Making the Choice of Commitment

When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

The choice of commitment promotes stability and growth and we are focusing on the choice of commitment to one’s place of work. The reality is that, as in the past, employees are no longer interested in working for a single employer for their entire career. Everyone is seeking quick growth and higher salaries and a job change seemingly helps a person to get a better salary increase than would not be possible at the same pace within the current company. This does not mean that only commitment to a company has dropped, it also means that companies that are unable to provide high salary raises in the given market conditions – rising competition and sluggish economy – will lose employees. However, the choice of commitment to a company contributes to the success of the individuals and the company. In the volatile market, being known as a stable and committed employee has its benefits – the company succeeds since expertise, knowledge, skills and training remains within the company and the employees in turn can benefit through professional and personal development, better growth options and in the creating of a positive and congenial work environment. It makes sense to make a choice of commitment to a company if one desires to grow as a professional and climb the vertical ladder of growth within the same company rather than going on to another and starting one’s job from scratch. The choice of commitment provides a sense of belonging, trust and satisfaction and plays a crucial role in moulding a person both personally and professionally.

Making a choice of commitment promotes effectiveness, is positive and makes one feel more in control. Through the choice of commitment employees will decide take action – be diligent, faithful and loyal and do their jobs to the best of their ability. The act of commitment allows a person to lend meaning, show better results and have more power in whatever they do – hence commitment is not words but is also coupled with the act of delivering the best quality and top results. Commitment to one’s workplace means having a positive approach, accepting the plans, strategies and direction of the company and make choices that will be beneficial to both the company and the individuals.

Commitment to one’s work makes a personal resolute, adds power and makes them more result-oriented and all these attributes have a significant positive impact on the company as a whole. If companies do not foster an atmosphere which supports its people, it would be tough to gain commitment from them and as a result the company would remain unstable and be unable to reach its goals. A business cannot move forward without the support of its employees – employees who are energized, are driven and want to make a positive difference – this translates to commitment. Commitment can be inculcated in the company through its leaders too. With kind, caring, empathetic and powerful leaders it would much simpler for a company to gain the support of their staff. Being the kind of leaders that leaves a positive mark on their staff is also a matter of commitment – everything they do will influence the others and if they are committed to make a positive difference, it will be beneficial for all.

Making the choice of commitment helps businesses take their dreams and aspirations to reality. It is a powerful way to turn around one’s business and the people in it. Without resolute commitment, no amount of resources, choices or great talent will be of any use to a business. Anyone who is running or has run a business will know that it is essential to make the right choices and each person in the company is required to make several such choices on a daily basis. The utility of making these choices lies in making a commitment to turn these choices to results.

There are several factors that can lead to the dissatisfaction of the workforce which in turn will drop the commitment levels. Several studies in the US reveal shocking results – only about 21% people feel committed to their companies and an even smaller number (12%) believe that their companies are committed to them. Being satisfied in the job bears direct influence on the employees – those who are happy with their company have a higher commitment and vice versa. The lower the level of commitment, the higher is the employee turnover, which is a major cause of concern for any company as it amounts huge losses of time, money and has a direct bearing on the kind of products and services a company can offer its customers.

Commitment follows trust, belief and integrity – when employees, customers and other stakeholders can be sure that their needs, opinions and expectations will be met, there would naturally be a stronger level of commitment to the company and its goals. We have earlier described how kind and empathetic leadership can make a stress-free work environment possible which in turn keeps the employees happier. Such a workplace has more value than all other factors of employment – when you are happy in your place of work and job, the emotional rewards far outweigh all others and happy people have higher work output and commitment. It is normal for people to want to move on to ‘greener pastures’ but if the reasons to move are emotional – not feeling valued or respected, not being recognized for their efforts and other such reasons – they would carry with them this negativity and possibly spread it to people outside of the company adversely affecting the reputation of the company.

Building commitment is a result of many factors, apart from a good salary. Employees are more comfortable and satisfied when there are clear guidelines of what is expected from them and the job responsibilities. People perform better and are more committed to their work when their immediate managers are supportive and empathetic and can act as mentors when required. With the aim to grow, with the company, in mind people are happier when there are clearly defined career paths, possibilities of rewards and recognition for good work and transparent policies that surround performance appraisals. In addition, if people are able to maintain a sound work-life balance through policies such as flexi-work hours, work from home when required and other such employee and family friendly policies, the level of commitment would most definitely be higher in such companies. It may not be an easy task to accomplish – but must be done if a company is committed to nurturing its employees.

 

In order to have a purposeful and pointed focus on commitment from employees, companies must acknowledge that their staff has a pivotal role for the success of the company. Employee commitment ‘protects’ a company against costly employee attrition, the risk of falling customer service and product standards and from building friction and stress within the workforce. All these negative factors coalesce into serious ramifications for a company and can lead to its ‘demise’.

Commitment is not a commodity that can be bought – organizations that expect employee commitment without guaranteeing and pledging support and care for them, will find it very hard to sustain high standards of service within the company. In order to have a committed workforce, companies must hire right, ensure that the employees they bring in are taken care of and make a sustained effort to build bonds of trust and dependability with them. For example – A friend was employed with this large retailer and had a great boss. Irrespective of what happened in the company, he always supported her and over time both of them had built a space of trust and openness. She is a great worker and hence received several very lucrative offers but she refused to leave. Her boss was an expat and she knew that sooner or later he would leave to head back to his country and despite that she worked diligently and with a high level of commitment. It was only when he announced that he would need to leave, that she accepted another offer and moved on. Even though the company could not hold her, her level of commitment to the care, affection and trust displayed by her boss was enough to hold her. This is what commitment is all about.

Given the example above, commitment seems to be subjective and each person has their own reasons for being committed or not. If corporates conduct themselves in accordance with the needs and expectations of those connected with them, they would be better placed for success and continuous growth.

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