Employees’ Behavior in the Workplace

Relevant Variables at the Individual Level of OB

Individual-level Variable

Organizational behavior is a concept that has been commonly used during the analysis of employees’ motivation. The concept of identity at an individual level is essential in understanding the individuals’ differences over a given position or management policies. Companies consist of individuals who are organized into a given form to perform certain tasks (Cole 2004, p. 78). They are the fundamental building blocks of an organization. Understanding of the individuals’ behavior is essential to comprehend how they work in teams to enhance the performance of an organization. This is demonstrated in the organizational structure of human resources below.

Organisational Structure of Human Resources
Figure 1: Organisational Structure of Human Resources. Source: (Aquinas 2006, p. 62)

The individual characteristics are integral parts of the employees within an organization. The demographic characteristics, such as age, education level, type of relationship, religion, and sex are very important. Moreover, the employees’ personal qualities, emotions, values, and attitudes, also play an important role in defining their output in the workplace. For these reasons, managers must put these characteristics into account when recruiting the employees. The administration should understand the extent of influence of these characteristics on the performance of their employees in an organization. According to Robbins (56), other variables at the individual level that might be open to the administration interference include perception, an individual’s decision-making abilities, learning, and motivation.

Perception

Robbins and Roodt (2003, p. 76) define perception as “The emotional approach that an individual views different things.” It is the process, by which individuals organize and interpret events or information, and the impression they give (Craig 1996, p. 46). People’s perceptions and characteristics influence how they act within an organization. Craig (1996, p. 53) talks about the way people organize and interpret information. He explains how people act towards different events. He also looks at how individuals react to the acts of others. An ability to conceive facts offers staff an opportunity to explain what they see and hear at the workplace. Misconceptions, such as stereotyping, can lead to problems in an organization.

Learning and Motivation

Considering that individuals represent an important part of an organization, the management’s ability to achieve the organizational objectives is based on its capacity to offer motivation to these individuals. This requires the use of power and methods that can enhance morale, prompting employees to work and achieve satisfaction in what they are doing. This would lead to increased productivity. An Individual’s behavior depends on the quality of the workplace environment by the basic motivations for the concept. These motivational factors influence the success of the organization. The ability of the employees to deliver exceptional performances is largely based on the capacity of the managers to understand their needs and to create an enabling environment. Motivation is necessary in influencing how employees behave in a given organizational context. For example, the need to look for food is motivated by the pangs of hunger. The behavior exhibited when looking for something to eat disappears when the desire is fulfilled. Motivation defines needs, which are internal driving forces that outline human conduct towards certain objectives (Slocum & Hellriegel 2007, p. 45). It is also important to understand the fact that motivation determines human conduct.

The management should try to define the conduct of the employees within the organization by setting up motivational factors in a way that will influence the behavior of an employee in a given manner. However, Paulo (2014, p. 75) says that sometimes, it is difficult to set a clear conventional pattern of motivating the employees because of their different personalities. What motivates one employee may not necessarily motivate others. The responsibility of the administration is to choose the right approach that will work for different groups. This may involve grouping the employees as per a given criteria to find a common way of motivating each group. Sometimes it may force the management to use Carrot and Stick Theory, where those who record exceptional performance are rewarded while those who fail to do what is expected of them are given some form of punishment.

Individual Decision-Making

Decision-making skill of an employee is very important when defining his or her characteristics. Decision-making skills define the ability of an individual to address tasks assigned to them. Different people prefer taking different approaches to address specific issues based on their decision-making strategies. Poor decision-making strategies may inhibit the ability of an employee to record an impressive performance in the workplace. Managers must understand this fact, and find a way of enhancing the decision-making strategies of their employees.

Relating the Variables

Dependent Variables

The value of the dependent variable is affected by the independent variable. Based on the example presented, the dependent variable is employees’ behavior, while the independent variables are the strategies used by managers to influence the employees’ motivation. As shown in the figure below, the independent variables are on the x-axis of the graph while the dependent variables are on the y-axis.

