Re-imagining the workplace: The paradox of commitment in the workplace: Part 2

Therefore, it is the level at which employees are enthusiastic about going to work, being at work, and the duties they do at work.

Ok, so word of mouth has it that employees are no longer committed to their work, that given the chance most employees would choose to be absent from work or to come up with excuses either of getting to work late or leaving work early.

Taxi drivers, vendors, and so on seem to be more committed to what they do than people who are formally employed. How did it get to this?

Well, let us explore further and find out.

Before we go any further, do we even know what we are talking of?

To make sure we are on the same boat, let’s start off by defining what we mean when we are talking about the concept of commitment in the workplace. Commitment to one’s work refers to an employee's enthusiasm for the responsibilities allocated to him or her at work. It is the sense of obligation someone has toward the objectives, mission, values, and vision of the organisation they are associated with.

Therefore, it is the level at which employees are enthusiastic about going to work, being at work, and the duties they do at work.

Now, looking at what makes employees commit to their workplaces.

There are several factors that make employees commit to their work and become the best ambassadors of their organisations, these include but are not limited to, growth expectations, well-being, work relationships, meaningful work, business ethic, general working conditions, salary and benefits, and trust in the organisation. Let’s look at a few of these factors.

When looking at well-being in Zimbabwe, we have observed that most companies do not really consider the well-being of their employees.

Intern/attachment students have cried out on the issue of well-being and how employees do not foster their well-being. Intern students have become a scapegoat for organisations, in the sense that they do not hire qualified personnel for the job but rather choose to give interns jobs in a way of reducing costs, and the interns when they enter the corporate world they are met with a heavy workload, long working hours, unrealistic targets, and so on

Most interns are not committed to their jobs, but due to the demands of securing an internship in time, they have to endure the internship. In his 2021 article, Kudzai Mashininga wrote: “Zimbabwean students in work-related learning are overworked and underpaid, with most local companies engaging them as cheap labour, students and labour union leaders claim.”

After these claims, we can say it’s tough out there. Businesses should put effort into making sure their employees are committed. Ensuring their well-being is a good way to start. No one what’s to work unrealistic hours, employees should do better.

The general working conditions are crucial as well in ensuring employee commitment in the workplace. The environment in which the duties of the employment are performed, both physically and mentally are a crucial consideration. All materials and resources required for proper performance must be made available by the organisation, along with complete security. Employees need to create good working conditions for their employees, but this is not the case in this modern world.

Who doesn’t want to grow, or rise above the ranks? Employees need to understand that they won't be stuck doing the same responsibilities at work forever.

Long-term, clear internal advancement prospects are a fantastic method to appreciate employees and increase employee enthusiasm. Commitment levels lower when employees in the organisation feel there is no room for advancement in the workplace. It is human nature to grow, you remove that in organisations then it’s bye-bye employee commitment. Opportunities for career advancement go hand in hand with employee ownership and commitment.

Workers that have opportunities for progress could be more dedicated to establishing themselves and sticking with your company. Consider programs for work rotation, promotions, and education help if you wish to offer options for professional growth.

Interpersonal relationships, both horizontal and vertical, have a significant role in determining how committed individuals are to their jobs. Most studies, including this one from the Journal of Education and Practice (2020), have found a link between high levels of involvement and fair treatment, cooperation, respect, and teamwork. We will not discard organisations that are doing a good job, by conducting employee engagement surveys in order to work on the feedback they receive from employees. Other organisations choose to turn a blind eye to these matters.

For there to be a commitment in the workplace, salaries, and benefits must be consistent and fair with performance and the position. Let us look at teachers, for instance, when we talk of commitment, we can agree that most teachers are not committed to their work or there is less commitment to the workplace. Most teachers would rather miss a day at school and find time for extra lessons. Teachers’ commitment has shifted from the workplace to being committed to their personal after-school lessons. Who wouldn’t? Imagine havinUS$5 weekly, it is a lot of money.

Employee happiness and team morale are more likely to be higher if they feel they are being fairly compensated for the work they do. On the other side, if your staff members believe they are being exploited and underpaid, this can result in a loss of enthusiasm, a rise in absenteeism, and a poisonous work atmosphere.

According to a recent study carried out by Alice Zinyemba, they found out that employee engagement and organizational commitment were correlated through statistical analysis of data. Only 33.8% of the workers were found to be actively involved, according to the study's findings, while the remaining 66.2% had low levels of engagement. It is quite a huge figure, huh, of people that are not committed to their work. Employees that are committed to their jobs contribute value to the company through their tenacity, proactive assistance, comparatively high output, and attention to detail. Workers that are committed to their jobs are also less likely to miss work or quit the company.

The bottom line is it takes time and effort to get a thorough commitment, and surely, businesses should put in these efforts as well. It takes two to tango, which alludes to the relationship of employee and employer. Companies must invest their efforts not just in finding candidates who share their values but also in keeping this talent, which is a challenging undertaking. Companies should know that workers that are committed to their jobs are content and enthusiastic at work and exhibit high levels of productivity. They have good relationships with co-workers, management, customers, and any other relevant parties. They are happy to assist others.

  • Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu’s training is in human resources training, development and transformation, behavioural change, applied drama, personal mastery and mental fitness. He works for a Zimbabwean company as human capital executive, while also doing a PhD with Wits University where he looks at violent strikes in the South African workplace as a researcher. Ndlovu worked as a human resources manager for several blue-chip companies in Zimbabwe and still takes keen interest in the affairs of people and performance management. He can be contacted on [email protected]
  • Co-authored with Kelin Kundai Zvomuya who is an HR consultant at Human Capital Experts and is a holder of a degree in Psychology. Zvomuya has worked as a talent acquisition consultant and is currently an HR consultant. She can be contacted on [email protected]


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