What is Organizational Behavior?
Definition of Organizational Behavior
The study of organizational behavior looks at how people act and behave in organizational settings. It explains the interpersonal relationships that develop between people in a workplace.
It looks at how an organization behaves and how this influences groups operating within it.
The working relationships between your employees will affect their productivity, so it’s important that they get along to avoid any problems. If there is no unity among a company’s employees, it will not be successful in the long run.
The best business managers not only make their workers more productive, but also improve the workplace experience and job satisfaction.
To achieve this, managers should understand what motivates their employees and how employees interact with each other and with management. This is what organizational behavior is all about.
Elements of Organizational Behavior
The study of organizational behavior would be incomplete if we failed to mention the importance of its key components. To improve your business, you first need to understand how all the elements work together.
These elements include:
- External environment
People make up for the workforce in any organization. The day-to-day activities needed to achieve business goals are carried out by them.
However, their skills, roles, goals, drive, and aspirations differ. As new employees come into your company, you need to provide them with information and instruction on company policies and procedures to help them perform their job correctly and avoid any poor performance.
A good reward system is necessary to incentivize competent staff to maintain high standards. Without incentives to motivate high performers, they may feel discouraged over time.
If you want to improve employer/employee relations and increase productivity, it’s helpful to have experts who can tell you more about employee personalities.
The structure of your organization refers to the formal relationship between you and your employees, starting from the least ranked to the highest-level staff.
They should be able to work efficiently by being ranked structurally.
To get employees to perform their duties as expected, their roles, obligations, responsibilities, and duties need to be clarified.
However, going over the same training repeatedly is overwhelming. This consumes a lot of time that could be used productively.
You don’t want that. Documenting your processes is essential to improve workers’ efficiency and prevent costly mistakes. This will help to minimize losses, increase profits, and free up your time.
As technology plays an increasingly important role in the 21st century, it is also becoming a more integral part of organizational structure. It oversees the working process, allocates resources, documents processes, and impacts how workers collaborate.
Technology helps employees perform their tasks effectively. In the absence of motivation, it is difficult for employees to work efficiently. Technology makes work easier.
When you properly use the right technology, you have the opportunity to enjoy benefits like:
- Avoiding having to commute to work every day.
- Allowing your staff to work remotely.
- Reducing overhead costs such as office utilities.
- Tracking the daily output of individual employees with ease.
Additionally, technology assists in molding organizational culture and extending normal behavior. It helps workers put their social backgrounds aside. The technology avoids cliques and group tension.
The External Environment
Companies would like to be in charge of every part of their procedures. There are many factors that can influence an employee’s behavior at work. Some of these factors are out of the employee’s control.
These factors could be political, economic, social, or technological. For example, perhaps one of your employees may have a problem with their partner or be struggling with money. When they get overwhelmed emotionally, their work performance suffers.
An employee who is happy at home is more likely to be motivated to finish tasks at work.
The #MeToo movement can have an effect on your organization, such as helping to eradicated sexual harassment. Highlands Food Group was one of those firms. Highlands Food Group was one of the firms that forced its high-level executives to resign after credible charges were leveled against them.
In a similar way, brands are also responding to gender pay inequality by assessing the salaries of male and female employees to make sure similar jobs receive equal compensation.
Leaders and managers can improve their understanding of how different elements interact with one another. An organization must be able to respond to external factors and changes in the economic environment, even if it can more easily control other factors, such as its structure or the people it hires.
Why You Need to Improve Organizational Behavior in Your Company
As your organization grows, it will include people from different social backgrounds and orientations. Different opinions, personalities, and conflicts are likely to occur. This text is saying that as a manager, you need to improve your employee’s organizational behavior in order to improve performance, service delivery, collaboration, and employee satisfaction.
Happy and Enjoyable Workplace
If you want to create a workplace that your employees will be happy with, then you need to analyze organizational behavior.
When an employee is happy, they will show general contentment with their position and company. If employees are happy with their position and company, they will be more likely to be satisfied with their job and perform better. An unhappy worker who is disappointed with an organization will be less likely to feel motivated or invested in their job.
However, getting this right can be tricky. What’s best for one individual might not be what’s best for another person. People who feel burned out and irritated by certain policies, practices, and routines may not be able to adapt to new conditions as easily as others. Your goal as a manager is to take time to figure out which organizational practices to adopt and which ones to avoid. Knowing about organizational behavior gives you the insight you need to make this decisions.
So what is the optimal workplace for your organization?
Identifying the Optimal Workplace for Your Organization
Stand-alone office or campus: For creativity-oriented large enterprises.
Your employees are your most valuable resource and the source of creativity and knowledge for your business. The workplace needs to be set up in a way that encourages knowledge recombination among staff, which is how innovation happens when existing knowledge is combined in new ways. Studies have revealed that it is more beneficial to have people in close proximity when trying to recombine knowledge. Why? Because knowledge transfer is easiest face-to-face and aided by other non-verbal cues, it is especially difficult to transfer knowledge that is not written down or easily codified. Discussions and brainstorming need immediate feedback and updating to work well.
