Guide - Having a committed team
What is commitment?
One of the Internet definitions for "Commitment is "Obligation contracted by a person who commits or is committed to something".
However, when we talk about employee Commitment in the company they work for, the "obligation" part tends to be replaced with something closer to voluntary.
Usually, the main objective of a company is to be profitable and to expand its business in a sustainable manner. The person in charge will make that final objective well known within the company. It is reasonable that this purpose is shared (in so many words and from a personal perspective) with the people who work in the company, since their ongoing employment depends significantly on the results obtained.
Today, there is a new generation of workers who have other concerns and priorities. They are not solely concerned with a good salary or a promotion and in order for a company to gain their commitment they require a more emotional connection.
If employees can be fully engaged, regardless of their generation, they are more likely to put all of their effort into ensuring the company's success. This will most probably have a direct impact on the companyy’s productivity and profitability levels. Makes you think, right?
What benefits does the team get?
To get a team to feel in touch with the company it works for, you have to approach the task from several fronts. You have to get employees to share in the culture of the company, ensure their working conditions are optimal and connect with them emotionally.
Although it is demanding, getting the workers committed to the company has a series of advantages that makes the effort very much worthwhile.
- Keeping talent: as a rule, a committed person will show higher productivity than the rest of his/hercolleagues. This makes the company strive to recognize and care for an employee who has proven valuable over time; which in turn reduces the likelihood of him/her leaving the company.
- Lower absence rates: When an employee has a strong bond to his/her company he/she will do everything possible to avoid missing work. This doesn’t mean that the company would let you come to work if you were ill, but that the employee would most likely turn up to work at times when others would stay away.
- Delivering on time: there are occasions when a project comes up against unforeseen obstacles that lead to a delay in delivery. A non-commital employee would simply not deliver on the set date and give reasons that did not depend directly on him. However, an employee with a high level of commitment will do everything possible to make it happen on time.
- Increased client loyalty: the level of commitment of an employee can be especially important in those sectors where customer service is one of the fundamental pillars of their activity. A worker who identifies with the company will do everything he/she possibly can to ensure that the client goes away with a very high opinion of the company.
- Better perfromance: as previously mentioned, an employee with a high level of commitment will be more productive and show more interest in the company’s success. Therefore, if a high percentage of workers are really engaged, the impact they will have on the company's results will be very significant.
How can we increase the level of commitment within a team?
Commitment, like many of the variables measured by TeamEQ, isn’t something you can just process like an order. A leader cannot simply say to an employee “you have to be more committed” and hope that such a simple message will have the desired effect.
It is important therefore to try to find the best way of getting employees to feel a strong level of commitment to the company in a natural and genuine way.
- Company culture: when we talk about connecting with the employee from their emotional side, the culture and values of the company will play a fundamental role. It is important that these are well defined, and that employees find out for themselves whether they align or not with their own personal values. From this point on the company mission and values should be referred to regularly so that they can be reminded of why they are doing what they do.
- Autonomy: these days, especially when we talk about the Millenials, employees value independent and responsible decision making in the workplace above all else. When the company shows sufficient confidence in its workers to allow them to manage their area of responsibility autonomously, this trust will be returned as the employees demonstrate a greater sense of belonging and commitment to the company.
- Feeling of belonging: to encourage a commitment to the company it is essential that employees feel sincerely and genuinely part of it. If they feel important within the organization, and see that their opinion is valued, they will perceive the company as if it were a "small part of them". If you manage to generate this feeling to the organization and your team, you will get them involved on many levels and drive that company, which is "a small part of them", towards success.
- Training: "There is only one thing worse than training your employees and them leaving ... not training your employees and them staying." This phrase by Henry Ford reflects the importance of training and the positive impact that it can have on a company. If employees see that the company is willing to invest in their professional training, and run the risk that they might still leave the company, they are more likely to be more committed to returning that effort.
Specific action points to be aware of.
1. COMPANY VALUES
When the company culture is defined, it is important to share it with employees and ensure that its values are constantly present in the daily life of the workforce. This ensures that workers can reflect on whether their own values are genuinely in line with the companies they work for. A good route to take would be regularly explaining these values in meetings, or sharing visual input (posters or cards) that illustrates the organisation’s values…
2. INFORMATION SHARING
The act of sharing relevant information about what is happening in the company increases the positive feeling of belonging. This doesn’t mean all information has to be shared, only that which is useful and interesting and which can be understood and absorbed.
Delegation is one of the most complicated tasks but also one of the most rewarding within the company. It implies that the person delegating has high levels of confidence and that the person receiving the tasks is motivated and committed. It is very important to work out who to delegate each task to so that employees feel that they are being recognized for certain skills rather than having unwanted tasks offloaded onto them by the boss who doesn’t want to do them.
4. REWARD AND CELEBRATE
When an objective is met, a proposal is put to good use or an employee receives a promotion, it is important to celebrate as a team to show that the company is happy about the success of its employees. Sometimes a congratulatory e-mail is enough, a brief meeting / breakfast of 15 minutes to explain the reason for the celebration…
5. WORK / LIFE BALANCE
If employees think that the company cares for them, they will care about the company. A very effective way to strengthen this commitment is to be the first to show it. That is why it is advisable to reflect on how the company can help emplyees create a good balance between their personal and professional life. Offering the possibility of remote working, supporting employees with children, creating flexible schedules ...
6. LEADING BY EXAMPLE
For an employee to make a convincing commitment to the company it is important that he or she feels that the organization is concerned and open to listening. The team leaders must be the first to show their commitment to the company. A convinced and committed leader will be able to get the members of his team "on board" more easily and as such the entire team involved in helping the company to succeed.
Commitment is one of those variables that cannot be managed as an order, but must be generated through a feeling of belonging to the organization. If employees are deeply committed to the company, the return to the company will be huge: more involved employees, more stable teams, fewer workers leaving the company, higher overall productivity ...
To achieve this, the company culture and values need to be very clearly defined, so that each employee can see if they align with their own. The company must show a high level of involvement with its employees, sharing information with them, offering training, and delegating tasks to promote individual autonomy. Last but not least the company must facilitate the balance between personal life and professional obligations.
If you want to know more about Commitment, TeamEQ recommends watching these TED talks for guidance and inspiration: