Employee Engagement, Organizational Commitment, and Dedication

Yesterday I shot out a blog about being dedicated to what ever you do. It got me thinking about (which I do a lot) employee engagement and organizational commitment.

Several years ago in a self-directed Bachelor’s class, I did a study and research paper on Organizational Commitment. Over the last few years, Employee Engagement seems to be the new buzz word. I think; however, that they are slightly different.

Clearly when we talk about commitment, we’re talking about how dedicated the employee is to the organization and maybe a little of dedication back to the employee. I always like the analogy between the chicken and the pig. The chicken is dedicated to breakfast and the pig is committed.

My paper focused on the level of commitment that military members have to their job (i.e., their country) and how they are willing to sacrifice their lives for that commitment.

Engagement is much more a two-way street and doesn’t even sound like dedication to me. If the pig is committed and the chicken is dedicated, then the orange tree is engaged. Engagement seems more about involvement and choice versus an expectation to come to work and give it your all.

Have we sold out our expectations to employee engagement over organizational commitment? I want heroes at work who will work hard and dedicate themselves to the company and the mission. I’m not looking for the ultimate sacrifice, but clearly I would more desire employees that are willing to invest in their jobs versus ones that are simply more involved.

Just a little consideration on a thoughtful Thursday about the bar we seem to be lowering when it comes to employee expectation.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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