‘Engaged workers are not necessarily committed to organization’

May 14th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 14 (ANI): Experts have debunked the notion that highly engaged workers will stay committed to the organisation despite diminishing resources.

Clemson University psychology professor Thomas Britt said that there is a difference between an engaged worker, meaning one who invests himself or herself in superior job performance, and organizational commitment, a worker’s psychological attachment to his or her organization or employer.

“When the economy is experiencing a general downturn, it may be unlikely that engaged employees low in organizational commitment can find another position. But if they do have the opportunity to change jobs they will,” he said.

“Managers who fail to position employees to be effective in their roles and provide organizational support may lose their most talented and energetic people.

“The ones who stay behind may well be the ones who just don’t care,” he added.

Britt said that engaged workers are highly attuned to aspects of their work environment that either will facilitate or thwart job performance.

If the workers are not getting the resources they feel they need to perform at their best, their engagement may be diminished.

“Engaged workers are more likely to place importance on being able to perform well because their performance matters to them ahead of corporate loyalty,” he added.

Britt said barriers to engaged workers’ peak performance may include lack of budget and equipment support, access to important information, work overload, unclear objectives and goals and assigning employees tasks that don’t fit their training. The study has found that employees are more engaged when their leaders provide clear guidelines for job performance, which gives the employees a greater feeling of clarity and control over what they were supposed to do.

Britt said that work overload leads to lower levels of morale and job satisfaction. The workers who care most about their work feel they are not performing to their full capability because they have so much to do that they cannot do anything well.

He said that managers need to balance the pressure from their bosses to do more with less against motivating and keeping their employees engaged in their work and in the organization.

This becomes more important when work forces are reduced and employees are asked to increase their work output, especially work that reaches beyond the scope of their jobs and their capabilities.

The study appears in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. (ANI)

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