HR file: Want committed employees? Focus on identity

It is often said that there is a limit to loyalty in organisations but does loyalty really matter, asks Ali Fenwick

My research shows that instilling a sense of belonging, providing meaningful work, and enabling employees to identify with their organisations are all paramount to enhancing workplace commitment as well as performance.

Employee loyalty in the traditional sense

The traditional model for enhancing employees’ loyalty towards their organisation is based on a social exchange relationship; providing job security in exchange for effort and commitment. This is done through the provision of transactional commodities like salary and benefits and social ones like recognition, support and trust.

However, because dynamic market forces are affecting the labour market and due to the increase of remote working, it is becoming increasingly difficult to forge such commitments based on social exchanges alone. There is an end to loyalty as we once knew it, and new approaches are required to enhance employees’ attachment to their organisations. Despite this the foundation upon which most managers seek to enhance organisational commitment and employee performance is through transactional methods.

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