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Relationship Capital: The New Workplace Loyalty

What do we mean by employee engagement? An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Employees who are engaged in their work and committed to their business provide companies competitive advantages such as great innovation, higher productivity and lower employee turnover. As a result, businesses of all kinds and sizes have made great investments in policies and practices that encourage engagement and commitment in their personnel.

What actually is employee engagement and commitment today?

This article looks at the ways in which employers and industry advisers define these monikers today, and share ideas and calls out a new solution for building greater employee engagement. If you are a solopreneur, you too want to build greater engagement and commitment from your customers and peers. Though different companies have differing definitions for engagement, some standard messages appear:

Standard messages such as:

  • employees’ satisfaction with their work and high-regard for their employer.
  • the extent to which people enjoy and believe in what they do for work and the perception that their employer values what they bring to the table.

The greater an employee’s engagement, the more inclined he or she is to “go the extra mile” and deliver excellence in job performance.

Also, engaged employees tend to commit to staying with their current company. For instance, Intuit, the large software organization, discovered that highly engaged employees are 1.3 times more likely to be high performers than their less engaged workers. Also, they five times less inclined to leave their firm.

Without a doubt, engagement and commitment can enable greater business performance for a company. To help you obtain the benefits of an engaged, committed workforce at your firm, this article shares the Relationship Capital (RC) philosophy and introduces the PE-ER platform for capturing, measuring, and utilizing RC rewards for the benefit of the worker and firm.

The Power of Commitment

Some relationship capital experts define commitment as

Both a willingness to persist in a course of action and reluctance to change plans, often owing to a sense of obligation to stay the course.

People have concurrent commitments to multiple entities, such as economic, educational, familial, political and religious institutions. They also commit themselves to specific individuals, including their spouses, children, parents, and siblings, as well as to their employers, co-workers, supervisors and customers. Commitment manifests itself in recognizable behavior. For example, people devote time and energy to fulfill their on-the-job responsibilities as well as their family, personal, community and spiritual responsibilities.

Commitment and Reciprocity

“Commitment also has an emotional element: People usually experience and express goodwill toward an entity or individual to whom they have made a commitment. Finally, commitment has a logical aspect: Most people consciously decide to make commitments, then they thoughtfully plan and carry out the actions required to fulfill them.”

“Because commitments require an investment of time as well as mental and emotional energy, most people make them with the expectation of reciprocation. That is, people assume that in exchange for their commitment, they will get something of value in return — such as favors, affection, gifts, attention, goods, money, and property.”

Traditionally, employees and employers have made an unspoken agreement. In exchange for workers’ commitment, companies would provide a variety of value for employees, such as secure jobs and fair compensation. Reciprocity influences the strength of a commitment. When an entity or individual to whom someone has made a commitment fails to come through with the expected exchange, the commitment weakens.

One definition of employee engagement that we use at the Standard of Trust is from Hewitt Associates:

Engagement is the state of emotional and intellectual commitment to an organization or group producing behavior that will help fulfill an organization’s promises to customers — and, in so doing, improve business results.

Engaged employees:

  • Stay— They have an intense desire to be a part of the organization and they stay with that organization;
  • Say — They advocate for the organization by referring potential employees and customers, are positive with co-workers and are constructive in their criticism;
  • Strive — They exert extra effort and engage in behaviors that contribute to business success.

The Relationship Capital Philosophy

Relationship Capital “RC” is a morally-principled behavior that rewards a kept commitment. There are seven guiding principles for earning relationship capital in our hyperconnected social business world:

Introducing Peer SaaS

Peer SaaS or “PE-ER” Performing Excellence-Engaging Recognition is an on-demand platform for requesting and making commitments. It leverages gamification techniques to recognize, reward, and appreciate peers. Building trust and credibility by earning relationship capital in is critical to achieving the benefits and reducing the challenges with virtual teams.

Conclusion

Whether you are a large enterprise, small business, or solopreneur, building a track-record of verifiable performance with your teammates, customers, industry experts, and partners is the source of distinction and competitive advantage. Peer-to-Peer Reciprocity and word of mouth are powerful forces for earning relationship capital and building a credible reputation with your peers and B2B customers. Today, relationship capital can be captured, measured, and utilized for B2B success. Peer SaaS transforms the traditional tacit agreement of loyalty, commitment, and reciprocity between worker and organization and embeds it in a software-as-as-service platform. Building greater employee engagement and commitment are crucial to sustaining a distinction and competitive advantage. The relationship capital game of Peer SaaS has its rewards for all participants including the company.

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