A business with good organizational commitment has a workforce that feels connected, with higher morale and satisfaction from staff but also a positive impact on productivity and growth. Creating an environment that fosters organizational commitment is only part of the equation, however - hiring the right people at the right time, and putting them in the right roles, is also incredibly important.
In this article, we will look at why organizational commitment can make a difference to the company in terms of profit and productivity, but also the importance of organizational commitment to employees. We will also discuss the best way to measure potential employees based on their fit to the culture and to the role to foster greater organizational commitment.
Why organizational commitment matters
Organizational scientists Meyer and Allen define organizational commitment as “an individual’s positive emotional attachment toward an organization”, and there are several different elements that are part of this.
Employees with good organizational commitment have a psychological bond with the company that is built on loyalty and commitment. They want the company to succeed, and they have a sense of shared purpose that means that they are more engaged and more resilient, are less likely to leave for a ‘better offer’, and will work harder and longer to achieve goals.
For employers, finding the right applicant who is likely to become attached positively to the company means getting someone that will fit in with the culture, feel valued and needed as a vital member of the team, and someone that understands the vision, mission, and overarching goals of the organization.
The right employee commitment has many advantages for the business. Staff set themselves ambitious targets and strive to meet and exceed them, with confidence in their own performance and the ability to inspire others to perform better. The loyalty of staff that are committed to the organization is demonstrated by their attendance; less absenteeism is one factor, but also long-term retention - staff may be more likely to deal with challenges in the role if they are psychologically attached to the business.
Increasing organizational commitment within the workforce has several components:
Employee wellbeing: Making changes to the business that benefit staff in positive ways, like adding perks such as subsidized food, fitness programs, and break-out rooms - based on feedback from staff already in position.
Development: Staff learning opportunities, including specific training and support, makes employees feel confident in their roles so that they are both challenged and appreciated. Development is an important part of growth.
Inclusivity: Employees need to feel like they belong, whether they identify in a minority or majority group. Rewards for achievement, team building, and relevant support are all important here.
Communication: This is especially important in a large organization, where positive interactions at all levels can be difficult. It can be as simple as a weekly newsletter, regular team meetings, and creating open lines of communication all the way through the organization.
Equality: One of the things that can negatively affect organizational commitment is a feeling of unfairness, and this can center around pay. Equal pay for equal work, a clear and understood pay structure with salary benchmarks, and ensuring that remuneration is in line with industry standards help here.
Recruitment is an important part of creating the right environment for organizational commitment to bloom - which means understanding what each candidate needs to feel that positive psychological connection with the business.
Measuring for fit when hiring
Hiring long-term, committed candidates is about more than just looking for someone with the right skills, aptitudes, qualifications, and experience - culture fit, personality traits, and motivations are also important factors - and the Drives test is a simple yet effective tool to hire for organizational commitment.
The Drives test provides an insight into what motivates a candidate, what drives them to be successful, and what they are looking for in their career. A candidate who is motivated by the same vision and mission as the business is more likely to demonstrate exceptional performance and become passionately committed to the organization.
The short and simple Drives test is inspired by Hackman and Oldman’s Job Characteristics Model published in 1976, which demonstrated that the key to maintaining motivation is the work itself. This study looked at 658 workers in 62 jobs across seven organizations, and they identified five factors that are important for motivation. These are:
Skill variety: Varying tasks that challenge, in comparison with mundane or monotonous tasks
Task identity: Is there a defined beginning, middle, and end? A defined ending to a task leads to greater satisfaction with a job well done
Task significance: For an employee, knowing that their role has meaning and is important is a factor in motivation and drive
Task autonomy: Are staff members able to have a say in their role, such as the way it is completed?
Feedback: Does their work provide feedback or a way of telling whether they’ve a good job?
Each job type will have different levels of these characteristics that are necessary for motivation and organizational commitment, and in the Drives test this is assessed by 20 points spread through nine specific drives:
Drives alignment and organizational commitment
The top factors that are identified by the Drives test should align with the requirements of the role - and this will vary depending on the position, the seniority of the role, and the industry. This is extremely important when it comes to hiring with a focus on organizational commitment - an employee whose work feeds their motivation is more likely to feel committed to their job (and by extension, to the company).
Our recent study on Person-Job Fit discovered that employees are 12.8x more likely to experience a lack of commitment to the company when their drives do not align with what their job offers. A candidate who is motivated by teamwork is not going to be committed to a role where they are expected to work on their own, but an employee who is driven by innovation is more likely to stay committed to a business that offers them the opportunity for creativity.
Hiring for organizational commitment helps companies to create a workforce that is engaged, satisfied, more likely to stay for the long term - and that has a positive impact on growth, productivity, and overall success.