company saved $1,721,760 in safety costs in 2002. In addition, savings were found in sales performance teams through engagement. In 2005, for example, lowengagement teams were seen falling behind engaged teams, with a difference in performance-related costs of low- versus high-engagement teams totaling $2,104,823.3 (Susan de la Vergne, 2005). Productivity In a study of professional service firms, the Hay Group found that offices with engaged employees were up to 43% more productive. The most striking finding is the almost 52% gaps in operating incomes between companies with highly engaged employees and companies whose employees have low-engagement scores. High-engagement companies improved 19.2% while low-engagement companies declined 32.7% in operating income during the study period. For example, New Century Financial Corporation, a U.S. specialty mortgage banking company, found that account executives in the wholesale division who were actively disengaged produced 28% less revenue than their colleagues who were engaged. Furthermore, those not engaged generated 23% less revenue than their engaged counterparts. Engaged employees also outperformed the not engaged and actively disengaged employees in other divisions. It comes as no surprise, then, that engaged employees have been statistically linked with innovation events and better problem solving. Generating engagement Recent research has focused on developing a better understanding of how variables such as quality of work relationships and values of the organization interact and their link to important work outcomes. 84% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact the quality of their organization's products, compared with only 31 percent of the disengaged. From the perspective of the employee, "outcomes" range from strong commitment to the isolation of oneself from the organization. The study done by the Gallup Management Journal has shown that only 29% of employees are actively engaged in their

jobs. Those "engaged" employees work with passion and feel a strong connection to their company. About of the business units scoring above the median on employee engagement also scored above the median on performance. Moreover, 54% of employees are not engaged meaning that they go through each workday putting time but no passion into their work. Only about of companies below the median on employee engagement scored above the median on performance, (Dilys et. al., 2003). Access to a reliable model enables organizations to conduct validation studies to establish the relationship of employee engagement to productivity/performance and other measures linked to effectiveness. It is an important principle of industrial and organizational psychology (the application of psychological theories, research methods, and intervention strategies involving workplace issues) that validation studies should be anchored in reliable scales (organized and related groups of items) and not simply focus on individual elements in isolation. To understand how high levels of employee engagement affect organizational performance/productivity it is important to have an a priori model that demonstrates how the scales interact. There is also overlap between this concept and those relating to well-being at work and the psychological contract. Research by Gallup Consulting has shown a strong correlation between the degree of well-being of an individual and the extent to which they are engaged as am employee - high well-being yields high engagement. A well and engaged employee is likely to have less sick days, lowering the cost of lost productivity to their organization, and come to work energized and focused. A well and engaged employee is efficient and effective and a valuable asset in the workplace. As employee productivity is clearly connected with employee engagement, creating an environment that encourages employee engagement is considered to be essential in the effective management of human capital. Definitions of Terms Employee engagement, also called work engagement or worker engagement, is a business management concept. An "engaged employee" is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests. According to Scarlett Surveys, "Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn & perform at work". Thus engagement is distinctively different from satisfaction, motivation, culture, climate and opinion and very difficult to measure. Employee engagement is the extent to which employees think, feel, and act in ways that represent high levels of commitment to their organization. Engaged employees are motivated to contribute 100% of their knowledge, skills, and abilities to help their organization succeed. They care deeply about their company, want to contribute to its success, and regularly have peak experiences at work. Commitment Meyer & Allen 2001 define commitment as a stabilizing force that acts to maintain behavioural direction when expectancy/equity conditions are not met and do not function. According to Salancik, (1977) commitment is a state of being in which an individual

becomes bound by his action to beliefs that sustain his activities and his own involvement Allen & Meyer, 1990, commitment is a psychological state that binds the individual to the organization. Employee Commitment It is the psychological bond of an employee to an organization, the strength of which depends on the degree of employee involvement, employee loyalty and belief in the values of the organization. As defined by Porter (1974) Employee commitment is the relative strength of the individual's identification with and involvement in a particular organization. It consists of three factors: A strong desire to remain a member of the organization; a strong belief in, and acceptance of, the values and goals of the organization and a readiness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization. Actively disengaged employees are the true problem area of staff chemistry and company performance. Not only unhappy at work, they typically demonstrate, in word and deed, their dislike of their jobs and/or employer. They often undermine the performance of the engaged employees by voicing their displeasure and the many reasons behind it. This negative attitude can often cause operational and performance issues with the rest of their co-workers. The clich, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch," was never more true than when actively disengaged employees are allowed to voice their unhappiness to all those willing to listen. For many employees, at least for many of those in unhealthy workplaces, this feeling might be familiar. There are numerous workplaces in which employee relations are often characterized by utter indifference or, worse, jealousy, mistrust, and outright animosity Negative workplace relationships may be a big part of why so many American employees are not engaged with their jobs. The Gallup Management Journal's semi-annual Employee Engagement Index puts the current percentage of truly "engaged" employees at 29%. A slim majority, 54%, falls into the "not engaged" category, while 17% of employees are "actively disengaged." (See Figure 1.1: The Three Types of Employees). Are negative workplace relationships a big problem?

Figure 1.1: The Three Types of Employees

Source: Gallup, 2006 The importance of employee engagement Engagement represents the motivational capital that exists within an individual, a unit, or an organization. It is a valuable resource that can boost company performance. Our research shows that engagement is linked to a number of important business outcomes. For example, we have found the following: engaged employees offer significantly higher levels of service to customers, engaged managers are more likely to create a work environment that is collaborative, creative, and stimulating and engaged work teams tend to have fewer accidents and injuries, see figure 1.4 below.

Figure 1.4: Engagement for Results

When the concept first emerged, there was apprehension among HR professionals, line managers and researchers over the connection between the levels of engagement of an employee and the quality of their work. The notion is no longer shrouded in mystery but now a fact. Says Tsukudu, "We know that employee engagement is a step-up to employee commitment, therefore, we can convincingly conclude that it is employee engagement that serves as a true differentiator," she explains. Employee engagement requires a realistic employee value proposition from the Human Resource function in an organisation, because HR's value-add is integrally linked to or influenced by its employee value proposition. BEST Employers South Africa researches the employer value proposition. Using the HR Benchmark, the project assesses those areas that attract and retain talent to and within various organisations i.e. training and development opportunities offered by organisations; rewards, recognition and incentive programmes for high achievers; mentorship, coaching and promotion opportunity as well as diversity, innovation and knowledge sharing. "Employee value proposition is defined as the holistic sum of everything people experience and receive while they are part of an organisation," explains Tsukudu.

