EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION, ENGAGEMENT, AND COMMITMENT CAN PRODUCE SUSTAINABLE PERFORMANCE.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the first two levers to help you attain exceptional employee performance. In Part 2, we looked at four more levers, each contributing to increased employee engagement. In this final post of our sustainable performance series, we’ll look at ways that you can encourage a high level of employee commitment with one final lever.
Your influence as a leader should never be taken for granted. You set the tone. You have the opportunity to create an environment that makes real and lasting employee commitment possible.
It doesn’t usually happen on its own. It takes determination to see things the way your employees see them. It takes a leader who cares. Those who are focused solely on the bottom line may fail to experience the success they desire—until they learn to invest time and attention in their employees. Satisfied, engaged, and committed employees are the key.
We’ve seen that the first step to achieving the exceptional performance you want from your employees is to improve satisfaction by using the first two levers of influence. The second step, engagement, introduced four more levers that will bring you closer to cultivating contagious energy and loyalty.
Now let’s turn our attention to the third step and last lever—nurturing employee commitment through organizational membership.
HOW CAN YOU INFLUENCE EMPLOYEE COMMITMENT?
As you look to influence commitment, keep organizational membership at the forefront of your mind. Here are some helpful insights.
LEVER 7: ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIP
GOAL: Your employees need to know that they are valued as individuals and for their contributions. High levels of engagement create a strong sense of pride and ownership in the enterprise.
SOME BEST PRACTICES:
Make sure that individual values and corporate beliefs are aligned. You can't expect employees to rally around a set of empty values arbitrarily displayed on a break room poster if those ideas aren’t practiced and upheld by every level of leadership in your organization.
To create values that succeed in driving positive behavior and that employees are willing to align with, you must think critically about how they inform your culture and influence corporate practices. Then consider how the policies you have in place will help support those values, ensuring that all leadership is both communicating and exemplifying those value-backed policies and culture points to your organization.
Reinforce employees’ sense of belonging. Fostering the sense of belonging may be one of a leader’s most powerful levers. Used properly it elevates the nature of work with a sense of purpose that brings people together for common causes and encourages them to bond with one another in the work they do.
Belonging is essential to establishing a sense of commitment. Forbes’s contributor, John Baldoni, recommends three ways to nurture it.
> Find purpose. Work without purpose lacks drive. When people know that what they do matters and how it connects to the organization’s mission, labor has meaning. Purposeful work is work that encourages commitment.
> Recognize results. Publicize the accomplishments of teams and make note of the people who outperform the norm. Results should be touted so that everyone knows what was achieved and how the company has been positively impacted.
> Encourage camaraderie. When people are united in purpose, they may find affinity with one another. Managers can encourage that connection by creating opportunities for employees to connect both during office hours and off-hours (think company picnics, holiday parties, group volunteer events, etc.).
Actively engage in community outreach (both organization and employees). Community service involvement programs are important to many including the up and coming Generation Y. In recent studies, many younger employees said they would leave a company if the community service programs started to slip. Volunteerism and community outreach within an organization may begin to dramatically impact employee recruitment and retention in now and in coming years, especially for those who identify as Generation Y. While community outreach benefits many people—those serving and those being served—it also improves company culture and instills a sense of pride and ownership.
Regularly recognize and celebrate successes. In the Harvard Business Review article, Recognizing Employees Is the Simplest Way to Improve Morale, the company O Great One! commissioned a survey that confirmed 82% of employed Americans don’t feel that their supervisors recognize them enough for their contributions. That lack of recognition takes a terrible toll on corporate culture, morale, satisfaction level, and ultimately, productivity and profitability. Another key finding: 40% of employed Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
It’s both simple and inexpensive for leaders to solve the recognition deficit in their organizations. In addition to being open and transparent, you can reward with bonuses and publicly recognizing wins. For more ideas, read What Your Employees Really, Really Want for more ideas.
Continuously improve techniques to maintain employee commitment. Look for ways to make work easier. It could be a SaaS software upgrade, re-evaluating current processes with the help of employees, and improving the way certain projects or jobs are handled. Always be on the lookout for ways to make your employees’ jobs better and more efficient—they will benefit personally and professionally, plus they’ll experience your care and concern in a tangible way. And it doesn’t hurt that the company will also reap benefits as a result: committed employees who are engaged and productive.
That’s it! Now you have all 3 keys—employee satisfaction, engagement, and commitment—and you know the 7 practical levers to unlock the doors to greater and lasting performance. From, here it’s a matter of implementation and staying intentionally focused on continuing to improve in these areas.
If you haven't already, now is the time to download our 7 Levers of Sustainable Performance pdf to share with your leadership team. Think about how much you, your employees, and your company have to gain when everyone is satisfied, fully engaged, and committed.
Download our free best practice guide, including all 7 levers of Sustainable Performance.
Will this take some extra work on your part? Yes. But we’ve seen the results time and time again with the organizations we’ve worked with. It will be worth the effort. And the team at ORG can come alongside you at any time to help lighten the load. We’re here to guide your organization toward the excellent, sustainable performance you aspire to achieve.
Still hungry for info? Check out these transformational insights.
- 7 Levers of Sustainable Performance: Employee Satisfaction (Part 1 of 3)
- 7 Levers of Sustainable Performance: Employee Engagement (part 2 of 3)
- Working Together—Not Against
- The Secret Science Behind Great Teams
- An Open Letter to Leaders Who Don’t Believe in Engagement Surveys
- Want Engaged Employees? Start with Fairness.
When the way you’re working isn’t working, ORG can help. By fostering collaboration, boosting engagement, aligning goals, and implementing sustainable change, we can increase performance by two to three times your current goal—or more. Ready to work together?