All in a Day’s Work – Commitment Strategy

November 09, 2021
MRA Edge
Engagement & Retention
Talent Management
Zach Day
Director, Surveys, Custom Research & Analytics
Read time: 3 mins

Remote work preferences, wage increases due to competitors publicly promoting wages, or more incentives and bonuses are some of the recent demands employers are hearing from their employees. As more and more positions become available everywhere, more valuable and established employees become more aware of the ability to move elsewhere. As this awareness increases, decommitment begins to brew. At some point in the past two years, the vast majority of employees have asked themselves, “Should I stay or should I go?” Many have left, which has given employers and managers a very understandable fear of who is next.

The attendees of MRA’s Compensation Trend event in September believe that the labor shortage and talent gap will last longer than just this next year (76 percent), with 17 percent of them believing this is a permanent situation. All seem to recognize that the current labor environment will not change for some time, so what can employers do to understand and plan for the inevitable turnover in their organizations?

Traditionally, engagement surveys have been used by employers to understand the opinions of their employees. Using this study, employers hope to identify what employees find satisfying and what is needed for them to invest more into their work, all while understanding what detracts them from doing so. However, the current employment environment indicates that employees are searching for alternative positions that better meet their expectations for wages, benefits, and culture than their current situation provides. If that is the case, employers might not get the opportunity to use survey feedback to correct detractions before seeing their talent leave for more enticing options.


Commitment is what employers and managers want to see. Commitment is the intent to persist in—and the feeling of attachment to—a job and organization, long term. In order to achieve commitment from an employee, an organization needs to understand and assess the value they are offering to the employee. Each person’s commitment to their job is made up of three factors: satisfaction, investment, and the awareness of alternatives. Managing these three factors can help create a foundation of committed employees.


Employee satisfaction, or job satisfaction, is simply how content or satisfied employees are with their jobs. This can be influenced by their relationships at work (especially with management), workload, flexibility, and teammates. Promoting a quality environment and the resources to help employees enjoy their work is the largest contributor towards commitment to an organization.


Another term for this is engagement. Investment is the emotional connection employees have to the organization, its goals, or to the stake they have in their work. Building a strong culture that allows an understanding of an individual’s role in achieving the company’s goals will help create an invested employee.

Awareness of Alternatives

In order to prevent interest in alternatives, you need information. Understanding what other employers are doing to attract, retain, and satisfy their employee population provides insight for how your organization compares to others. For example, learn how your total rewards package compares to similar employers to help understand where there are opportunities to improve and prevent your employees’ desire to look elsewhere.

Commitment is not an exact chemistry. Each employee population is different and so is the way you evaluate your organization. To retain employees, long term, understanding how they view your organization’s total rewards offering and culture will help you focus attention on the areas in need of improvement and help to foster more committed employees. There is comfort in learning this information first-hand, and that knowledge will circumvent preventable turnover while helping you accept the inevitable turnover.