Employee Buy-In: Definition & Explanation

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  • 0:00 Human Responses to a Request
  • 1:13 Commitment & Understanding
  • 2:02 Building Buy-In
  • 3:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Orin Davis
Employee buy-in is when employees are committed to the mission and/or goals of the company, and/or also find the day-to-day work personally resonant. Buy-in promotes engagement and a willingness to go the extra mile on the job.

Human Responses to a Request

Quick! Take off one of your accessories, like your watch, a ring, your glasses, whatever, and then put it back on. No, go ahead! Do it! I'll wait. Done? OK. Odds are, you didn't actually do anything, but take a moment to consider why you didn't follow the instruction. On the off chance that you did remove and replace something, consider why you did. Most of the time, when this request is made of a perfect stranger, even those who comply will give the asker a really odd look. The main reason why so few comply, and why those who do still show reluctance, is that no one knows why they are supposed to remove an accessory and replace it on demand. As such, doing so seems rather pointless. They are not committed to following the instruction, and have thus not bought into the goal of the request. Now, if you were asked to do something that you know is important, or that you feel committed to doing, like recycling, you would very likely comply because you buy into the aims and goals underlying the request. In fact, you would comply willingly, and perhaps even eagerly, because of how much the request resonates with you. Now, take that analogy and translate it to the workplace.

Commitment and Understanding

What is the mission of the company for which you work? What are its goals? If you can answer those questions, then answer one more: Are you committed to the mission and goals of the company? If so, you are a shining example of employee buy-in, which is commitment and dedication to the mission and/or goals of a group/company.

Of course, how about those who do not know the mission or goals of their company? Perhaps they can define a mission or goal for their day-to-day work that keeps them committed to getting their jobs done, which is also a form of buy-in. Unfortunately, however, many people do not understand the mission of their company or why their jobs are worth doing. These folks are also not committed to the company, and do not really care whether their work gets done well or done at all, because they do not see the meaning and purpose of their work. Thus, they have not bought in to their jobs or company.

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