5 tips for more employee commitment

When employees feel connected to the company, they are happier, more productive and stay in their job longer. But how do you increase and maintain a team's commitment? We reveal 5 measures that lead to greater employee loyalty.

Mavie editorial team27/03/2024


Table of contents:

  • What is employee commitment?
  • Employee commitment is falling
  • What are the consequences of low employee commitment?
  • 5 tips that increase employee commitment
  • What are the benefits of increased employee commitment?
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

High staff turnover, frequent sickness absence, quiet quitting - these terms cause deep worry lines among managers and HR experts. All three of these phenomena have their roots in the same problem: a lack of commitment within the team.

What is employee commitment?

Employee retention refers to the loyalty of employees to their company and the psychological attitude of each individual towards their employer.

In the specialist literature, a distinction is made between three different types of employee commitment: Affective commitment describes the emotional bond with the company - this is primarily strengthened by positive experiences. Normative commitment describes the moral obligation that each individual feels towards the employer for a variety of reasons. The third type of commitment is calculative commitment, i.e. the weighing up of advantages and disadvantages and the assessment of the personal "costs" that a change of job would entail.

Affective and normative employee commitment are the most important factors for companies. If these two factors are strong, HR teams and managers can assume that their team is committed and motivated to work and that no increased fluctuation rate is to be expected.

Employee commitment is falling

In Germany in 2022, only 13% of employees stated that they felt a high level of emotional attachment to their workplace. 69% reported a low emotional attachment to their employee and 18% of respondents even stated that they were not emotionally attached to their job at all. (Source: Gallup)

This means that employees' emotional attachment to their current employer is at its lowest level since 2012.

What are the consequences of low employee commitment?

If a company's employees feel little commitment to their employer, this can have serious consequences for the company:

  • high fluctuation rates
  • associated costs arising from time-consuming, recurring application processes
  • loss of expertise due to frequent changes within the company
  • reduced productivity due to a lack of motivation and unstable teams
  • increased sick leave

5 measures that increase employee commitment

The crucial question now is: How can you as a company increase the commitment of your employees and keep it at a high level? The magic word is: employee satisfaction. If a team feels valued and supported, then they are also willing to commit to the company.

There are 5 measures that can increase employee satisfaction and therefore employee loyalty in the long term:

  • Clear company goals with purpose
  • Positive corporate and management culture
  • Work-life balance
  • Further training and development opportunities
  • Strong team spirit

We will now explain how each of these measures can have a positive effect on employee engagement.

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1. Clear corporate goals with meaning

Employees should know their company's goals - which is why it is important to communicate them regularly and clearly. Incidentally, goals can be expressed in more than just numbers. The contribution that the company makes to society also ensures that the employee commitment of each individual increases.

Why is that the case? Meaning is a strong intrinsic motivator. People who realise the meaning of their own work work more diligently and with more commitment. There are various measures you can take to promote a sense of purpose among your employees:

  • Explain overarching contexts (the big picture) in meetings so that your employees can categorise their own contribution. This promotes a sense of belonging, orientation and coherence.
  • "Design" assignments for your employees in a meaningful way. Don't just pass tasks on, but translate them for the respective team. This strengthens the loyalty of your employees.
  • Make your employees aware of who feels what effects of their work. This makes it easier for them to experience the significance of their professional activities.
  • Make decisions as comprehensible as possible. Explain to colleagues who were involved in your decision-making process and had a different opinion why you made a different decision. This will get them back on board.

These measures will help your team members to recognise their personal contribution to company goals. Also give your employees regular updates on where the company currently stands. This keeps the "why" behind the daily work in focus and promotes employee loyalty in the long term.

2. Positive corporate and management culture

The corporate culture - and in particular the management culture - also has a major influence on employee commitment and engagement. According to a study by UKG, in which 3,400 people in ten countries were surveyed, 69% of people believe that their manager has a significant influence on their mental health and thus also on their individual well-being.

So what can managers do to increase employee satisfaction? Above all, a positive feedback and error culture that leads to more psychological safety in the team is valued. Amy Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School, defines "psychological safety" as a fear-free environment in which people dare to make mistakes.

Paradoxically, teams in which more mistakes are made perform better. These teams do not generally make more mistakes, but they talk about them openly instead of covering up slip-ups or ignoring mistakes. Dealing openly with mistakes and failures promotes learning, the spirit of innovation and, in the long term, team success. So it's not about not making mistakes - which is not possible anyway - but about dealing constructively with slip-ups.

Julia Schweiger, psychosocial counsellor at Mavie Work, explains the concept as follows: "If no mistakes happen in a team, something is wrong." She has three tips on how managers can establish a positive approach to mistakes and thus increase psychological safety in their department.

  • The right way to deal with mistakes in a team is not to look for blame and assign it to one person. It is better to move from emotion to reflection and to ask yourself as a team whether the mistake could have been avoided and to work together on a process-focussed solution.
  • A manager is also always a role model. If they can admit mistakes and ask for help, this also radiates confidence to the team. It is therefore important that managers reflect on their own attitude to mistakes and avoid perfectionism. Coaching from an expert can provide support here.
  • If employees' ideas are valued and their suggestions are included in the development of solutions, this also contributes to an anxiety-free organisation.

