Commitment: The Key Ingredient to Building a Healthy Organization

Commitment is a mandatory ingredient for healthy relationships and organizations. It creates resilience for an organization and is at the core of building trust and loyalty. Commitment is a Key Element of The Relationship Protocol communication model. If you want to build a healthy organization, it's essential to demonstrate your commitment to the organization and your team--regardless of whether you are a manager or team member. 

If you are a manager, you need to show your commitment to your team and the company. 

Simply put, if you want a committed team, you must be a committed manager and hold yourself accountable. Start by demonstrating your commitment to the company and team. Be willing to get involved, share successes, and support the achievement of the team and individuals. When you do this, you foster loyalty and model positive behavior for all employees. 

Next, share the organization's mission with your team . Discuss your expectations and desired outcomes. Then, check in to confirm that your team has received the information correctly and express your support and appreciation of their current efforts. 

You don't need to have a lengthy conversation. However, it's important to let team members know that they are valued members of the organization. Your positive comments will be not only motivating, but they can add to their confidence, sense of belonging, and overall self-esteem. Also, invite them to share their opinion and be open to feedback (even if you disagree). Ask them questions, such as how can we improve your experience working here? Do you feel our organization values your work? Do you feel challenged in your position? Are you expanding your career capabilities? 

Team members perceive managers as lacking commitment when:

  • there is poor or limited communication around the organization's mission, expectations, or outcomes;
  • employees don't feel valued;
  • employees feel disrespected;
  • employees feel like their opinions don't matter;
  • employees are not encouraged to work independently; or 
  • employees are not challenged to be innovative or enhance personal skills.

As a manager, you have the power to develop a positive culture within your company. That culture begins with you showing and modeling your commitment to your staff and the organization. By taking these steps, you foster an environment for team success. Remember, team members want to feel like they matter, and they are part of the bigger picture -- a part of something that matters. Actively demonstrating your commitment enhances everyone's experience at the organization.

Team members must also demonstrate their commitment. 

If you are a team member or employee who takes pride in your work and desires recognition for your efforts within the organization, then you'll want to actively show your commitment to your team and the company. This is how you develop trust and make connections. As a committed team member, it's important to show up with a positive mindset and be responsible and motivated.

A responsible employee completes tasks on time, works independently, and has a strong desire to be a part of the organization -- all of which demonstrate your commitment. Knowing that you are part of something larger than yourself hopefully keeps you positively engaged. And your engagement can help motivate your colleagues.

Keep in mind that your commitment is also a trust-builder. It's not magic; trust will build over time with each interaction. For example, suppose you're working remotely, and you have repeatedly shown your manager that you care about your work and your position at the company. If you're away from your computer for an extended period during the day (maybe you went for a coffee break or had to run to the bank), your manager will be less likely to assume that you are slacking off. Trust developed over time because you had a positive attitude, cared about your work, and were reliable. 

Finally, consider how you express your commitment and appreciation to your manager. They would likely welcome hearing your positive thoughts about your work or your experience at the company. You might mention how you appreciate the opportunity to work on an important project or how much you value their feedback. Managers usually hear more complaints than compliments or encouraging comments, so don't hold back if you have something nice to say, as long as it's authentic. 

Managers perceive employees as lacking commitment when:  

  • their behavior is inconsistent and unreliable
  • their attitude comes across as negative, gossipy, or untrustworthy 
  • they seem to not care about the quality of their work
  • they don't appear willing to go above and beyond what is required, or 
  • they frequently find excuses for missing deadlines without valid reasons.

Regardless of your role, you create a foundation of trust and safety when you demonstrate your commitment to your work and co-workers. Your commitment and a 'we are in this together' mindset will encourage deeper loyalty, good faith, and trust. It also creates opportunities for innovation and a more enjoyable work environment.


©Copyright 2022 Debra Roberts, LCSW All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

A version of this article was initially published on as: We Are in This Together/ (What Managers and Team Members Must Do to Build a Healthy Organization: Working together as one is key. Here's the first step.)