Getting ‘Too’ Attached? It’s a Good Thing!

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Do you feel attached to your organization? Do you say ‘we’ when you refer to your company? Are you a loyal team member? It might seem corny but feeling a sense of attachment to your organization can actually be very beneficial to you and your company!

Organizational attachment is the feeling that an employee is strongly bonded with their organization and that it is a core part of their life. Employees that feel this type of attachment tend to be more satisfied on the job and more productive! Clearly, we can see why employers should care about organizational attachment. Why should employees?

Recently, researchers found that organizational attachment is important for employee health! Attached employees are healthier employees! These employees are less likely to experience burnout or job strain. Also, they have better mental and physical health. We think that this new research means employees should care about organizational attachment too!

Types of Organizational Attachment

Researchers have identified 9 different types of organizational attachment. Since it can impact your health, knowing these different types can help you understand where you stand! How many of these do you relate to? As you read through, keep a mental list of which of these sound like you!

How bonded are you to your company and to your team?
  1. Organizational Commitment: Employees with commitment feel like they want to stay with their company. They feel like they belong and have positive emotions about the company.
  2. Organizational Trust: Employees trust that the company is going to do the right thing in the future. Also, they believe that the company will keep its promises.
  3. Organizational Identification: Employees see the organization as part of their own identity. They see working for the company as an important part of who they are.
  4. Person-Organization Fit: In this case, employees believe their values align with the company values.
  5. Organizational Embeddedness: This is a fancy way of saying that employees feel like they are fully rooted at the company. Employees have good relationships with people and feel like they’d be sacrificing a lot of they left.
  6. Organization-Based Self-Esteem: These employees believe they are important and worthy of being part of the company. In other words, they know they are good at what they do for the company.
  7. Psychological Ownership: Employees feel possessive of the company. They say “my” company and act like the company is somewhat theirs.
  8. Perceived Insider Status: Employees see themselves as full members of the team. They feel accepted and know they earned their place at the company.
  9. Relational Psychological Contract: Employees are loyal to the company. They are willing to invest in their relationship with their organization.
Building a strong bond with your company can improve your overall health!

How to Increase Your Attachment

Now that you understand the different types of organizational attachment, what can you do to increase yours? You’ve already completed the first task! Understanding where you fall right now is important. Do you trust your company? Do your values align with the company’s? Are you loyal and willing to invest yourself in the organization? As you go through the list of 9, think about where you do not think you match. Then, think about why. For example, if you don’t trust the company, why don’t you trust them? Take some time to deeply understand why you aren’t feeling attached to your company in that way.

Next, figure out if something can change in that area. Maybe you don’t trust the company because management is not always transparent. Can you talk to your manager about how that makes you feel? Can you ask for better communication? If not, is this a deal breaker?

Sometimes, a stronger attachment is not possible. It’s important to recognize when that is the case and assess if it is having an impact on your health. Ideally, you want to support your health and wellness so finding a company you can truly connect with might be beneficial. I know this is often not possible. So, if you can’t find a better attachment elsewhere, focus on the areas where you do feel connected to the company. Remind yourself of those areas when you are feeling stressed or disconnected. As silly as it sounds, doing your best to stay connected with the company will help you feel better in the long run!

We know that work is a major part of your life. That’s why it’s so important to think about your health and wellness in relation to work. If you are unhealthy and in a bad environment for so many hours out of your week, you are likely to experience some negative health effects. As much as you are able, we hope you can find a good positive environment (that you can attach to!) so you can live your best life!

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