What Is Work Behaviour?
One of the important objectives of the field of organizational behavior is to understand why people behave the way they do. Which behaviors are we referring to here? We will focus on 4 key work behaviors: job performance, organizational citizenship behaviors, absenteeism, and turnover. These are not the only behaviors OB is concerned about, but understanding what is meant by these terms and understanding the major influences over each type of behavior will give you more clarity about analyzing the behaviors of others in the workplace.
Work behavior is the behavior one uses in employment and is normally more formal than other types of human behavior. This varies from profession to profession, as some are far more casual than others. For example, a computer programmer would usually have far more leeway in their work than a lawyer.
People are usually more careful than outside work in how they behave around their colleagues, as many actions intended to be in jest can be perceived as inappropriate or even harassment in the work environment. In some cases, men may take considerably more care so as not to be perceived as being sexually harassing than they would ordinarily.
Work behavior is one of the significant aspects of Human Behavior. It is an individual’s communication towards the rest of the members of the workplace. It involves both verbal as well as non-verbal mode of communication. For example, trust is a non-verbal behavior which is often reflected by verbal communication at a workforce. It represents your attitude towards your team and colleagues. A positive and good work behavior of an individual leads to higher performance, productivity and great outputs by the team or an individual. From the organizational perspective it is the most important area where Human Resource managers should focus.
Types Of Behaviour
Some jobs come with a role description and the duties you perform do not change much from day to day. In such a position, you know exactly what is expected of you and what to do in order to do well. However, most jobs are a bit more ambiguous and the path to success is a little less prescribed. Nobody is there holding your hand through the steps or handing you a cheat sheet and in many cases one doesn’t exist.First, a quick distinction between the behaviors and the outcomes as it is related to job performance. Behaviors are what you do while outcomes are what get done. Behaviors are the only component of job performance that are within 100% of your own control. So this is where I will focus.
Outcomes, while good and necessary, differ depending on what work you do. They are the result of your actions, but they are also very much influenced by factors outside of your control. For example, meeting a certain dollar amount for a sales target is an outcome. Whether you are a good salesperson or not, the market demands and product quality exert an influence on what is possible and how easy or difficult it is to achieve.
Actively seeking to become a better performer, then, involves behavior. (And of course, access to the right tools and technology to enable your success.) For almost any job out there, there are eight universal categories of behavior that influence the outcome of your work:
1) Job-specific competence –
The level of technical knowledge required for the position and how well you complete tasks related to the major aspects of the job. How well you do exactly what you were hired to do. For example, writing code if you are a programmer.
2) General work competence –
How well you do other related tasks. This is the type of work that everyone is responsible for in your organization, your work unit, or your profession. For example, customer service or proficiency in Microsoft Office.
3) Personal effort –
Demonstrating effort on a frequent, consistent, and substantive basis. This includes both effort in doing and thinking. For example, when overloaded with work, you expend extra effort rather than automatically passing it on to others. Alternatively, when confronted with a difficult problem, you proactively seek solutions before giving up and asking for help.
4) Personal discipline –
Keeping a schedule and organized work day. This can range from such basics as coming to work on time and avoiding personal altercations to more advanced techniques such as respecting deadlines and managing time effectively.
5) Communication –
Written communication such as writing clear and concise emails; oral communication such as making a point at the weekly meeting; formal communication such as presenting the results of a survey to a board; or informal communication such as discussing a project with your boss.
6) Teamwork –
Performance that is a result of a group effort rather than simply your individual effort; activities requiring collaboration or cooperation with others. Specific behaviors could include keeping a group focused, encouraging participation, acting as a good role model, and offering assistance.
7) Management –
Typical management duties are setting goals to support a strategy, planning projects, organizing, delegating work, adhering to a budget, meeting deadlines, training employees, and keeping everyone informed and on the same page.
8) Leadership –
In practice, this one can get confused with management sometimes and might be neglected if you are not naturally great in this area. Examples of leadership are striving for innovation, influencing others, motivating others, acting as a role model and serving as a coach.
Take a look at the above list and determine where you can make changes. But… if this list is at all intimidating, remember this: “only the mediocre are always at their best.”
How Does Behavior Affect Work Performance?
Your disposition, mood and feelings impact everything from your ability to make effective decisions to the level of your creativity and ability to work well with others. Inconsiderate behaviors such as rudeness and gossiping also interrupt the smooth flow of the workplace. Your behavior may even affect whether you keep your job. Transferring feelings to workplace behaviors affects your work performance
Businesses are beginning to direct attention to happiness as a workplace issue and are developing management strategies to create a happier work environment, notes Wharton University professor Sigal Barsade. When you arrive at work with a positive attitude, you generally are more creative and tolerant of others; you aren’t so defensive and create conflicts among your coworkers or subordinates. When employees are happy, everything from sales to production flow more smoothly and effectively. An enjoyable workplace lowers stress, increases morale and creates camaraderie.
You can observe many forms of rudeness at work. Interruptions are rarely life or death, yet many of your fellow employees may feel that no matter what you are doing, what they have to say is more important. Simple words like “please” and “thank you” often are left unsaid in the workplace. Employees may have the attitude that someone else is going to clean up after them in the break room kitchen. Rudeness at work can lower productivity and lead to mistakes and conflicts, explains Jennifer A. Bunk, a West Chester University professor and member of the Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology. Rudeness not only makes for an unpleasant work environment, but it also harms productivity and decreases job satisfaction
One of the most difficult habits to break is gossiping about your fellow employees. Besides the obvious drain on productivity, gossip increases conflict, undermines your team’s performance, decreases morale and promotes miscommunications. When conflicts ensue, employees take sides or refuse to work with each other. Gossip breaks down trust, which eventually erodes your workplace energy and hinders your success.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries says bullying is an act of intimidation designed to humiliate or undermine another. Bullying not only affects work performance, it also can put employees at serious risk for their safety. Bullies are driven by a need to control and to abuse or misuse power. Victims of bullying may experience physical and mental health problems from reduced self-esteem, sleep deprivation and digestive disturbances. The behavior can lead to accumulated absences and even post-traumatic stress disorder.