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Committed to the cause

 

WHILE a recent survey showed that Australians were more committed to their job and their company than most of their international colleagues, the question for most managers remains … what keeps staff committed?

The survey, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres and reported in last week’s WA Business News, found that 46 per cent of full-time Australian employees were committed to both their job and their company.

Human resource managers agree that giving employees ownership of their tasks appears to be the best way of ensuring commitment to both the job and the employer.

Taylor Nelson Sofres social and government research director Murray Benton said the results from the Australian portion of the survey showed that people who were committed to both the job and company were more likely to rate their workplace highly on the following attributes:

p managers help employees to be successful at their job;

p there are opportunities for advancement within the company;

p employees are encouraged to be innovative;

p people at work have a real interest in others’ well being; and

p the company is seen as the best at what it does.

“What this suggests is that employers should endeavour to provide these things in the workplace if they wish to keep their employees committed,” Mr Benton said.

AJ Durack Management principal Tony Durack said commitment came through ownership.

“That ownership comes through keeping employees involved in the process or the company. That way employees can see that they are making a contribution,” he said.

Mr Durack said managers could benefit from asking employees how they felt about their workplace and what could be done to improve them.

“That helps involve them in the process and makes things better for everyone,” he said.

Bell Personnel managing director Judy Anderson said nurturing employees in their jobs was very important.

“Most workplace surveys make it clear that money is often not in the top three factors relating to employee commitment. More often the top three are job satisfaction, good work environment and good career fit or opportunities,” she said.

“Managers can contribute to that commitment by creating an environment where employees are given a fairly free hand to express themselves and even make mistakes, providing they learn from them.

“Many employers are surprised at the results when they give employees the room to move and give them ‘ownership’ of their roles.

“With ownership, of course, must come a level of accountability and responsibility.”

People Innovations executive director Tim Ford said enjoyment played a big part in employee commitment.

“Employees have to enjoy what they are doing. If you don’t enjoy your job you’re not going to be committed to it,” he said.

“You have to understand what a person’s motives are and tap into the psyche of the people who are working for you.

“What they tell you is often different from how they really feel.”

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