On the other hand, examines the focal individual’s commitment towards the company and the broader environment where the individual has less control.
Based on extensive past research in the area, the following sub-drivers of employee affinity can be applied across most organizations and industries:
Business Outlook: In weighing their commitment to an organization, employees often factor in the direction and outlook of an organization’s development; this is likely even more relevant to the top strata of employees in terms of professional capabilities and potential. This thus indicates a strong need for effective buy-in via internal corporate communications. Just as with managing external stakeholders, timely clarification of the company’s moves and initiatives will help align employees’ perceptions and thus increase employee’s commitment to the company.
Organization Values & Goals: Values and goals, albeit abstract, lie at the center of an organization’s identity. Just as the company’s customers and employees, employees also base their construction of the company to a large extent on what the company stands for – its values and goals. Leadership that steers the company in directions in accordance with the values and goals will drive commitment on the part of the employees.
Leadership: Stories of charismatic leaders who lead their companies to glory are abundant in the entrepreneurship and business literature; the allure of these leader figures lies in the faith they inspire in others. Similarly, employees tend to be more committed to a company when it is led by whom they perceive to be charismatic and competent leaders. This calls for cautious management in the event of major leadership changes in a company.
Communication: Structured and unhindered communication of essential information among departments and among management levels is vital in keeping employees in tune with company developments. Being kept in the loop about the bigger picture will in turn drive employee’s affinity with the organization, making them more committed to the company.
Compensation & Benefits: Traditionally, many companies adopt a ‘black-box’ approach to compensation and benefits; the sanctity of which is protected by a policy of confidentiality. In reality, absolute confidentiality is an unrealistic expectation. Anecdotal anomalies and unexplained disparities in compensations more often than not lead to speculations and dissonance among employees. An alternative to approach is establishing and communicating clear policies for compensation-derivation; such that employees’ attention can instead be focused on achieving higher compensation in accordance to the stated policies. Visibility in the compensation scheme aligns employees’ expectations and in turn drives employee’s commitment to the company.