Understanding Employee Commitment to Change
Understanding commitment to change (C2C)Commitment to change (C2C), an essential component of a successful change implementation, is best described as a state of mind that ties a person to a particular course of action. C2C is influenced by organizational commitment, and can be thought of as being comprised of three components:
- Affective commitment (AC2C): feelings of attachment to the organization, and desire to support change initiatives.
- Normative commitment (NC2C): sense of obligation to be supportive of the organization’s plans for change.
- Continuance commitment (CC2C): fear of costs of leaving or resisting organizational changes.
How components of C2C influence successEach of the components of C2C relate to the antecedents and outcomes of change initiatives. The three components of commitment to change have real and robust relationships with important organizational outcomes such as improved performance, learning, and implementation success, which are all important for presenting a positive view of the particular change to customers.
Overall recommendations for improving C2CUnderstanding and managing C2C is crucial to successful change implementation. Some of the most important steps an organization can take to improve commitment to change include:
- Illustrating to employees how change implementations relate to the “big picture” or overall vision and direction for the organization
- Making efforts to help employees understand the relationship of the change initiatives to the overall success of the organization
- Maintaining strong relationships between employees and management helps employees feel more attached, which makes them feel more obligated to support change initiatives
- Motivating employees in anticipation of change initiatives should be included as part of an implementation plan
DeGarmoThis was a summary of the research and practice implications from: Parish, J.T., Cadwallader, S., & Busch, P. (2008). Want to, need to, ought to: Employee commitment to organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(1), 32-52.