The way your employees behave at work will differ from their behavior as individuals in a social setting. A variety of factors influence organizational behavior, including the company’s structure, policies and procedures, management effectiveness and interactions between colleagues. All of these elements can inspire employees to work harder or contribute to disengagement. By understanding how to get the best out of your employees, your company can become more productive and competitive (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004).
When new employees join your company, the way they behave is influenced by the organizational culture. People are social beings and strive to fit in to the environment around them (Collins & Smith, 2006). If your company culture encourages employees to speak up without fear of reprisal, new employees will gain confidence in expressing their ideas, whereas if the culture is to shoot the messenger, new employees will soon learn to keep their opinions to themselves. You can influence company culture by being clear about your vision and values and putting them into practice on a daily basis (Datta, Guthrie & Wright, 2005).
While the need to earn, a salary ensures people will show up for work, organizational behavior suggests that employees need to be motivated to perform to the best of their ability. Employees are most likely to be motivated when they see a clear link between the effort they put in and the reward that they receive. Rewards must be seen as fair and equitable in order to inspire employees to work hard. Managers can motivate employees by setting realistic, achievable goals and measuring attainment (Delery & Shaw, 2001). Achievement of these goals should be rewarded, either through recognition from the manager or financially. Whether at the organizational or individual level, decisions are made by human beings. Organizational behavior influences the decisions that people make. Companies with robust, effective communication mechanisms enable managers and employees to make informed decisions, because they understand the business context. The organization’s approach to risk will determine the extent to which managers and employees feel comfortable taking risks in their decision making (Farh, Zhong & Organ, 2004). Innovation and creativity are more likely to be stimulated in organizations that encourage informed risk-taking.
All companies must respond to changing markets, technical advances and customer demands if they are to survive. However, employees often prefer the familiar ways of doing business, making it difficult for them to change and adapt. Companies can manage change effectively by understanding organizational behavior. The need for change should be openly discussed, with the opportunity for employees to ask questions. Managers must be seen to buy in to the change. Key employees who may be resistant to change should be sought out and persuaded of the benefits of change (Gelade & Ivery, 2003).