Human Resources' value-add will certainly be judged by how it builds and maintains employee engagement and commitment, and how it positions itself as a key driver in this process. It is therefore, the role of HR to understand and determine what drives this engagement. The exercise of being researched by the HR best practice research survey: The HR Benchmark is a good way for companies to assess their employer value proposition relative to the general market, and their industry. This in turn allows participating companies to adjust their HR strategy in line with what is needed to fully engage employees. From this, organisations are accredited with a third-party endorsement of their employer value proposition. This BEST Employer accreditation stamp visibility communicates to talent, both externally and internally, that they are working for an organisation that has their best interests at heart indeed a solid step toward boosting engagement and therefore a productive and profitable return from employees to the organisation. Factors fostering Employee Engagement We have been studying employee attitudes since 1972. Based on a careful analysis of nearly four decades of survey data, we have found that employees seek three fundamental things from their work: Achievement: The vast majority of employees want to achieve something important and meaningful at work. They want to grow and develop their skills and capabilities and they want to be rewarded and recognized for their efforts. Camaraderie: We are social beings. Employees enjoy working productively with others while developing healthy interpersonal relationships. How managers interact with their teams is especially important in motivating employees to go above and beyond. Equity: Employees want to be treated fairly when it comes to pay and benefits, day-to-day treatment, and psychological and physical safety. Employer engagement - A company's commitment to improving the partnership between employees and. employer. Employers can stay engaged with their employees by actively seeking to understand and act on behalf of the expectations and preferences of their employees. Employee perceptions of job importance - According to a 2006 study by Gerard Seijts and Dan Crim, " employees attitude toward the job['s importance] and the company had the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service then all other employee factors combined. Employee clarity of job expectations - "If expectations are not clear and basic materials and equipment not provided, negative emotions such as boredom or resentment may result, and the employee may then become focused on surviving more than thinking about how he can help the organization succeed. Career advancement/improvement opportunities - "Plant supervisors and managers indicated that many plant improvements were being made outside the suggestion system, where employees initiated changes in order to reap the bonuses generated by the subsequent cost savings.

Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors - Feedback is the key to giving employees a sense of where theyre going, but many organizations are remarkably bad at giving it. "'What I really wanted to hear was 'Thanks. You did a good job.' But all my boss did was hand me a check. Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates-...if employees' relationship with their managers is fractured, then no amount of perks will persuade the employees to perform at top levels. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss. Perceptions of the ethos and values of the organization - 'Inspiration and values' is the most important of the six drivers in our Engaged Performance model. Inspirational leadership is the ultimate perk. In its absence, [it] is unlikely to engage employees. Effective Internal Employee Communications-which convey a clear description of what's going on. If you accept that employees want to be involved in what they are doing then this trend is clear (from small businesses to large global organisations). The effect of poor internal communications is seen as its most destructive in global organisations which suffer from employee annexation-where the head office in one country is buoyant (since they are closest to the action, know what is going on, and are heavily engaged) but its annexes (who are furthest away from the action and know little about what is happening) are dis-engaged. In the worst case, employee annexation can be very destructive when the head office attributes the annex's low engagement to its poor performance when its poor performance is really due to its poor communications. Reward to engage-Look at employee benefits and acknowledge the role of incentives. An incentive to reward good work is a tried and test way of boosting staff morale and enhancing engagement. There are a range of tactics you can employ to ensure your incentive scheme hits the mark with your workforce such as: Setting realistic targets, selecting the right rewards for your incentive programme, communicating the scheme effectively and frequently, have lots of winners and reward all achievers, encouraging sustained effort, present awards publicly and evaluate the incentive scheme regularly. Increasing Engagement Starts with Your Managers Some organizations attempt to increase engagement by buying it. That is, they offer above industry standard compensation and benefits, share options, child care facilities among others. These things can increase engagement to some degree, but it is the relationship the employee has with their immediate manager that matters most. Do your managers, at all levels, have the emotional intelligence to understand the impact they are having on employee engagement? Almost everyone starts out as an engaged employee. When they turn up to your organization on day one they are excited about getting the job and want to make a contribution. What managers do from that day onward will determine whether the employee continues to be engaged or switches off and becomes not engaged or actively disengaged.

Many organizations make the mistake of attempting to increase emotional intelligence and leadership skills with some form of event training. A two, three or even five day training program on its own will not produce behavior change, except in the case of those rare individuals who have the self-discipline to work on what they have learned until it becomes a habit. In the best-selling book Primal Leadership, authors Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee explain why most management and leadership development fails to result in behavior change: ... although we've sometimes referred to leadership development "programs" in these pages, in fact what many organizations need aren't just one-time programs but a process built as a holistic system that permeates every layer of the organization. The best of these leadership development initiatives are based on an understanding that true change occurs through a multifaceted process that penetrates the three pivotal levels of the organization: the individuals in the organization, the teams in which they work, and the organization's culture. And since it is primarily the managers behavior that creates the culture that employees work in, the goal of leadership development should be a measurable change in culture and employee engagement. Achieving high levels of employee engagement across the entire organization not only can be done, it is being done... hopefully, not by one of your competitors. You have the opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition, but you cant do it without a serious commitment to creating a culture that sustains the high level of engagement your employees start out with. Employee Engagement: A catalyst for change International research undertaken by Gallup, the pioneers of this concept, revealed that employee engagement can be a catalyst for change and transformation. This is in large part due to its link to business outcomes such as: Retention Productivity Effective service delivery or profitability Customer engagement, and Safety orientation According to international research commissioned by Robinson, Perryman and Hayday (2004), engaged employees generally displayed the following behaviour patterns: Belief in their organisation Desire to work towards making things better Understanding of business context and the bigger picture Respectful of and helpful to their colleagues Willingness to go the extra mile Keeping up to date with developments on the ground

