What Is Employee Commitment

Employee commitment is an initiative that seeks to drive culture through trust, dependability, two-way exchanges, and communication.

Company Culture & Employee Commitment

There are a lot of terms that make up the employee experience (EX) ecosystem. You’ve probably heard all or one of these at one time or another: employee engagement, employee retention, employee satisfaction, so on and so forth. But have you heard of employee commitment?

A few of these changes overlap and share common linkages, but they each refer to a different aspect of your employee experience and are more powerful together than they could ever be apart. And employee commitment is quite possibly the most important EX term of them all!

How Is Employee Commitment Different from Employee Experience and Employee Commitment?

Before we keep going, it’s probably a good idea to take a quick step back and differentiate employee commitment from the terms it’s confused with the most, which are employee experience and employee engagement. As a quick reminder, employee experience refers to building meaningfully improved interactions with your employees. 

Taken together, Individual interactions help brands realize a transformed organizational culture that encourages both employee acquisition and employee retention. Employee commitment is one piece of this puzzle, as are the numerous terms we listed earlier.

What Is Employee Engagement?

Another one of those pieces, employee engagement, is confused for employee commitment even more often than employee experience. Employee engagement is a methodology for developing policies and programs that address employee needs. This approach is almost entirely reactive, waiting until enough employee problems or concerns form before actually formulating a policy aimed at resolving whatever’s cropped up. 

There are three primary measures used to gauge employee engagement; the first is overall employee satisfaction, which is fairly self-explanatory. The second one is an employee’s loyalty to that brand, while the third measure is engagement with both the organization at large and its mission/vision.

The other crucial factor to employee engagement that sets it apart from employee commitment is its view of employees as costs instead of collaborators. This view sets the tone for the entire employee engagement philosophy; every engagement tactic and every policy remedy is almost always seen solely in terms of numbers. While this can make employee engagement easier for EX program managers and HR departments to quantify, it also limits what brands can do for their employees and, therefore, what employees can do for their brands. 

What Is Employee Commitment?

Now that we’ve sketched out what employee experience and employee engagement are, we have a great baseline from which to define employee commitment. Whereas employee experience refers to the overall ecosystem of achieving Experience Improvement (XI) for employees, and engagement is a highly quantifiable and reactive policy approach to employee concerns, employee commitment is about driving culture through trust, dependability, two-way exchanges, and communication.

This sets employee commitment apart as much more holistic than any of the other EX approaches that you might’ve heard about. Employee commitment acknowledges that numbers are certainly important, but not to the point where it seeks to reduce employees down to a single set of them. Rather, employee commitment is about a more progressive approach that sees employees as collaborators instead of costs and is more interested in the emotional element of employee experience. 

Most employee commitment initiatives are built to measure two factors: the first is how an employee feels to the company from a social perspective. The second measure here is how that connection impacts the business with actions, behaviors, outcomes, and adaptability.

Another factor that puts employee commitment in a league all its own is how much it emphasizes building trust between an employee and the wider organization. Employee commitment understands that building relationships and connections is what drives a strong organizational culture and thus higher retention. Looking at employees merely as a source of costs is a much less effective way to try to get that same outcome, especially if they’re aware that that’s all an organization sees them as. 

Why Is Employee Commitment Important?

A strong workplace culture is imperative for organizational success, which is why it’s all the more important that brands like yours take a step back to consider how engaged your employees really are. An employee commitment strategy can go a long way toward getting you where you need to go on that front.

Employee commitment isn’t just great for helping your EX efforts, either—this strategy ends up having a positive effect on your customer experience (CX) initiatives too! When you build trust with your employees and demonstrate appreciation for all the hard work they do, that expression creates a feedback loop. 

Employees who feel seen, heard, and appreciated will redouble their efforts in their daily work. No matter whether that employee works in the accounting department or on a customer-facing team, a more impassioned employee’s efforts ultimately help create a meaningfully improved customer experience. That’s why EX commitment is so great; it boosts your CX, too!

How Do You Ensure Employee Commitment?

Whether your XI initiative is just getting started or well underway, encouraging employee commitment at your organization begins with designing (or redesigning) your EX efforts with that end goal in mind. Consider which feedback and communication channels you can use to drive those all important factors of trust, two-way exchanges, and dependability. Once you have those in mind, you can begin measuring employees’ sense of social and organizational connection within your business and take a close look at factors like behavior, adaptability, and, ultimately, outcomes. 

What Are Some Examples of Commitment in the Workplace?

Here are a few examples of what this process might look like on the ground. Rather than HR reacting to problems as they arise with policy, brands might tackle EX commitment by having multiple departments (including the executive leadership team) proactively reach out about how things could be better. Identify which channels employees use for communication most frequently and dispatch reminders about how much you appreciate their work within those channels.

Whatever employee commitment looks like in your organization, you should start wielding it today if you haven’t already! An employee commitment strategy is more foundational than most any other EX effort because it goes beyond the numbers. It understands that forging emotional connections is key to employee and brand success, which is also at the heart of Experience Improvement. Ultimately, strong EX commitment will also help you create those connections with customers, which goes a long way toward being a leader in your marketplace.

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