Relationship between independent and dependent variables
Figure 2: Relationship between independent and dependent variables

The dependent variables related to the organizational behavior studies include the following:

Productivity

Productivity indicates the value of effectiveness and efficiency of the factors of production in achieving their objectives. This defines the ability of an organization to operate optimally. In this case, Nick’s productivity declined each day because he was not motivated sufficiently.

Absenteeism

This refers to the absence of an employee without good reasons throughout the workday or more than four successive hours of the workday. In this case, it can be attributed to the negative organizational environment in Nick’s Corporation. He was not happy because the boss did not respect him.

Job satisfaction

The last dependent variable is job satisfaction. It refers to the overall attitude of employees towards their job. Dissatisfactions exist in cases where an employee feels uncomfortable and uncared for within a firm. According to Fiol and Lyles (2000), “Job satisfaction refers to the positive feelings that employees have towards their careers” (p. 56).

Application of Specific OB Level Theory

The case study presents issues that require the organizational behavior theories to be addressed effectively. One organizational behavior theory that can be applied in this context is McGregor’s Theory Y. This theory holds that employees can be self-motivated people if they are given the right environment. When applying this theory, the management of the organization must understand the fact that people like Nick need respect. They require trust from their superiors. They can deliver exceptional results when they realize that their superiors trust and respect them. The trust and respect put forth in this theory that is meant to enhance the employees’ satisfaction. It is supposed to make them feel that they are part of the organization other than just being mere employees. This theory also helps in creating time for the managers to focus on other duties if it is applied correctly. The theory proposes that the managers should spend minimal time supervising the employees. In any organization, a manager ought to define the work for each employee and let them address these tasks in a way they understand best. A manager should focus on the results. This means that the work of supervision will be delegated to the employees themselves. Every individual employee will be supervising their work.

The Transformational Leadership Theory may also be very appropriate in addressing the issues noted in the case. According to Herman and Troth (2013), “the principles of Transformational Leadership dictate that a leader should make employees feel valued” (p. 280). This should be done by making them responsible for their output within the organization. Instead of making them feel unappreciated as it has been the case in this study. A leader should strive to motivate the employees by positively challenging their current capacities. This will make the employees strive to achieve better results every time they undertake a given duty.

Conclusion

The case presented demonstrates that employees’ behavior in the workplace is largely influenced by the leadership approach taken by the managers. Leaders who value and support their employees get better results out of them compared to leaders who despise and ignore the well-being of their workers. In such cases, the actions taken by the leaders are the independent variables that directly affect the behavior and output of the employees.

List of References

Aquinas, P 2006, Organisational behaviour: Concepts realities applications and challenges, Excel Books, New Delhi.

Cole, G 2004, Organisational behaviour: Theory and practice, Thomson, London.

Craig, R 1996, The ASTD Training and Development Handbook: A Guide to Human Resource Development, Cengage, New York.

Fiol, M & Lyles, M 2000, Organisational Learning, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Herman, H & Troth, A 2013, ‘Perceptions and emotional experiences in differential supervisor subordinate relationships’, Leadership & Organisation Development Journal, vol. 34. no. 3, pp. 271-283.

Paulo, J 2014, Impact of Perceived Organisational Politics on Supervisory-Rated Innovative Performance and Job Stress: Evidence from Pakistan, Journal of Advanced Management Science, vol. 2. no. 2, pp. 34-78.

Ricky, G & Moorhead, G 2013, Organisational Behaviour: Managing People and Organisations, Pearson, New York.

Robbins, S 2002, Organisational Behaviour, Pearson Custom Publishing, Boston.

Robbins, S & Roodt, G 2003, Organisational behaviour: Global and Southern African perspectives, Pearson Education South Africa, Cape Town.

Slocum, J & Hellriegel, D 2007, Fundamentals of organisational behaviour, McMillan, London.