Tsukudu explains that because of this positive linkage, it is, therefore, in the best interest of managers and employees to raise the levels of engagement among employees. She says there are no quick-fix solutions to building and maintaining employee engagement, given that it is a two-way process. According to the Chartered Institute of People Development (CIPD), employee engagement is not something that can be factored into one's contract, but rather a quality that employees have to offer and are, therefore, at liberty to decide what levels of engagement they render. Employee engagement strategy: The Times of India published results of a survey in October 2007, which highlighted that only one in five global workers felt engaged. This is consistent with research findings which depict that only between 17% and 29% of employees in any organisation, are actively engaged in their work. It is a frightening statistic that poses serious challenges to HR professionals. This means that barely 250-350 employees out of a workforce of 1000 are actively engaged. Alluding to the fact that employee engagement is a matter of choice, Tsukudu points out that it remains in the best interest of managements to work harder in raising this awareness. She says employee engagement is not about the employee but about effective leadership and good management. Critical to this employee engagement strategy are the key engagement drivers that happen to be specific and particular for any organisation. Each employee is engaged to a greater or lesser extent by a set of key drivers. These may differ from one organisation to the next and even for different sub-groups in the same organisation. In this vein, it is incumbent upon managers to see to the following: Determine and understand what drives employee engagement in their organisation Identify what gets the right things done in a company. Despite the uniqueness of these drivers in each company, central features to engagement are the ability to attract the right people and retain them through the following: Capacity and willingness to create an environment where employee motivation keeps rising Scope and enough flexibility to respect and listen to employees and being able to take advantage of their initiatives Building a strong employer brand which employees will proudly associate with. Tsukudu says organisations have come to understand that their people are a key differentiator and a source of competitive advantage. But significantly, it is the commitment of staff that can transform an organisation into outperforming competitors. The concept of employee engagement has gained widespread recognition and credibility in management practice in the last few years, according to Phuti Tsukudu, former chairperson of the South African Post Office and executive director of Tsukudu Associates, a management and Human Resources Consultancy based in Cape Town. She says any manager worth their salt will only ignore this function at their own peril, because employee engagement is not a Human Resource (HR) fad that will lose currency

with the passage of time. Rather it has become a business imperative that is generating research interest, as well as HR and management attention in organisations that truly value employees. When CEOs state at every opportune occasion that employees are their most important assets, they do not do this as a public relations exercise, but this can always be backed up by hard evidence to that effect," explains Tsukudu. The Institute of Employment Studies (IES) defines employee engagement as "a positive attitude by employees towards an organisation and its values". The engaged employee understands the business context of a company and works well with colleagues to improve general performance of their organisation. According to the Gallup Organisation, the success of a company does not depend on the understanding of economics, organisational development or marketing. Rather this depended quite simply on your understanding of psychology, which is how each individual employee connects with your company and how they subsequently connected with your customers. Employee engagement is, therefore, a measurement of emotional and intellectual commitment to an organisation and this has a direct link to productivity. It is a step-up from commitment and overlaps with both commitment and a positive psychological contract between employer and employee, according to Tsukudu. Engagement seems to be the buzzword these days, but many worry that despite its vernacular popularity, its in short supply. Workplace research, conference agendas and business journals carry a consistent message that engagement is critical for business success, but recent surveys show that only a fraction of the U.S. workforce is highly engaged Gallup estimates as low as 26 percent; Watson Wyatt, as high as 57 percent. Its becoming apparent that knowing how to create and sustain employee engagement is a crucial part of successful total rewards strategies. Todays increased focus on engagement is due in part to the turbulent changes, organizational churn and cost cutting of the last few years. As organizations find they need to ask even more of employees than in the past, they worry whether they will be able to keep the commitment of their top talent and whether employees will indeed be willing to work harder to help the business succeed. Companies have reason to worry. In the wake of tough decisions that examined every expense to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and investments, few organizations have asked how the current work environment affects the commitment of their workers. And even fewer have made plans to leverage and grow employee engagement. Employee commitment, or engagement, as it is more recently called, is not just about having enthusiastic, happy workers. Rather, it refers to a well-defined, research-based cluster of employee attitudes and behaviors that can be measured and has been shown to make a difference to business results. Moreover, engagement is something that organizations either foster or undermine. It is more influenced by management practices and features of the work environment than by employee demographics or personality. So if a company is not intentionally building commitment, chances are it is minimizing it or even crushing it.

The Products of Engagement Recent studies have made it clear that high employee engagement translates into increased discretionary effort, higher productivity and lower turnover at the employee level, as well as increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability and shareholder value for the organization. According to a 2004 Hewitt study, companies with the highest employee engagement levels have a four-year average total shareholder return (TSR) of 20 percent or higher, nearly triple that of companies with lower levels of engagement. The Great Place to Work Institute found that stocks of the public companies on Fortunes 100 Best Companies to Work for list produced more than three times the gains of the broad market between 1998 and 2004. And Watson Wyatt found three-year TSR to be three times higher for high-commitment firms compared to low-commitment firms (24 percent versus 8 percent). Gallup studies estimate that highly engaged employees account for 90 percent of a companys productivity. By contrast, employers also need to be concerned about the costs of disengagement. Workers who are actively disengaged tend to be less productive, less loyal to their companies, more stressed, and absent more and less satisfied with their personal lives. Gallup estimates that the 19 percent of U.S. workers who are actively disengaged miss 118.3 million more workdays than engaged employees. They have 33.3 million more sick days than engaged employees, and use seven times as much health care as engaged employees. Taken together, these statistics indicate much room for improvement: either increasing the number of highly engaged employees or reducing the number of disengaged employees can have a huge impact on the business in terms of health-care costs, productivity, retention, customer loyalty and profitability. How Engagement Works Engagement is what fuels discretionary efforts and concern for quality. Engaged employees are highly involved and attached to the organization. They believe they have a stake in the organization, and that belief is reflected in their behavior. Engagement is what prompts employees to identify with the success of the company, recommend the company to others as a good place to work, and go the extra mile in looking for creative solutions that help the organization succeed. Given how engaged employees behave (see What Do Engaged Employees Look Like?), imagine the benefit to your organization if you could increase by just 5 percent the number of engaged employees. Causes of High Employee Engagement Based on its studies in many industries and organizations, WFD Consulting developed the Commitment Pyramid to show the hierarchy of factors that are the building blocks of employee engagement within an organization. The bottom of the pyramid is made up of the threshold factors: factors that have to be in place in order for an organization just to be at the table as an effective competitor for the best human capital. The second level contains the enablers: the ingredients that begin to set a business apart from the competition and enable employees to align their activities toward the organizations objectives. Although these

