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Thinking and Measuring Employee Commitment … Simply

American businesses and organizations often struggle to measure employee commitment/engagement.     They use a wide variety of surveys, interviews, and observation — all trying to make the connection to the organization’s financial (or budget) bottom line.  Many profess that “employees are our greatest asset”, but fail to put in place the structures, mindset, and processes to reflect that.  By the way, PBI believes that “employees are your greatest resource … and …  your organization’s reputation is your greatest asset”.

After so many years of massive cutbacks, restructuring, layoffs, downsizing, outsourcing, and poor leadership/management, the earlier social contract (an expectation of job security if employees came to work with commitment, loyalty, and passion) has been broken. Employees are now more reluctant to “give their hearts and minds” to the organization.

As leaders and managers, it is our job to create a safe and trusting environment for our employees.

Too often the engagement focus is around perks and other amenities.  We believe that leads to a false sense of the employees’ true commitment and can breed an entitlement culture.  A much stronger predictor of commitment is the level to which people (at all levels) feel valued – by their supervisor, organization, etc.

The “Continuum of Commitment” tool (shown below) allows us to gage, understand, and strengthen each employee’s level of commitment.

If the answer to the three questions is “No-No-No”, the person is probably in the compliance mode – doing only what’s necessary to get by.  If a mix of “Yes and No’, they’re probably in the middle.

Only when our employees say, “Yes — Yes — Yes,” can we say that we have a passionate, committed workforce — a workforce that is energized, secure, and can deliver the organization’s desired results.

Not only will this graphic help your organization plan and live an impactful leadership philosophy, but it also gives a simple way to measure where employees (or managers) stand.  In short, we want to define where to put the “x” on this continuum … and how to move it to the right.

Action Item:   How can you/your organization use this concept and the graphic?  What engagement “levers” are you using now?  What results are those bringing?  How are you measuring your employees’ (and leaders’) commitment?   What would your results be like if 80% of your workforce was in the green/commitment level?

Call us if you want to make a transformational difference in your engagement levels.

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