October 31, 2006

Why employees are less committed

Source : www.economictimes.com
Dated : 31/10/2006

"Why should I work more than what the company pays me for?" You must have heard this comment in your workplace. Even my friend cribs, "When the company doesn't recognise our work and doesn't acknowledge it monetarily, then, why should I work beyond its expectations?"

Increasingly, such an attitude appears to be the new gospel at workplaces and ought to be recognised as a trend that is haunting most employers.

"Most of us work and wait for month-end salary because we are recruited and paid for that. It's a give and take relationship we share with the company and there is no emotional bonding."

"So if company treats us well, then we will work up to its satisfaction. And if it plays dirty games, then it cannot expect us to treat it fair." Such was the reaction of an employee working in a leading PSU firm in Mumbai when ET.com asked why most employees are not committed to their companies.

There are many employees who think this way and the attitude is growing fast not only in Indian companies but abroad too. An employee loyalty study released by London-based research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) reveals that a majority of US workers admit to having a low level of commitment to the job they do and the company they work for. The study also unveils that even satisfied employees are not necessarily hard working or committed to a company's bottom-line performance. As a result, we get to see organisations battling for workforce share, just as they battle for market share.

Nevertheless, the level of commitment varies from an employee to employee. Dinesh K Vohra, author of 'Success in just 6 steps away' says, "Employers also need to understand that the level of employee involvement and commitment will not be uniform for all times. There would be phases when a number of employees will feel low and it will impact their productivity, but that is natural. They will also commit silly mistakes, but the leadership has to be considerate towards them if they are honest in acknowledgement and are willing to mend. Even machines do not perform with 100 percent efficiency all the time. "

Employees need a caring leadership and work atmosphere to perform their best. High achievers are always groomed through a congenial work atmosphere and motivational leadership.

Employer Vs. employees Vs. bosses

Employees consider the employer as the boss. But the organisational structure has many bosses at every level. Nalini Srivatsav, a working professional from Bangalore talks about her dilemmas: "Although I want to work for my company but the bosses who are also part of the same system do not allow me to be. I am unable to work due to lack of co-ordination and understanding by my immediate seniors and boss. Just based on this, can an employee's commitment be questioned?"

This kind of vulnerability has to be accounted for in an organisation. The level of commitment also depends upon on the leadership of each boss in the hierarchy. It's not true that satisfied employees are committed and non-committed employees are unreliable to a company.

Fortune 500 companies have significantly higher levels of employee commitment. Workers at these companies give management higher ratings on issues of business ethics, innovation and competitiveness. The TNS study which surveyed 20,000 workers across 33 countries exposes the level of commitment in employees globally. It classified employees as 'ambassadors', 'company oriented', 'career-oriented' and 'disengaged' to measure the level of their commitment.

The survey revealed that globally there are 44 per cent of ambassadors (the most committed - those who are fully committed to the company and to their work.), 8 per cent of company-oriented workers (the next most committed group, which includes those who are fully committed to their company - more so than their work and career.), 14 per cent of career-oriented (includes those who are more interested in furthering their career and their needs over the needs of the company) and 35 per cent of disengaged (the employee segment that no company wants, but has in abundance. They are neither committed to their company nor to their career.)

While not everyone can or will become an ambassador, it appears from TNS study that enhancing those factors that drive ambassador commitment would increase the commitment of all other segments. Commitment is a two-way process and one must go the extra mile to create and maintain it. Do not forget the fundamental fact that commitment, trust and empowerment go hand-in-hand. It is probably the only way to achieve true corporate excellence.



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