How to Move Employees from Compliance to Commitment

Employees have an obligation to show up and do their work – but how do you shift this from feeling like an obligation to feeling like a calling? How can you inspire loyalty and commitment amongst your staff beyond their job description?

Engaged employees are committed to achieving goals, performing beyond expectations, and turning in a high standard of work. They are dedicated to the company, and understand how their role and work impacts the bigger picture. In short, engaged employees don’t strive for success because they have to – but because they want to.

Helping employees make the switch

The simple fact is an organisation can’t force engagement. Employees have to want to commit to a company and their work, and it is here that you as leader can play a key role in:

a. Clearly communicating why

Why should employees want to go above and beyond, and why should they feel excited and committed to the success of the company? Too often, a organisation’s principles and ideals are hidden in corporate literature, and not at the forefront of daily operations. By ensuring staff know why they are undertaking the work, you can help them become enthused about and committed to doing so.

b. Displaying a sense of pride

What has the company overcome, or achieved so far? What difference has it made? Why should employees feel proud to work here? Make this information known, and you’ll see staff develop their own sense of pride about being part of such an institution.

c. Make them feel valued

One of the key things that can cause employees to “switch off” is not feeling like their work is valued, and that they are replaceable. By making them feel like an intrinsic member of the team that is contributing valuable work, you can help employees feel more committed to the cause.

Compliant employees take orders and follow instructions. Engaged employees look for solutions, seek out challenges, and offer insight into processes that can improve performance and productivity. Furthermore, they don’t need to be reminded or constantly managed – they are capable of working independently, which can be a big advantage for you as a manager.

One volunteer is worth ten forced men.

African proverb
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