Compliance and commitment are two sides of the same coin,
following a simple push-pull synergy. But what defines their difference
adequately is the feeling of human motivation. Human mind when motivated within
himself displays commitment but when the same human mind is pushed or enforced
to act, exhibits a mode of compliance.
Thus to understand this transition from compliance to
commitment, one needs to look very closely at the element of human motivation
involved. Today we would use Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs (Fig 1), a
highly evolved theory on human motivation by Abraham Maslow, to perceive the
role of an organisation in this transition.
Fig 1
Assuming an employee enters the organization poised at layer
one, his sense of motivation is inclined towards needs of layers higher than
An organization’s concrete and exhaustive health policy
encompassing its employees and their families forms as the perfect solution to
the prime need of second layer consisting of health and family in Maslow’s
Moving on providing people with a basic sense of livelihood,
a company has already taken steps towards employment needs of a person. In case
of company policies moving towards job cuts due to redundancy or other untoward
factors, a sense of employment needs to be protected from the employers at all
times. This can be done by mitigating the consequences of job loss through
redirecting the source to an alternate job profile or providing an adequate
An organization thus has taken forward the employee from
layer 1 to layer 2 by taking care of its family, employment and health needs.
At the end of this, an employee is motivated to aspire for
elements included in layer three- “love and belonginess”.
Employee engagement policies, peer to peer group dynamics
and interactive feedback systems such as open house discussions can create a
feeling of belonging and worth for an employee in the setup.
Policy makers must consider the feedback or suggestions
evolved in such processes as a key to their future initiatives to reassure the
work force that the company is progressing on a democratic and just trajectory.
A loyal employee, who has as a deep sense of settlement with
respect to his employment terms, knows now that the company has taken forward
his association way back to his family as well. The pattern of motivation in
the hierarchy tells us that now his mind begins to demand respect, self esteem
or in a nut shell an absolute sense of appreciation in his work environment.
A just and an effective performance management system can
validate these demands. Also a transparent reward and remuneration system, will
serve as the perfect platform to provide him a sense of self esteem.
The company can further evolve talent management schemes
such as fast track promotions and development centres to emphasise their
commitment towards an overall reward and retribution policy.
Let us now do a recap of all the policies undertaken by an
organisation in this travel up the layers of Maslow’s tower.
1) A well endowed health policy
2) Mitigation of consequences post a job loss or other
untoward situations
3) Employee engagement policies and open houses
4) An effective performance management system combined with
a well structured reward system
5) Talent nurturing/management initiatives like development
centre or fast track promotions
What does Maslow’s tower of hierarchy now tell us? It
explains that having accomplished or gained all the layers of needs below, an
employee is now motivated to exhibit a culture of morality or business ethics
without any compulsion or enforcement. Therefore companies today need not
create separate policies targeting business ethics practices but only ensure
that they have contributed exhaustively and adequately to the overall growth of
an employee, the sense of integrity would be a natural outcome of it. 
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