Difference Between Organizational Commitment And Employee Engagement | 4 mins read

Differences Between Organizational Commitment and Employee Engagement

differences between organizational commitment and employee engagement
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

Introduction

Both employee engagement and organizational commitment are necessary for businesses to understand and invest in. The difference between organizational commitment and employee engagement is that while employee engagement drives organizational commitment, organizational commitment necessitates employee engagement.

What is Organizational Commitment?

Organizational commitment is defined as an employee's emotional attachment to a business. A high commitment employee is an invaluable asset for a business. A high organizational commitment employee is much more likely to stay at your company long term and serve as an example of organizational commitment for other employees.

A high commitment employee will be excited to work at your business. These employees are proud of their business and can also serve as great brand ambassadors or customer service representatives due to their strong emotional attachment to your company and its values.

To create a company culture of commitment organization your human resource department should implement employee opportunities including teambuilding activities and incentivization programs. A high attachment organization that heavily invests in their employees will have significant bottom line profit increases.

Characteristics of an employee with high levels of organizational commitment include-

  • Willingness to go above what is expected on behalf of the business
  • Strong emotional attachment to and acceptance of business objectives and values
  • An intention and desire to stay employed at the business long term
Although an employee with high levels of organizational commitment may appear to be most ideal for a business, there is more to consider. Employee engagement is a crucial aspect of overall employee productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency in the workplace.

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What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is defined as the intersection point of sustainable high performance for both a company and an individual employee. Employee engagement is a form of intrinsic motivation. While employee engagement is not motivated by the business itself, it directly benefits the business.

A highly engaged employee has great commitment and strong emotional attachment towards their role. For an employee to be an engaged employee they do not need to have an engagement commitment to the organization beyond the ways in which it directly relates to their job functions.

In other words, an engaged employee may not be particularly interested in the business at which they have their role but they will be highly engaged in their role in whatever business they are currently employed. An example would be a nonprofit organization employee who loves her role as a program manager but may not be attached to the particular nonprofit where she is currently employed.

However, an organization may benefit from an engaged employee greatly as an engaged employee is likely to perform their role well and have a higher level of job satisfaction in regards to their job description. When a role is performed well because of intrinsic motivation and a strong emotional attachment the product of that highly engaged work is more ideal.

How Do They Differ?

While the terms organizational commitment and employee engagement are often used interchangeably they possess notable differences. While a high organizational commitment employee may feel very proud to work for your company they may not possess the intrinsic motivation that a high employee engagement employee has.

Although every commited organization desires employees who feel a strong emotional connection to your particular business objectives and values if an employee has a high level of organizational commitment but no intrinsic motivation they may not produce great quality work.

An ideal committed employee would have both high employee engagement and organizational commitment level. High level engagement commitment employees will possess an emotional attachment to both their individual role and your business.

This optimal intersecting point between organizational commitment and employee engagement is where high level engagement work occurs. Although there is a large difference between organizational commitment and employee engagement it is possible to find the ideal balance between both.

Conclusion

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  • Although they are often used interchangeably it is important for business professionals to recognize the difference between organizational commitment and employee engagement.
  • Employee retention rates are boosted by employees who have high organizational commitment levels as these employees feel a strong emotional attachment to their committed organization itself.
  • Consider employees with high organizational commitment levels for positions that require them to be brand ambassadors or customer service representatives. Make sure you reciprocate their efforts as a committed organization that fosters employee loyalty.
  • Employees with high organizational commitment may look for a long term career at your company and attempt to develop alongside the business.
  • In order to increase organizational commitment always look to reward and incentivize employees and team build whenever possible.
  • Employee engagement occurs when an employee has a strong emotional attachment to their specific role.
  • High employee commitment to their job description and its functions will ultimately produce better quality work than a low employee commitment employee.
  • Employee engagement does not necessarily correlate with the organization commitment as an employee can be motivated to do well in their role without having a strong emotional attachment to the business at which they are currently employed. However, when an engaged employee does a great job and produces ideal work, the business will profit greatly.
  • The most optimal engagement work happens when there is a balance between organizational commitment and employee engagement levels.
  • A top talent committed employee would have both high employee engagement and organizational commitment levels.

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