building blocks are essential to creating an effective workplace, the real competitive payoff for employees and the business is at the top of the pyramid in the commitment drivers. These are the factors that encourage the full engagement of employees in the business of the enterprise. It is crucial that an organization address these factors if it is to derive a real competitive advantage from its workforce by attracting and keeping the best employees, and by drawing out their full potential. The Role of Engagement Significant shifts in the global economy have accelerated the need for organizations to find innovative ways to address new technological, demographic and marketplace realities. These shifts have also forced companies to reevaluate costs associated with talent, necessitating a need to do more with less. While new strategies are executed in response to these changes, high workforce performance and organizational success must be maintained. Key to ensuring this is the introduction of processes that will measure and improve employee engagement. Research has consistently shown that employee engagement is powerfully linked to a range of business success factors such as: Employee performance/efficiency Productivity Safety Attendance and retention Customer service and satisfaction Customer loyalty and retention Profitability Economic disruptions come and go. The way businesses react to economic cycles often predicts how well they succeed or if they will survive. During turbulent times and uncertain forecasts, many organizations have been less focused on how to manage their talent and engage their employees, instead focusing on how to reduce costs by cutting salaries, bonuses, rewards and development costs. Some shortsighted leaders may even think that employee engagement no longer matters because their employees have fewer options and will stay because of their need for job security. However, smart leaders realize that while they may need to find short-term solutions to cut costs, they must also identify longer-term talent management strategies to remain viable. A downward cycle may require leaders to look for immediate solutions to cut costs by reducing their workforce, but they may lose sight of the fact that engaged employees will be the difference between surviving and thriving. In an upturn, when there is the opportunity to grow and prosper, engaged employees are ready to seize the opportunity and put forth the effort to achieve it. During recovery periods, engagement becomes even more crucial, as organizations ask fewer people to do more, creating increased risk that top-performing employees may leave as conditions improve. Right Management conducted global research to gain a clearer understanding of the factors most closely associated with driving employee engagement. Our study of more than 28,800

employees in 15 countries revealed that an organizations culture, strategy execution, leadership ability, structure and processes are all inter-related with engagement levels.

Failure to create an organization that can not only create and sustain alignment to business strategy, but also promote high levels of employee engagement, will result in failure to execute and, at best, average business results. There is no magic formula for achieving employee engagement and sustainable business results. The factors for engagement are unique to your organization and will include elements that work together, mutually reinforcing each other. There are, however, some fundamental engagement factors that work together to deliver: a great customer experience and profitability. These factors, articulated in Right Managements Organizational Effectiveness Framework, are a fit for purpose structure, people systems and processes that drive the right behaviors, and capable leadership, all existing within a positive organizational culture. When business needs to do more with less, engaged employees may be the difference between surviving and thriving. It is powerful information for business leaders to know what proportion of their workforce is engaged to both the organization and their jobs, versus what proportion is engaged to just the organization or just their jobs. The Importance of Work-Life Support and Flexibility Has Been Overlooked In a 2002 national study of employees from medium- to large-size companies, WFD found that employees who agreed they have the flexibility they need and who have work-life support scored 14 percent to 20 percent higher in commitment than those who did not agree. (See Figure 2.) In client-specific studies, WFD has found increases in commitment due to flexibility and work-life support to be as high as 30 percent. Increased commitment levels also correlate strongly with intent to stay at the company. This has clear implications for talent management and reducing the cost of turnover. (See Figure 1.2.) Recent research by the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) concludes that every 10-percent improvement in commitment can increase an employees level of discretionary effort by 6 percent and performance by 2 percent, and decreases likelihood of turnover by 9 percent. Based on the CLC figures, access to flexibility and work-life supports that increase commitment can boost performance by 4 percent or more and reduce turnover by as much as 18 percent.

70% 61% 60% 50%

Percentage who expect to leave Company within 2 years

40% 30% 20% 10% 0%


15% 8%

Source: WFD Consulting, National Study 2002.




Commitment Level

These findings about the relationship of flexibility, work-life supports, commitment and retention are confirmed by other research, such as the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, which found that employees who have flexibility are 18 percent more likely to be highly engaged than employees who do not have flexibility. A study conducted at First Tennessee Bank explicitly linked flexibility, employee engagement and financial performance. A 0.5 increase in ratings of leaders work-life supportiveness led to a 2.08percent increase in customer loyalty, resulting in $16.3 million more profit over five years. Summing Up The evidence is clear that employee commitment/engagement has powerful effects on business outcomes. Cross industry research conducted over a decade has shown repeatedly that commitment is not driven primarily by compensation and benefits but by the total rewards of a supportive and flexible workplace characterized by the commitment drivers at the apex of the Commitment Pyramid. Employers who are concerned about leveraging employee commitment will not only offer a competitive benefits and compensation package, but also will develop a broad engagement strategy that encompasses advancement opportunity, effective managers, job challenge, diversity, flexibility and work-life supports. Table 1.1: The Power of Job Enrichment

Commitment Pyramid Ironically, most companies focus HR efforts on the base of the pyramid, but the differentiating aspects of total rewards are actually at the top of the pyramid. What differentiates the Commitment Pyramid is that it highlights what research has repeatedly found but which is often overlooked in other models of commitment: namely that work-life support, flexibility and diversity/inclusion are critical components for building a highly committed, engaged workforce, see figure 1.3 below.

Figure 1.3: Commitment Pyramid

Commitment Drivers
Communication Diversity and Inclusion Job Satisfaction Flexibility Management Effectiveness Work-Life-Support Career Advancement

Enablers (Sustainers)
Rewards Tied to contribution Skills Acquired/Developed Effective leadership Good management Emotional intelligence

Threshold Factors
Reasonable compensation and Benefits Safe Working conditions/required tools Human Resource Training and Development Safety and Health Employee and labour Relations

Source Author 2011 Creating an Engaged Workforce Employee engagement drives improved organizational performance. So how do you create and sustain engagement in your workforce? Our recommendations include: Measure Engagement Levels The only way to gain accurate information about employee engagement in your business is to measure it. Organizations need not only to understand their current level of employee engagement, but also to have confidence that the measures used to evaluate engagement are reliable and valid. The most accurate way to achieve this is through a quantitative survey supported by qualitative interviews and focus groups. Surveys need to be tailored to your organization, your strategy, your values and your language. A robust discovery process can be implemented without a significant investment in money, time and resources. However, careful survey design is critical. If you dont ask the right questions, you will never uncover the behaviors and practices your organization needs to address in the design of a solution.

