Organizational Commitment

Commitment refers to attachment and loyalty. It is associated with the feelings of individuals about their organization. Organizational commitment is the relative strength of the individual’s identification with, and involvement in, a particular organization. The three characteristics of commitment identified are:

  1. A strong desire to remain a member of the organization.
  2. A strong belief in, and acceptance of, the values and goals of the organization.
  3. A readiness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization.

The contribution of HR to developing commitment

The HR function can play a major part in developing a high-commitment organization. The 10 steps it can take are:

  1. Advise on methods of communicating the values and aims of management and the 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 and recognizes their contribution as stakeholders.
  3. Impress on 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 during processes of consultation and participation. 
  4. Develop a positive psychological contract by treating people as stakeholders, relying on consensus and cooperation rather than control and coercion, and focusing on the provision of opportunities for learning, development and career progression.
  5. Advise and assist on the establishment of partnership agreements with trade unions that emphasize unity of purpose, common approaches to working together and the importance of giving employees a voice in matters that concern them.
  6. Recommend and take part in the achievement of single status for all employees (often included in a partnership agreement) so that there is no longer an ‘us and them’ culture.
  7. Encourage management to declare a policy of employment security and ensure that steps are taken to avoid involuntary redundancies.
  8. Develop performance management processes 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) or employee share ownership schemes.
  10. Enhance employee engagement, i-e identification of employees with the job they are doing, through job design processes that aim to create higher levels of job satisfaction (job enrichment).