In addition to psychological security, appropriate freedom (no micromanagement) also strengthens the emotional bond with the company and thus employee commitment.

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3. Work-life balance

Clear boundaries with the greatest possible flexibility - that is the formula for success when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance in a post-coronavirus working world. Many employees have learnt to appreciate the newfound flexibility during the years of the pandemic: remote work, working from home on a daily basis and flexitime agreements ensure that work can be increasingly adapted to the respective living conditions.

This flexibility increases the work-life balance, commuters save valuable time and the overall level of avoidable stress decreases. However, in order to maintain a work-life balance while working from home, employees are also required to set clear boundaries and rules. For example: no immediate response should be expected to emails and messages that arrive after hours, at the weekend or while on holiday. Here too, managers in particular are required to act as role models.

An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP programme), which is paid for by the employer, is also seen as valuable support for a better quality of life and less stress. Individual problems can be discussed and solutions identified in personal, confidential counselling sessions. Whether the mental stress is of a professional or private nature is of secondary importance here - the aim is for employees to receive support quickly and unbureaucratically so that they can concentrate better on their job.

If employees experience a real improvement in their work-life balance through health-promoting measures (e.g. EAP programme), this also has a demonstrable impact on employee satisfaction. 59% of employees state that commitment increases when their company offers health programmes (source: Gallup).

4. Further training and development opportunities

Employees feel more committed to companies if they are offered concrete development opportunities that make staying with the company exciting. Internal company development opportunities are particularly attractive if they can be achieved through further training, additional qualifications, etc. within a foreseeable period of time.

Here are some ways to establish further training and development opportunities within the company:

  • Trainee programmes
  • Mentoring/coaching
  • Supervision
  • Peer groups
  • 360-degree feedback
  • Assessment centre

Some companies provide their employees with a certain budget or time quota per year that can be used for individual training measures.

This form of investment in employees primarily increases the calculative commitment, as employees see a clear benefit in staying with the company and developing themselves further here.

5. Strong team spirit

People are social beings - if they feel secure in a community, they are also willing to get involved in this community. In the work context, a strong sense of togetherness is created primarily through shared experiences.

Therefore, create sufficient opportunities for your employees to connect and exchange ideas outside of day-to-day business. Joint lunches, attractive after-work activities, subsidised sports courses and events such as company runs, for example, can provide this framework and ensure a strong social fabric within the team.

These measures can help you to strengthen team spirit:

  • Involve employees in team-building measures (for example in the form of a vote or idea box)
  • Ensure a good atmosphere in the team (this includes clear measures against bullying and support in the event of conflicts, for example through external moderation)
  • Pay attention to common rituals (this also works in remote teams, for example at monthly all-hands meetings)

What are the benefits of increased employee loyalty?
The greater the emotional attachment to the company, the less willing employees are to change jobs. According to a Gallup 2022 survey, 86% of those who feel a high level of loyalty to their employer still want to be with their current company in a year's time (among employees without loyalty, only 20% say they want to stay with the company). Only 2% of people with a high level of loyalty to their employer are currently actively looking for a job (23% of employees without loyalty are looking for a job).

The higher the emotional attachment to the company, the lower the risk of burnout. 60% of employees without an emotional connection to the company state that they are "internally burnt out due to work stress". Only 13% of employees with a high level of attachment make such a statement.

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There are concrete ways and measures to increase employee commitment and thus prevent staff turnover, sickness absence and quiet quitting. The magic word is: employee satisfaction! If you as a company communicate clear corporate goals, establish a positive management culture and offer your team a good work-life balance through flexible working options, employee retention will automatically increase. If there are also attractive training and development opportunities and the employees feel a strong sense of togetherness in the team, you have taken the most important measures to strengthen the commitment of your employees in the long term.


What is employee commitment?

Commitment refers to the attachment of employees to your company. If employee commitment is high, employees are less likely to change jobs, are more committed and conscientious in their work and also take fewer sick days.

What are the consequences of a lack of employee commitment?

A lack of employee loyalty can have serious consequences for the company: High staff turnover rates and associated costs resulting from time-consuming, recurring application processes, loss of expertise due to frequent changes within the company, reduced productivity due to a lack of motivation and unstable teams as well as increased sickness rates, for example due to burn-out.

What measures increase employee loyalty?

The commitment of a team is closely linked to employee satisfaction. To increase this, it is important to communicate clear company goals to employees and establish a positive management culture. Other factors for increasing commitment are a good work-life balance, good training and development opportunities and a strong team spirit, which is strengthened by team events, for example.

Get active now

Our Mavie Counsellors will help you with professional and private issues. Get in touch and make an appointment for a personal counselling (assuming your company has a contract with Mavie). Call our hotline on +43 1 585 388 1 or email: kontakt@maviework.care.
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