Surveys also need to measure performance against each of the key elements of organizational effectiveness, such as Strategy, Structure, Roles, Capability, Leadership, People Systems, Culture & Values, Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction. A survey also provides the benefit of comparing demographics by Business Unit, Job Type and Location, which allows you to target solutions where they are needed. In addition, the survey provides a benchmark to track and monitor progress against future tracking or pulse surveys. Determine the Drivers of Engagement Every organization is characterized by its own unique dynamics, structure and culture. The answer to what drives employee engagement will be different for each organization. Every organization should undertake research that incorporates robust design and analysis to determine its drivers or levers of engagement. Uncovering barriers to engagement and designing the right solutions only comes from robust interpretative analysis, rather than a sole reliance on descriptive data. The lowest performance score is not necessarily the place to start as it may have a limited or negligible overall influence on organizational effectiveness and engagement. Similarly, the drivers of employee engagement that are unique to your organization cannot be determined by looking at frequency counts and percentages alone. However, aggregate analysis by country and industry does provide some insight into the things that typically impact engagement levels. Our study found that the global drivers of employee engagement are: The study also found that the drivers of engagement do vary by country, with only one driver constant across all countries: Commitment to organizational values. This result highlights two things: the importance of creating and building a values-driven organization; and, conducting your own research to determine other unique drivers of engagement for your business. Approach to Engagement According to WFD Engagement is a two-way process between employees and an organization. The organization attempts to engage employees who return a level of engagement to the employer. Research, however, has revealed that engagement is more complex than this, and can be directed by employees in one of two ways (or both). The first is the level of engagement employees have with their career or profession, and the other is the engagement employees feel toward their employing organization. The distinction between these constructs was evident in work conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies. This work showed clearly that many employees, such as health professionals in the UK National Health Service, had extremely high levels of engagement with their career and professions, but were very disengaged in many instances from their employer (usually a Hospital Trust). For this reason Right Managements approach uses a two-construct model describing both Job Engagement (the level of engagement people has their job, career or profession) and Organization Engagement (the level of engagement they have to their organization).

Employee Engagement: Maximizing Organizational Performance Our Approach to Engagement Each construct is measured using four components: Pride, Commitment, Satisfaction and Advocacy. Therefore, an engaged workforce is achieved when there is a high number of employees whose hearts and minds are aligned to both the job that they do and the organization that they work for. Engaged employees are: The four components of the model describe the emotional and behavioral aspects of engagement. When people positively evaluate their experience of the job and organization, they are more likely not only to feel satisfied, committed and proud, but also to be advocates for the company and engage in behaviors that enhance both job and organizational performance. To maintain the integrity of this engagement measure, Right Management does not calculate engagement using a mean or average. A person is only described as engaged if he or she responds positively to all engagement questions. This ensures that the analysis provided is able to differentiate between employees who respond to half of the items negatively and half positively and employees who respond moderately to all items, which can mask the true reality. For example, when assessing health, you cant claim that an individual who answered the majority of questions positively (e.g., diet, exercise, and stress) is healthy if he or she answered one negatively (e.g., smoking). It is powerful information for business leaders to know what proportion of their workforce is engaged to both the organization and their jobs, versus what proportion is engaged to just the organization or just their jobs. If employees are engaged only to their job or profession, then they will not be aligned to organizational goals and strategy. If employees are engaged to the organization but not their job, they will be aligned to organizational goals but will find it difficult to do their jobs well and to deliver extra discretionary effort in the work that they do. Driver analysis can be conducted to determine the key drivers of engagement for each employee segment, providing a solution for how an organization engages employees with their jobs and the company. Models of Commitment: A Three Model Conceptualization of Organization Commitment This model of organizational commitment model was developed by Meyer and Allen. According to the model, organizational commitment reflects at least three general themes. i) Affective commitment to the organization ii) Continuance CommitmentThe perceived cost associated with leaving it iii) Normative Commitment- The obligation to remain with it. Affective Commitment Its the employees emotional attachment to, identification with and involvement in the organization. Employees with a strong affective commitment continue employment with the organization because they want to.

Continuance Commitment The individual commits to the organization because he/she perceives high costs of losing organizational membership including economic costs (such as pension accruals) and social costs (friendship ties with co-workers) that could be incurred. The employee remains with the organization because he/she has to. I t refers to an awareness of the costs associated with leaving the organization. The potential cost of leaving an organization include the threat of wasting the time and effort spent acquiring non transferable skills, losing attractive benefits, giving up seniority based privileges or having to uproot family and disrupt personal relationships. It also develops as a result of lack of alternative employment opportunities. Employees in this category remain because they need to. Normative Commitments Refers to a feeling of obligation to continue employment. Employees in this category remain in the organization because they feel they ought to. Organization can develop normative commitment by providing reward in advance e.g. paying college tuition. Normative pressures may also make an individual feel that they ought to remain within the organization. Acknowledging these investments makes employees feel a sense of obligation to reciprocate by committing themselves to the organization until the debt has been paid. One important point is that not all forms of employee commitment are positively associated with superior performance (Meyer & Allen, 1997). For example, an employee who has low affective and normative commitment, but who has high continuance commitment is unlikely to yield performance benefits. The main reason such an employee remains with an organisation is for the negative reason that the costs associated with leaving are too great. The Characteristics of High Commitment Model High commitment model embraces workforce commitment and identification with the organizations values and goals. The main features of high commitment model are: 1. Development of career ladders and emphasis on trainability and commitment as highly characteristic of employees at all levels in the organization. 2. A high level of functional flexibility with the abandonment of potentially rigid job descriptions. 3. The reduction of hierarchies and the ending of status differentials. 4. Heavy reliance on the team structure for dissemination of information (team building) structure work and problem solving. 5. Job design as something management consciously does in order to provide jobs which have a considerable level of intrinsic motivation.