This means that a Zoom meeting isn’t the best option since not all the knowledge translates well through a webcam. Virtual meetings don’t often take place in the moment, so they may not be as beneficial. You need to provide opportunities for people to interact with each other both in formal settings, like brainstorming in a conference room, and in informal settings, like running into each other in the hallway. Organizations with more people have more opportunities for their members to interact and benefit from those interactions. You can exploit that size for exponential creative opportunities.
Hybrid with flexible space: For the execution-oriented large enterprise.
Your people are your most important resource, but they need a different kind of environment to work efficiently. You need to allow them the freedom to work in the environment where they will be the most productive. Leslie Perlow is a renowned Organization Behavior scholar at Harvard Business School. In her research on “time famine,” she points out that constant interruptions at work can have dire consequences for productivity, creating a feeling (and a reality) of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Your employees need time to work independently in order to be productive. The most beneficial location for this is not always in the office; it might be in the place each employee decides is the most favorable setting for themselves, which could possibly be at home, a coffee shop, or even on a tropical island. So, giving employees the ability to work remotely at least some of the time may be beneficial. There are two additional benefits to this arrangement: you can save on real estate costs and your employees can save on their commute, which can improve their productivity according to research.
However, we also think that working remotely full-time has many disadvantages. The level of coordination that is necessary to align employees towards a corporate goal today cannot be facilitated by this. This includes team meetings to divide up projects and manager check-ins to motivate and track individual progress. There can be occasional planned interactions in virtual meetings, but there is still a lot of friction in interactions and just plain physical exhaustion. We wrote a case study about Zoom Video Communications, which has been successful in video conferencing, during the pandemic. Zoom is aware of the Zoom fatigue people are experiencing and are working to eliminate it with the technology available today.
If you want to allow your employees to work independently but still need coordination, you can use various tools to bridge these needs. For example, you can use a project management tool to assign tasks and track progress, or you can use a chat tool to stay in touch with remote employees. Change the way you think about the time your employees spend together in-person. Your goal should be to build a strong team culture instead of just filling up their time with meetings.
Your organization can build shared language, norms, values, and culture by giving your employees the time and space to socialize in person. The ability to make consistent decisions is valuable in the long run and helps to keep employees on the same page when they are working remotely and independently. This also reduces the need for constant communication with coworkers and managers.
Coworking environment: For the creativity-oriented small startup.
The primary challenge for small businesses is that they have a smaller pool of knowledge to draw from within the organization. Their employees hold the key knowledge required for innovation, but it is more limited than what larger businesses have access to. Though it is most often found within, innovation can come from outside sources as well. If you want your startup to be creative, you need to make sure that knowledge is able to flow freely between your company and others. The distance doesn’t need to be great, it could be down the hall or next door, ideally no further than 20 meters.
If you put your office close to other companies (or even competitors), you can benefit from spillover effects of knowledge. Additionally, we discovered that creativity is elicited from proximity to other organizations that contrast greatly in areas such as technical abilities and target audiences, as well as in demographic composition. This facilitates networking between people from different companies which helps to build relationships and trust, as well as providing an opportunity to share knowledge which would be beneficial to both parties, and as a result, improve both organizations.
Managers need the right office architecture to promote social interaction and exchange information. Our research suggests that having common spaces such as kitchenettes can functionally make people closer to each other, even if they sit in more distant places. Even though an open office design may be more aesthetically pleasing, it could end up being counterproductive because employees still need private space in order to work efficiently.
Full remote: For the execution-oriented small startup.
These startups just need to focus on execution and getting the job done efficiently. Everyone involved knows what needs to be done, so there should be no issue with completing the task at hand. You need to give your employees the power to work independently and efficiently.
At the same time as needing to grow rapidly, you will also need to be aware of the different phases of growth. You’ll want to make sure you have the ability to expand your workforce without being limited by the size of your office. Cloud computing services offer scalability that can accommodate your growing business.
There may be limits to how effective a fully remote model can be. An online education provider called Treehouse started out as a company with no employees working in an office. Initially, this was the appropriate model for them. Treehouse managers realized that as they grew and had more employees, coordination became more difficult. So that employees would remain independent, the company decided to open offices in Orlando and Portland and to shift to a hybrid model with flexible space. Teachers and other roles that require coordination can work together in these offices, while roles that can be executed independently, like designers, can continue to work remotely.
. . .
You do not often have the chance to change your workplace. Today, many managers are failing to take advantage of the opportunity to improve their organizations that was presented by the pandemic. Some people are struggling in a work environment that is a mixture of the past and the future, and they are experiencing all the negative consequences that come from having a work place that is not fully one or the other. You should design your organization for the future based on your size and goals for growth.