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Management Commitment to Employees and Its Returns

In any organization, and in particular in any service-oriented business, management commitment to employees and to service quality, directly influences employee commitment to the organization and how employees perceive service quality.

The negative is easily understood – when a manager doesn't care about employees or service quality of the business, then employees would cease caring about service quality. However, the positive is rarely explored – when managers exhibit high levels of commitment towards employees and towards service quality, it not only enhances employee perception of service quality, but also influences employee commitment towards the organization and increases it exponentially.

Blunt managers make employees feel like tools that are instantly replaceable, creating a psychologically coercive environment where even incentives or bargaining is sought to be forced with hidden blackmail.

If you don't do this you lose your job, you won't get an experience certificate, there would be no future left for you, and so on and so forth. This is extracting employee labor, and not creating a situation where the employee works out of his/her own accord for the betterment of self and organization. There is no persuasion in such techniques, but only coercion presented in a package paying lip service to ethics. In such a situation, delivery of service is possible, but not excellence in service. So, businesses lose the competitive edge.

For highly ethical employees, the managerial style presented in the above paragraph, corrodes and destroys motivation, wipes out organizational credibility, and the employee starts looking at the organization as his/her last alternative, because that is what the manager made him/her feel – this is your last alternative.

On the other hand, managers who stress upon service quality, show their commitment to the organization, and work with employees in developing solutions and delivering services, highly increase employee commitment to the organization. The employee is assured of being recognized when he/she is doing an extra mile and ensuring service excellence beyond the scope of his/her work. Businesses in this situation gain a competitive edge.

Where it affects the bottomline of business, and it happens all the time. Service companies strive to attract and retain valued customers and try to improve their bottom lines by delivery high-quality service. However, it's time for companies to realize that a solid and loyal customer base is close to impossible without loyal employees.

Frontline employees are organizational representatives who directly interact with customers and establishes bridges between a business and its customer base. Attitudes and behaviors of frontline employees directly influence customer perceptions of promised and delivered service quality. It also influences future purchase decisions of customers.

Therefore, the retention of committed employees who have high ethics is pivotal for the survival of service businesses.

Employees develop organization commitment over time depending upon managerial style and when they find that the management is concerned about employee satisfaction and employee career development.

The question is not about job security or about job tenure or how long an employee continues in the same organization. It is good, if an employee continues over a longer period of time, because it leads to better resource optimization like a long-time loan at low interest. However, what is more important today is that an employee exhibit high affective commitment to the organization, and strives to deliver service excellence as long as he/she is on the job. This affects the bottom line of business, and is a direct result of managerial style, as well as managerial commitment towards the organization and towards delivery of service.

  1. Ping He, Suzanne K. Murmann, and Richard R. Perdue, "Management Commitment and Employee Perceived Service Quality: The Mediating Role of Affective Commitment," Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship 17, no. 3 (2012)
  2. Ruth W. Grant, Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012)