6. A policy of no compulsory layoff or redundancies and use of permanent employee with possible use of temporary workers to cushion fluctuation in the demand for labour. 7. New forms of assessment and pay system and more specifically merit pay profit sharing 8. A high involvement of employees in the management of quality. Types of Commitment OMalley (2000) contends that a review of the commitment literature produces five general factors which relate to the development of employee commitment: Affiliative Commitment: An organizations interests and values are compatible with those of the employee, and the employee feels accepted by the social environment of the organization. Associative Commitment: Organizational membership increases employees self-esteem and status. The employee feels privileged to be associated with the organisation. Moral Commitment: Employees perceive the organization to be on their side and the organization evokes a sense of mutual obligation in which both the organization and the employee feel a sense of responsibility to each other. This type of commitment is also frequently referred to in the literature as Normative Commitment. Affective commitment: Employees derive satisfaction from their work and their colleagues, and their work environment is supportive of that satisfaction. Some researchers (eg Allen & Meyer, 1991) suggest that this is the most important form of commitment as it has the most potential benefits for organizations. Employees who have high affective commitment are those who will go beyond the call of duty for the good of the organization. In recent literature this form of commitment has also been referred to as engagement and is the form of commitment that is most usually measured by organizations. Structural commitment: Employees believe they are involved in a fair economic exchange in which they benefit from the relationship in material ways. There are enticements to enter and remain in the organization and there are barriers to leaving. This type of commitment is also frequently referred to in the literature as Continuance Commitment.

Factors Affecting Employee Commitment The workplace is a dynamic field and to remain competitive, employee commitment is important. The following factors affect employee commitment: Workplace values If employees believe that their organization values quality products they will engage in behaviors that will contribute to high quality. If employees are convinced that their organization values participation they will be more likely to feel as though their participation will make a difference. They will thus be motivated and be more willing to seek solutions and make suggestions to contribute to the organization success. Subordinatesupervisor interpersonal relationship Supervisors behavior include sharing appropriate information, allowing mutuality of influence, recognizing and rewarding good performance and not abusing the vulnerability of others . The extent to which the supervisor displays these behaviors will thus largely determine subordinate commitment level Job characteristics The extent that a job is structured to provide regular feedback and autonomy as well as a sense of task completion. An increase in perceived control strengthens emotional bonds with an organization. A heightened sense of personal control has a positive consequence for employees attitudes and behaviors at work. When tasks are intrinsically satisfying, employees tend to be more committed. Commitment is low when employees are given repetitive routine tasks to complete. A job that allows a high degree of autonomy and the absence of close supervision increases commitment. Demographics AGE A range of demographic variables have been found to be related to employee commitment (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). For a variety of reasons, age has been found to be a positive predictor of employee commitment. As Mathieu & Zajac (1990) suggest, the older employees become, the less alternative employment options are available. As a result, older employees may view their current employment more favourably. Dunham et al. (1994) suggest older employees may be more committed because they have a stronger investment and greater history with their organization. GENDER: With regard to gender, a number of studies (eg Mathieu & Zajac, 1990) have reported women as being more committed than men. This is typically explained by women having to overcome more barriers than men to get to their position in the organization.

Marital Status Marital status has also been shown to relate to commitment, with married employees usually showing more commitment (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). However, it is suggested that the reason for this is because married employees will typically have greater financial and family responsibilities, which increases their need to remain with the organization. Note, however, that this refers to structural commitment (or continuance commitment) in that the cost associated with leaving the organization increases commitment to the organization. As mentioned previously, structural commitment does not necessarily relate to increased performance. Recruitment Procedures OMalley (2000) suggests that organizations need to pay more attention to addressing employees social need to affiliate and belong, in order to create commitment; the organization must have the right sort of employees in the first instance. Employees feelings of belonging start to develop long before employees join the organization. The following information should be shared with employee to enhance commitment share details about the organization provide employees with help and support throughout the recruitment and selection process Convey the interests and values that the organization shares with employees. Organizations need to be attractive to the right sort of people; thus the initial contact between the organization and the prospective candidate is very important. Developing an Employer Brand As Troy (1998) points out, increasingly organizations are attempting to communicate with prospective employees in a coherent manner by developing an employer brand. The brand should condense the basic nature of the organization, what its values are and what it would be like to work there. The principal purpose of the brand is to efficiently bring employers and employees together in order to establish a relationship. Thus, a good brand should convey both the unique benefits of the organizational environment and the type of person who is likely to do well in that setting. The organization must then ensure that it delivers these promises to its employees, or its efforts will have been wasted. Employers should, therefore, devote a portion of the selection process to assessing cultural fit. Met Expectations Employees will be more committed if there is a good match between what the person is looking for in a job, and what the job provides. Commitment will be greater when employees experiences on the job match their expectations. Unmet expectations are a source of low morale and dissatisfaction. Such expectations usually relate to the type of work employees are given to do and the opportunities they receive for training and development.

Benefits of employee commitment High level of employee commitments means that employees are really enthusiastic about their job and, their performance will be better as well as the effectiveness and productivity of their work higher. Employee commitment also evokes a profound interest of an employee to his/her work. This means that he/she enjoys the job he/she does. Consequently, the level of employees satisfaction will be high if they are really committed to their work. Employee commitment may be also cost saving since committed employees are highly motivated that means that they do not need increasing financial rewards for their work, though it does not necessarily mean that employees should not receive financial rewards at all, but the expenses of the organization at this point may decrease. The performance benefits accrued from increased employee commitment have been widely demonstrated in the literature. To list but a few, these include: i) increased job satisfaction (Armstrong 2005) ii) increased job performance (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990) iii) increased total return to shareholders. iv) increased sales (Barber et al., 1999) v) decreased employee turnover (Cohen, 1991) decreased intention to leave, vi) decreased intention to search for alternative employers (Cohen, 1993) vii) decreased absenteeism (Cohen, 1993, Barber et al. 1999) Employee commitment should be viewed as a business necessity. Organizations who have difficulty in retaining and replacing competent employees will find it hard to optimize performance. There are not only the immediate expenses of the recruitment process, but other hidden costs such as management time and lost productivity as new employees take time to become effective in their roles. Commitment also has the following effects: 1. I t results in self directed (self initiate) application to do the job 2. Regular attendance, 3. Nominal supervision 4. A high level of effort 5. It increases the intention to stay- loyalty Negative Effects of Low Employee Commitment Low commitment of employees may lead to negative results and undermine the normal functioning of an organization or, at any rate, decrease the effectiveness of work of employees considerably. The low employee commitment has a number of disadvantages which deteriorate the work of each employee and the entire organization (OMalley 2000). Low commitment leads to the low level of interest of employees in their work. Consequently, if employees are not sufficiently interested in their work they will naturally work worse than they can. In other words, the low commitment decreases the effectiveness and productivity of work for employees are not really interested in their work and its outcomes. Naturally, in such a situation, they can hardly be interested in a positive performance of the organization they work for.

