For several years now, Openmet has studied worker commitment through the responses of the people who do work environment surveys with us. Commitment is an essential concept to consider when we want to find out the organizational climate. But can commitment really be defined or understood generically? Are its related concepts always the same? Do they change? Are there any tools for finding out about influential milestones?
What influences worker commitment?
On the basis of these questions, we have conducted a study (with more than 70,000 responses) to find out what influences worker commitment and how. And here are the conclusions:
- there are aspects common to all organizations that influence worker commitment.
- There are factors which depend on the sector and business of the company.
- Changes in the organization produce fluctuations affecting commitment that would not happen in “normal” times
We will now explain these conclusions.
Commitment in any company has common concepts that influence all organizations. These are aspects that have a direct influence on commitment regardless of the company, sector or situation of the company. These aspects – let’s call them fixed – are: recommending the company to others as a good place to work, opting for the same company if they had to choose where to work again, professional development the possibilities and the perception of the company’s trust in its people. These four elements are key to analyzing the commitment of any company.
There are other factors, which we will call specific, that are related to the company’s business, sector, the job market situation in this sector and the type of work. Other concepts come into play here, such as identification with the culture and values of the company, the stable future of the company, how it is run by the management team, the type of work performed, and wages.
“Fluctuating” commitments arise when exceptional changes take place in the company. These may include the merger of two companies, labor force adjustment plans, rapid company growth, drastic changes in processes, etc. Other concepts can crop up here such as relationships with superiors, orientation towards process quality, the company’s adaptation to changes, company growth, development and talent retention, internal communication, the clarity of its goals… these issues can have a dramatic impact on worker commitment, causing problems both with motivation and organizational efficiency in companies if these milestones are not detected and improved.
To reach these conclusions, we worked with Importance – Evaluation charts which relate the importance of the item to a specific aspect of the work environment and its measurement:
The importance of each item is usually ascertained in two possible ways:
- By asking employees directly about it (Explicit importance)
- By inferring the importance from statistical calculations (Inferred importance).
When we talk about importance, we mean how important a question is in relation to a particular aspect of the work environment. This way, we can find out how important each question (or indicator) is and maximize the concept to analyze.
By using this analytical tool in a work environment study, we have been able to learn about specific aspects influencing commitment. Likewise, when this mechanism is used in work environment surveys, we can learn about other key areas such as attitudes influencing leadership, job satisfaction, internal communication, collaboration between departments, conciliation, etc. Having a better knowledge of what impacts the organization will help set priorities for improvement and produce companies with committed and satisfied employees.
Importance – Evaluation decision charts are an essential tool to ensure good analysis of the results of a work environment study because they offer:
- A quick preliminary guide for decision-making on the key aspects of improving the work environment, based on the categorization of results into different quadrants
- An attractive and quick presentation of the results
- A more complete view of how to foster commitment and satisfaction in the firm
- Analyze changes as they happen. Where to put the focus
To learn more about work environment studies, we suggest you read one of our most popular articles: