The role of personality in employee commitment

07 December 2018

Most people would like to work in a place where they can participate and give them rewarding feelings. This aspiration is embodied in a famous statement by Steve Jobs: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

 

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Similarly, scientific evidence suggests that when employees are engaged they show high levels of enthusiasm, energy and motivation, which translates into higher levels of job performance, creativity and productivity. On the contrary, low participation results in exhaustion, higher turnover levels and counterproductive work behaviour such as bullying and fraud.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a large amount of research has been dedicated to identifying the key determinants of engagement. Why are some people more committed than others?

 

What makes an employee happy

Although there is no universal formula to engage employees, it is true that people will feel more enthusiastic about their work when they have the ability to achieve something significant beyond their expectations and feel connected with others: a fair, ethical and rewarding job.

 

The role of an employee’s personality

However, the way people feel about their work can also vary based on their character traits. Two people can have very different levels of commitment, even when their work situation is almost identical, which is why there is always demand for employees who show constant levels of ambition, energy and dedication, regardless of the situation in which they find themselves.

A recent study provides some answers. The researchers set out to estimate the extent to which people differ in commitment due to their character traits, with staggering results: people’s personality could predict almost 50% of the variability in commitment.

In particular, four traits: affection, proactivity, conscience and extroversion. In combination, these traits represent some of the central ingredients of emotional intelligence and resilience.

 

The culture of an organization are its employees

Organizations are not a collection of individuals, they are coordinated groups with shared identity, norms and purposes. Therefore, commitment represents the “added cultural value” that an organization provides to its employees at work, configuring their energy, behaviour and attitudes above their personal preferences and styles.

To truly understand the commitment in your organization, we must analyse who our people are and what they think about our work.

 

By TBS Barcelona Library

Source: Harvard Business Review

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