Measuring Employee Commitment This can be done through an attitude survey, employee satisfaction survey, employee commitment survey and performance appraisals. Questioners are usually administered to collect relevant data that management later uses when deciding ways of increasing employee commitment. Sample of a questioner attached (Annex 1) Ways of Enhancing Employee Commitment Organizations can use various strategies to increase employee commitment. These strategies include: Induction and Training The induction programme should be the final step of the recruitment and selection process. A good induction programme will make new employees more familiar with and more at ease within the organization. Employees enter the organization with an assumption of compatibility and should be welcomed. Relationships with Managers This refers to how the quality of the relationship between managers and their employees relates to the development of commitment. Employees commitment reflects their day to day contacts with their line managers about their job, and the way in which objective targets are set. Effective communication on jobrelated issues is a key ingredient in securing individual performance. To a great extent, individual line managers are responsible for ensuring that these maintenance behaviours occur. With poor management, the most well developed organizational programme can break down at the point of transmission. Relationships with Colleagues Emotional attachment to colleagues in the workplace is an important element of commitment, though it is not enough on its own. Unless there is occasion for frequent and rewarding interaction, stronger feelings of belonging that can bind employees to the organization are unlikely to emerge. Organizations that want to build high levels of commitment should look for ways to build this through group activities both in and out of work Group Membership To build commitment, being a member of a particular organization must not only satisfy employees social need to affiliate and belong, but must also create a sense of collective identity that differentiates the group from other organizations. There are many situational features that contribute to a sense of group membership. The more exposure that employees have to these features, the more likely they will be to feel like a part of the group and to incorporate that membership into their concept of who they are.

Organizational Justice and Trust It is also argued that employees evaluate their experiences at work in terms of whether they are fair and reflect a concern on the part of the organization for the well-being of the employees (Meyer, 1997). Treating employees fairly, communicates the message that management is commitment to the employees. This suggests that organizations wanting to foster greater commitment from their employees must first provide evidence of their commitment to their employees. When there is trust, employees are willing to suspend judgement and defer to the authority of others. In addition, trust permits organizational flexibility because a payback need be neither immediate nor of equivalent value. OMalley (2000) identifies four areas in which employees sense of trust in the employer can be increased: i) Growth: As most employees want to be more proficient in their job, a good way to instil trust is to attend to employees development needs. ii) Work-Life balance: Most employees would like organizations to allow greater personal time when needed. iii) Individual accommodation: Acts of organizational flexibility or benevolence toward employees. iv) Health and Safety: Organizations that are committed to protecting employees health and safety are more likely to be trusted. Promotion Policies and practices concerning promotion can also affect commitment. . Among those who are considered for promotion, the outcome of the decision is likely to have an effect on commitment. But, for some, the perception of fairness in the decision-making process might be even more important. This suggests that organizations should communicate clearly how their decisions were made and why those who did not succeed were not suitable. Work-Life Balance A key issue emphasized by research, especially in recent years, is the extent to which employees perceive they are able to achieve the right balance between home and work. Organizations are beginning to recognize this, and are making more concerted efforts to introduce a host of programmes intended to ease employees burdens. These include initiative such as: flexible work arrangements; child care; time off policies; elderly care; healthcare; information and counseling; and convenience services to name but a few. Job Satisfaction How happy an employee is in a job has profound effects on behaviour and commitment. In relation to commitment, job satisfaction and work-life satisfaction are very important. Job satisfaction is an enormous area; however, to be concise a satisfying job typically has three properties: i) It has intrinsically enjoyable features: Mathieu & Zajac (1990) found that the strongest correlation with commit ii) ent were obtained for job characteristics, particularly job scope (enrichment). iii) It provides an opportunity for growth and development.


It makes employees feel effective in their roles (that they can positively influence organizational outcomes).

Pay and Reward As mentioned previously, employees may remain with an organization because there are constraints against leaving and incentives for staying. It is important for organizations to structure the economics of the relationship in a way that will not obstruct commitment. One of the reasons to stay in a relationship is because it makes sense economically. Pay makes continuation of the employment relationship worthwhile because there is mutual dependence. Developing HR Practices That Enhance Commitment According to Armstrong 2005 the following ten (10) practices contribute to increase of employee commitment. 1. Advise in methods of communicating the values and aims of management and achievements of the organization, so that employees are more likely to identify with it as one they are proud to work for. 2. Emphasize to management that commitment is a two way process employees cannot be expected to be committed to the organization unless management demonstrates that it is committed to them. 3. Impress on the management the need to develop a climate of trust by being honest with people, treating them fairly justly and consistently, keeping its word and showing willingness to listen to the comments and suggestions made by employees 4. Develop a positive psychological contract by treating people as stakeholders rely on consensus and cooperation rather than control and coercion and provision of opportunities for learning and career progression. 5. Advise on and assist in the establishment of partnership agreements with trade unions which emphasize unity of purpose, common approaches to working together and the importance of giving employees a voice. 6. Recommend and take part in the achievement of single status for all employees so that there is no an us and them culture. 7. Encourage management to develop a policy of employment security and ensure steps are taken to avoid involuntary redundancies 8. Develop performance management process that provide for the alignment of organizational and individual objectives. 9. Advise on means of increasing employee identification with the company through rewards related to organizational performance (profit sharing or gain sharing). 10. Develop job engagement: identification of employees with the job they are doing through job design process that aim to create higher levels of job satisfaction.

