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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary

Creating Links With Job Embeddedness Theory

Have you ever noticed how a player can be great for one team, and struggle or be a headache for other teams?

Culture plays such an important role in the success of athletes.

Owen Eastwood is a performance coach who has worked with some of the most elite teams and groups in the world, including Gareth Southgate's England Football team, the Command Group of NATO, the South African Cricket Team, corporate leadership teams, elite ballet, and the British Olympic team.

He said The English Institute of Sport shared with him that 70% of behavior is determined by the environment that you are in. Our behaviors, mindsets, and performances are fundamentally affected by the environments we are in.

He said that culture can be too abstract, but it is actually the most practical thing in the world: it is the environment we are in at any point in time and how it’s making us feel. Is it giving us confidence, do we feel like we belong, and do we feel like we are connected with the people around us? Those things are essential to success.

Michael Owen - The Effect of Culture

Owen shared a story about Michael Owen, an English soccer player who at one point was one of the best and most sought-after players in the world.

Michael Owen became a star in the Liverpool Football Club. He felt very connected to the team and the entire organization; he knew everyone in the organization, and everyone in the organization, from the athlete to the owners, knew him and his entire family.

He never had to stress about the social dynamics because he knew he belonged, knew his role, and felt very comfortable.

After a few years with Liverpool, he went to Real Madrid’s football club, and his experience was completely different. When he arrived, he was dropped in a meeting room with no formal introduction. He was never taught anything about the history of the club, the values of the club, or the style of play of the club.

He had a year-long anxiety reaction of, “I don’t think I belong here” because he felt like he was thrown out there to try and prove himself. Every training and every game was a proving ground where he had to show and prove why he was there.

He went from a relaxed, fun-loving teammate who was one of the best in the world, to an athlete who had lost his confidence and filled with anxiety. He had to waste a lot of energy trying to figure things out because the environment wasn’t set up for him to feel comfortable like it was at Liverpool.

How Do We Create The Best Environment For Success?

Job embeddedness theory dives into why employees stay at their jobs or with their team, rather than focusing on why they might leave. It explains how a team member’s or employee's connections to their environment influence their decision to stay and stay engaged.

Team members who are more connected to their jobs are less likely to disengage or quit because these connections are like a web that holds them in place.

There are three main aspects that create this web:

1 - LINKS - The social connections a team member creates with new teammates, colleagues, and work relationships.

2 - FIT - How well the role or job aligns with the team member’s skills, interests, lifestyle, and values.

3 - SACRIFICE - This considers what the team member or employee would give up if they left the job, like role or title, compensation, or friendships.

How Can We Create More and Deeper Links/Connections

The more links you can create, the harder it is to leave, and those connections can be at work or in the community.

Think: What are some ways we can create strong links as quickly and often as possible? Giving someone team gear, giving them a team or work buddy or mentor, and connecting them with someone in the community are simple ways to create more links.

What are some ways you can create links with your new team members?’

Teams Are Stronger When Team Members Are a Good Fit for Their Roles

Gallup is a They say, “Employees who feel they have the opportunity to frequently use their natural skills and abilities are not only more productive but also happier and even healthier.”

Think: How can I identify the strengths of my team members, help them identify their strengths, and give them the opportunity to do what they do best as often as possible?

Tangible and Intangible Sacrifices

There are tangible sacrifices to leaving or losing your job, like role, salary, and benefits, and there are intangible sacrifices that are harder to quantify, like relationships, reputation and status, and knowledge and skills for this particular role.

Think: What are tangible and intangible benefits that I can provide my teammates so they feel more connected to the team?

People First

One of the responsibilities of a leader is creating a space where people can do their best work. Connect with the people you lead and talk with them so that you can get to know what links you can use to get them connected, get to know what their strengths are so they can do their best work as often as possible, and make sure that they tangible and intangible benefits to the team are worth sticking around for.


For a printable PDF of this post, click here: Creating Links With Job Embeddness Theory


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