The world of HR variables

Nicholas Burman

There is a common perception that if employees are satisfied, they are automatically committed to the organisation and vice versa. A satisfied employee is more likely to feel at home in an organisation than a dissatisfied one. A committed employee is also less likely to be dissatisfied. In itself, this thought is not without justification. There is indeed an interaction between both HR variables. The impact of commitment is, after all, strengthened by the degree of satisfaction.

The world of HR variables

Interaction between HR variables

Even so, these are independent variables which can partially influence each other, but can also occur on their own. To give an example: an employee can feel as if he/she fits into an organisation. He identifies with the organisation and would like to continue working there for another few years. He feels very committed to the organisation and is prepared to perform well in order to make it more successful. 

Unfortunately, the pressure at work has recently increased considerably. He becomes very dissatisfied with the amount of work he has to do and the limited time in which he has to do it. He simply cannot produce good work any more and is very dissatisfied about this. This does not have to imply that he no longer feels as if he fits into the organisation. He can still feel committed, while at the same time experiencing a feeling of dissatisfaction with work-related aspects such as, in this case, the pressure.

How can you influence HR variables?

A satisfied employee, on the other hand, does not need to feel committed to the organisation per se. He can be satisfied because he works in a nice team and considers his colleagues to be his friends. As a result, he enjoys going to work every day. In order to be satisfied, the employee does not by definition have to support the goals of the organisation or to feel like he fits into the organisation.

Thus, a high degree of satisfaction among employees does not automatically mean that the degree of commitment to your organisation is correspondingly high; and committed employees may not necessarily also be satisfied with things such as the performance or structure of your organisation. The same applies for variables such as motivation, efficiency, effectiveness, absence and turnover.

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HR variables that help to provide insight

The specific HR variables that help to provide an insight into the way in which your employees view the organisation, but particularly also their attitude towards your organisation, are:

Because a beneficial interaction between the variables cannot be assumed, and is organisation – or even situation -dependent, it is particularly interesting and useful to measure how the variables score per organisation and even per organisational unit.

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