There are three types of commitment: Affective (the employees identify themselves with organizational goals and stay within an organization because they want to); Continuance commitment - employees stay because they have to stay, they cannot afford to leave; Normative - employees stay because they feel obligated to do so; they ought to stay. However, the types of commitment I will foster in an organization with touristic profile would be normative commitment and affective commitment, implicitly. I believe that is a good combination to avoid absenteeism and turnover. Normative commitment can be enforced in several ways in such companies. One could be the training of employees - investing resources in training employees makes them feel they have an obligation to put forth effort on the job and remain inside the organization. For travel agents there are many possibilities for ensuring training - they can be trained in sales, in assertive communication etc. An important thing on the part of the organization is establishing internalized norms or other socialization processes. For example, I would give the agents the opportunity to travel themselves in places they chose, once a year. They should chose a vacation destination and costs could be supported by the firm. Moreover, they can chose to go together, as a group, or individually. By insisting upon group cohesion and establishing clear organizational goals lead to the fostering of affective commitment as well.
Job satisfaction and commitment are interdependent, they influence one another and have great effects on job performance.
However, at times, any organization is confronted with deeper issues that need a special approach. One of the special conditions is stress in the workplace. There have been established several causes that, regardless of individual differences, they almost universally affect people. Among such stressors are: feeling out of control, feeling direction-less, guilt over procrastination or failing to keep commitments, more commitments than time, (sudden) change, uncertainty, and high expectations of self.(Heathfield, S). When dealing with stress in the workplace, it is important to understand the components of stress, the situations that induce stress (can depend upon the individual, the group or the organization) and employee responses to stress (cognitive, emotional, behavioral). The strategies of stress management are focused on the stressors and on hardiness improving (related to stress strain).
If I were in the position to manage organizational stress, I would take into consideration all the elements mentioned above. In the first place, I would adopt certain strategies to prevent stress, because prolonged stress leads to a more severe form called burnout. The typical symptoms are exhaustion, decline in job satisfaction, difficulty coping with role demands, absenteeism, impatience and bad temper, resentment toward colleagues and consumers, and alcohol abuse. (Froggatt, W) This type of strategies refer to the job and to the employee. I would make sure that there are certain organizational values and specific goals that employees know and agree with. Then, I would make sure that there is a possibility to permanent job enrichment, flexibility of deadlines and work plans. Vacations and family leaves are included here as well. For travel agents I would even rotate the jobs among the employees and ascribe different tasks in different working seasons. If the problems due to stress are manifest (headaches, nervousness or even alcoholism, smoking and absenteeism), access to health care facilities will be granted to employees or even training on stress management issues. Whether the problems come from individual factors (personal/family problems) or are related to personality type (self-esteem, locus of control, affectivity, hardiness) I would ensure even a REBT (Rational Emotive and Behavioral Therapy) training program that would teach employees new, healthy coping strategies. However, I would take such measure when the problem with stress tends to become clinical.
Managing stress in all kinds of organizations is important because it impacts both the level of happiness and health on the part of employees and work productivity.
Job Description of Travel Agents on http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/41-3041.00
2. Heathfield, S. "Understanding Stress and Workplace Stress"
Last retrieved, November 14, 2006 http://humanresources.about.com/od/stressandtimemanagement/a/stress_time.htm
3. Froggatt, W. "Managing Stress in the Workplace with Rational EffectivenessTraining http://www.rational.org.nz/orgs/workstress.htmL. Ast Retrieve November 14, 2006