Unlocking Employee Commitment: The Key to Building a Resilient Workforce in a Disrupted World
The last three years have been punctuated with disruption and change: A global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the Black Lives Matter movement, workplace trends like the Great Resignation, and the introduction of new technology in Generative AI systems, just to name a few. These disturbances have prompted leaders around the world to invest in retaining their workforces and preparing their organizations for the future.
With over 20 years of experience working with over 10,000 clients, Denison Consulting offers valuable expertise in organizational culture, leadership development, employee experience, and more. By understanding what motivates individuals to stay committed to their organizations, Denison provides valuable insights to support leaders in creating an engaged and resilient workforce.
To begin to understand how employees feel about their position and organization overall, leaders can survey their people on three key components:
1.) Feeling a strong connection to the organization.
When looking at how employees feel about the organization, connection is the place to start. When considering connection in the context of work, connection happens when an employee takes responsibility and pride in their job. Fostering this feeling allows the bottom line to flourish. Studies have found that employees that feel connected to their organization are more trusting of their managers, take pride in their work and company, and feel a sense of camaraderie.
2.) Recommending others to work at the organization.
A feeling of connection links directly to recommending others to work at an organization. This is where connection links to social capital. When an employee recommends someone to work at the company where they are currently employed, they are implicitly saying it is a good place to work (and sometimes explicitly saying it as well.) Recommendations indicate that an employee has a positive perception of their own experience at the organization, a high level of engagement and motivation, and is satisfied with the organization overall. When employees recommend others to join the organization, it suggests that they have a desire to see the organization succeed and grow. By tracking and engaging with recommendation metrics leaders can have a clearer picture of employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
3.) Feelings of choice vs. necessity.
Choice refers to the act or opportunity of freely selecting or preferring an option, while necessity indicates something that is absolutely needed or logically unavoidable based on the preceding circumstances. The distinction between choice and necessity can significantly influence an individual’s motivation for working at an organization.
Does it matter if an employee works at an organization out of necessity rather than by choice? Studies have shown that, “The ability to make a choice, as opposed to being told what to do, or given only a single option, has been shown to have positive effects (Deci and Ryan 1985). People are more internally motivated and perform better on tasks they have chosen, and they also are more satisfied with their choices and feel more in control.”
In contrast, when employees stay out of necessity, they often lack the sense of contentment and fulfillment that are vital motivators for long-term commitment and growth within a company.
Fostering a sense of connection, encouraging employee recommendations, and prioritizing choice over necessity can help leaders comprehend their workforce, retain top talent, and ensure their organizations are well-prepared for the future. These factors provide leaders with valuable insights into employee sentiment and organizational health. Creating an environment where employees feel connected, motivated, and aligned sets the stage for long-term success and resilience in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
To learn more about Denison and our work with organizational culture and commitment, visit www.denisonconsulting.com.