Developing A Commitment Strategy A commitment strategy is based on the high commitment model described above. It aims to develop commitment using the following approaches. 1. Developing ownership I t involves involving employees in those decisions that affect them so that they feel they own, i.e. Create a feeling of ownership among employees, listening to their ideas. Employees should feel they are genuinely accepted by the management. 2. Communication programmes Commitment can only be gained if people understand what they are expected to commit to. Thus in sufficient attention should be paid when delivering messages so that right information is passed. Proper use of newsletters, briefing groups videos and notice boards should be emphasized. 3. Leadership development Commitment is enhanced if managers can gain the confidence and respect of their teams. Management training should therefore be used to increase the competence of managers thus making them efficient enough to cultivate a sense of commitment in their teams. 4. Developing a sense of excitement. Concentrating on the intrinsic motivating factors e.g. achievement, responsibility and recognition creates job excitement, which leads to commitment. Management should thus give their staff the scope to use their skills and abilities and design jobs which encourage creativity and innovativeness, avoid monotony 5. Use of career development program They help employee develop caters related skills and recognize the developmental need they posses. If used effectively if creates commitments it send the signal that the employer cares about the employee career success and thus deserves employee commitment. 8.0 Summary This paper has presented a review of the current thinking about defining and creating employee commitment, which is an evolving topic currently receiving considerable attention. It has been identified as a multi-dimensional concept which has important impacts on an organization through its effects on employee performance, turnover and absence, and via its influence on customer attitudes to the bottom line. Commitment can be divided into five components, each of which is created by different factors. These are defined as follows: Affiliative: The compatibility of the employees and the organizations interests and values. Associative: The employees perception of belonging to the organization. Moral: The sense of mutual obligation between the employee and the organization.

Affective: The feeling of job satisfaction experienced by the employee. Structural: The belief that the employee is engaged in a fair economic exchange. Job satisfaction is an important component of commitment, but should not be perceived as equivalent to it. Commitment has more positive outcomes for the organization in terms of employee performance. Job satisfaction can be promoted by making work as enjoyable as possible, providing growth and development opportunities and making provisions for staff to assist them in balancing their work and personal lives. Once established, commitment has to be maintained by ensuring staff have clear roles and responsibilities, and an understanding of what is required of them in their jobs. Good communication and openness throughout the organization is vital, especially in times of change. The role of line managers should be recognized and positively supported, as it is a vital component in the creation and maintenance of employee commitment.

Conclusions Engaged employees lead to increased productivity, retention, customer loyalty and profitability. Savvy organizations focus on both the lead and lag indicators of business success, so business leaders need to know about engagement levels in the same way they need to know about other critical management information, such as financial, productivity and customer data. Robust, business-oriented measurement and analysis is required to identify the key drivers of engagement for your organization. Survey design should be aligned to your organization, your strategy, your values and your people. Key insights are provided when organizations know whether employees are engaged to both the jobs that they do and the company that they work for. This knowledge enables organizations to predict behavior and its impact on key business metrics. Measurement without action can do more harm than good. Simply surveying for the current engagement level and then doing nothing with that information often leads to employees feeling that they arent being heard, which in turn can negatively impact morale and trust levels. Identifying and analyzing engagement levels and the drivers of success is the first step. The real challenge is in equipping your business to act and ensuring that change is embedded in your culture so that your workforce remains focused and aligned to the business strategy. An engaged workforce is the key to sustained competitive advantage and accelerated business performance. It is possible to conclude that employee commitment is a very significant factor contributing to the positive organizational outcomes. It may increase productivity, effectiveness of work and motivation of employees, while low commitment leads to the opposite outcomes. At the same time it is necessary to maintain high level of employee commitment through leadership, development, empowerment, and supervision. . Radical organizational changes often lead to reduced commitment caused by increased job insecurity, increased stress, decreased trust and job redesign. Since organizational commitment has strong correlation with job performances it is very important to reinforce it by applying the right human resources polices Recommendations Having examined the concept of employee commitment our group gave the following recommendations that would enhance the commitment of employee in the workplace. Fair profit sharing based on an established policy that seeks to make employees feel that the management is committed to them, regular team building activities and designing jobs so that there is flexi time for those employees who may not be in a position to work between 8am 5pm. Providing such incentives e.g. Medical scheme, housing scheme, car loans, furniture loans, pension scheme and increasing the number of years employees can work in an organization even after reaching the retirement age sends the message that the organization is committed to its employees and so the employees in turn will seek to be committed to the organization.

Another way of enhancing employee commitment is by conducting exit interviews; since the interviewee will be leaving the organization it is believed that they will reveal loopholes in the management or job design that contribute to low morale among employees. The management can then use the information to put necessary measures in place to enable employees develop commitment in their work. Management should also ensure that confidentially is practiced especially where there is sensitive information concerning employees. Such information may include health status, marital issues and financial position of employees among many others. Leaders and managers need to master a new set of abilities to engage their people and sustain and enhance performance, especially in todays increasingly challenging business environment. The senior leadership has a significant impact on engagement. The top engagement driver both globally is employees belief that senior management has their best interests at heart. Yet, only about four out of 10 respondents believe this is true in their organizations. More than half also felt that senior management treats us as just another part of the organization to be managed or as if we dont matter. Senior leaders get relatively low marks on empathy, communication and transparency. Managers who help deliver the work experience and represent the pool of future leaders also get low marks on key aspects of their role. The following values should also be practiced. Fairness It implies the elimination of ones feelings, prejudices and desires to achieve a proper balance between conflicting interests Trust To nurture commitment employers must create an environment of trust. If employers wish to develop and maintain trust they should do what they say will do, be consistent, maintain confidence, and be a role model of behaviour, encourage employee involvement, allow people to make we decisions that affect their work, allow people to make mistakes without fear or ridicule, learn from mistakes. Concern for employees. Employees should be regarded as people not factors of production. Employers should provide job security train and develop employees, be flexible to accommodate employee issues, be open and honest and allow employees to have a life outside work. Todays employees have a strong sense of self worth- they recognize their value and want their employers to as well The organization is the most powerful influencer of employee engagement. There is no single right model for a high-performance culture; the most effective approach depends on an organizations strategic priorities.

Employees are eager to invest more of themselves to help the company succeed, but want to understand whats in it for them. Senior leaders need to make the leap to a more inspirational and engaging style of leadership to help drive higher engagement. Companies need to understand their employees as well as they understand their customers to design a work environment and experience that will drive higher engagement and performance.

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