Jun 27, 2007

Attrition, Engagement and Commitment

Regina Miller in her column spells out the difference...

It takes very special companies to create environments were employees are committed to their work, the company and the brand. I seem to hear less and less about trying to create a committed workforce. I hear much more about and an engaged workforce. Do both engagement and commitment create the loyalty employers are now once again striving for? Does one engender more loyalty than the other? So does engagement become the default for commitment?

Whatever the difference be, pick one and stick with it. Your employer brand depends on your employees as advocates about how excited they are to work in an organisation as cool as yours– that cares about engaging people at work and that at the end of the day relies on engaged and committed employees to make the brand come to life for customers.

Organizations I think should strive for engagement since for Gen Y and X, commitment might be unthinkable at least from the work context. Commitment is missing from the Indian workplace specially private enterprises post-liberalisation. And one sided commitment is never fair.

So engagement it has got to be. And that is something that has to be worked at by both sides of the equation. Organizations need to continually strive to make employees more engaged and employees also need to engaged to work on a daily and even hourly basis.

However, starting a relationship means both parties have got to view the other as equals and draconian non-compete clauses or forced bank guarantees are not the way to go forward. They essentially state to all the prospective employees "We don't trust you". That can sound the death-knell for workplace morale and culture.

It is also a sure way of hurting your employment brand in a market where the war for talent is on at full swing.

In addition, it also ensures that your ex-employees will never be your goodwill ambassadors!