The objective of this paper is to better understand how employee commitment is affected by the employee, quality, and customer focus of the organization. A two dimensional concept of employee commitment is introduced that goes beyond the traditional notions of loyalty/retention to include other behaviors that are more indicative of employee "buy-in" to the improvement process. A causal model of the variables is proposed and tested using employee survey data obtained from two, dissimilar companies. The structural equation modeling results support the hypothesis that the principal effect of focusing the firm's priorities on the employee is to reinforce employee loyalty. With respect to activating employee support of the improvement process, however, the firm's customer focus appears to be the most important driver. The suggestion is made that "quality per se" is probably not the most effective rallying point for getting employees behind the improvement process. Instead, employee communications should place greater emphasis on the importance of the customer to the firm's long-term success and the role of the employee in making quality a reality.