Is Your Team’s Lack of Commitment Holding You Back? Here’s How to Fix it!

Team Commitment

Is Your Team’s Lack of Commitment Holding You Back? Here’s How to Fix it!

As leaders and managers, you play a critical role in establishing commitment within your teams and organisations. A crucial first step, however, is to identify and recognise behaviours that are indicative of a lack of commitment within your teams.

Emotional intelligence plays a key role in this regard, as it enables emotionally intelligent leaders to identify and understand the emotions of others. This skill can help you build relationships, reduce team stress, defuse conflicts, and improve job satisfaction and commitment.


“In a study by Harvard Business Review, it was found that high levels of employee commitment and engagement can increase productivity by up to 22%, and reduce absenteeism by up to 37%.”

(Source: Harvard Business Review)


Telltale Signs of Low Commitment

Recognising whether commitment is an issue within your team or organisation can be challenging. That being said, in addition to the more nuanced characteristics of a lack of commitment, there are a number of more obvious telltale signs that can help you to recognise and address the impact of this dysfunction – some of these include:


  1. Missed Deadlines: If team members frequently miss deadlines or fail to deliver on their commitments, it could be a sign that they are not fully committed to the team’s goals.
  2. Lack of Participation: If some team members are consistently quiet during meetings or fail to contribute ideas or suggestions, it could be a sign that they are not fully committed to the team’s objectives.
  3. Lack of Enthusiasm: If team members seem disengaged or unenthusiastic about the team’s work or goals, it could indicate that they are not fully committed.
  4. High Turnover: If team members are leaving the team at a higher rate than usual, it could be a sign that commitment is an issue within the team.
  5. Poor Communication: If team members are not communicating effectively or are not keeping each other informed about their progress or challenges, it could be a sign that commitment is an issue.
  6. Low-Quality Work: If the quality of the team’s work is consistently poor, it could be a sign that team members are not fully committed to the team’s goals or are not putting in the necessary effort.
  7. Lack of Accountability: If team members fail to take ownership of their responsibilities or are not accountable for their actions, it could indicate a lack of commitment.

Creating the Conditions for Higher Commitment 

Having recognised that a lack of commitment is indeed impacting your team, there are a number of actions you can take to establish higher levels of commitment in your team, these include:

  1. Your Emotional Intelligence: As a leader, your emotional intelligence can help you to recognise signs of low team commitment, understand the reasons for it, and take steps to address the issue. By using your skills to build relationships, communicate effectively, and motivate team members, you can help to increase commitment and improve team performance. To find out more about the impact of emotional intelligence on leadership and team effectiveness, check out our recent post here.
  2. Effective One-to-One’s: So often we use our one-to-one’s to facilitate a ‘task update’ – if this is what you are doing, you are missing the opportunity to truly engage with your team members. An effective one-to-one meeting involves two-way communication where you give your employees the opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, ideas, and aspirations – this type of one-to-one can significantly improve employee commitment through the care and interest that is shown in them.
  3. Fostering a Culture of Trust: Trust is essential for team commitment. The leader can foster trust by being open and transparent with team members, encouraging honest communication, and promoting a culture of accountability. If you missed it, why not take a look at our post on ‘Trust’ where we provided a short trust diagnostic to see how trustworthy you are – along with a few tips on how to start building trust within your team.
  4. Recognising and Rewarding Good Work: Leaders should recognise and reward team members for their contributions and successes. This helps to reinforce a culture of commitment and encourages continued dedication to the team’s goals.
  5. Roles, Goals, Processes, and Interactions: Roles, goals, processes, and interactions are essential components of a well-functioning team, and they can have a significant impact on team commitment. Here’s a brief description of their importance.


  • Roles: Clearly defined roles within a team can help to avoid confusion and promote accountability. When team members understand their roles and responsibilities, they can work more efficiently and effectively, which can help to increase team commitment.
  • Goals: Goals provide a shared sense of purpose and direction for a team. When team members are aligned with the team’s goals, they are more likely to be committed to achieving them. Additionally, clear and challenging goals can provide motivation for team members, which can also increase their commitment.
  • Processes: Processes refer to the ways in which work is organised and managed within a team. When processes are well-defined and efficient, team members can work together more effectively and focus on achieving their goals. Clear processes can also help to reduce stress, confusion, and ambiguity, which can increase team commitment.
  • Interactions: Interactions refer to the ways in which team members communicate and collaborate with each other. Positive and respectful interactions can help to build trust and create a sense of camaraderie among team members. This can increase team commitment by fostering a sense of belonging and a shared sense of purpose.

Commitment is crucial for the success of any team. When team members are committed, they are more likely to work together effectively, stay motivated, and achieve their goals. A lack of commitment can lead to poor communication, low productivity, and ultimately, failure. Strong commitment helps build trust, accountability, and a shared sense of purpose, which in turn leads to greater satisfaction and better outcomes for everyone involved. 

In short, commitment is essential for creating high-performing teams that can achieve their objectives and succeed in the long term.

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OMT Global

Established in 1989, OMT works with large organisations to develop the leadership skills of their people managers, from first-time leaders right through to senior-level executives. We provide a range of consultancy, training and development services for organisations that want to further develop and retain their talent. OMT excels in helping organisations move from ad hoc or one-off efforts to a new way of behaving and working.

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