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Improving Employee Commitment - 8 Ways to Describe and Encourage Loyalty, Dedication, and Devotion

By Barbara Brown, Ph.D.

A lot of changes are happening in your organization. Turnover is high, productivity is low, and morale is mediocre. But management has a new attitude, changes are occurring, and things are getting better. However, your organization's success depends on employees being loyal, dedicated, and devoted. In other words, everyone has to be "committed" to doing a great job. Your task is to tell your employees what it means to be committed.

If this scenario is familiar, you want to give employees specific examples of behaviors that represent commitment. The following eight behaviors can help you do that. If this is not your scenario, consider incorporating these eight behaviors during discussions about overcoming obstacles, achieving results, and pursuing goals. Committed employees, who demonstrate the "right" kind of behaviors, can help you during good times and bad.

8 Commitment Behaviors

1. Makes adjustments in workloads in order to successfully complete assignments.

2. Makes adjustments in work hours in order to successfully complete assignments.

3. Persists in completing assignments; even when difficulties arise.

4. Finds alternative ways to get things done; especially when encountering obstacles to successful performance.

5. Stays focused on tasks; not letting workplace distractions impact successful performance.

6. Perseveres in finding solutions to problems; even when setbacks occur.

7. Supports workplace changes; even when changes are unpopular or unanticipated.

8. Supports team, office, or organizational decisions; even if "personal recommendations" were not part of the final decisions.

Create Your Own "Commitment" Behaviors

If the commitment behaviors you need employees to exhibit are not on this list, create your own. How?

First, think about what "commitment" means to you. If the scenario in the opening paragraph doesn't match your current experiences, write your own scenario.

Second, identify WHY you want employees to be committed. Will their behaviors help you increase sales, reduce errors, or eliminate backlogs?

Match the behaviors you want employees to exhibit to the positive results you would like to see. This allows you to identify critical behaviors and ensures that those behaviors will lead to desired outcomes.

When You Describe Behaviors, You Reduce Misunderstandings

When you tell employees WHAT you want them to do and WHY, you get better results. This is true whether you are talking about a trait like commitment or a skill like writing. So the next time you are trying to motivate your employees to be more loyal, dedicated, and devoted (i.e. committed), tell them exactly what "commitment" means to you. Give them some specific examples of commitment behaviors. And don't forget to tell them WHY those behaviors are important. The results you get may even "exceed" your performance expectations.

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Barbara Brown, PhD shows managers how to improve employee performance by linking performance to results. She publishes handbooks that contain phrases for linking employee performance to workplace results. Dr. Brown also offers E-Courses and E-Consulting as well as onsite training and consulting. Click on "FREE STUFF" at her website to download tools to manage performance discussions. Website: Email:

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