The behavior of employees in the workplace is influenced by both negative and positive factors. These factors can be either external to the worker or internal to the worker. The factors in the external environment include economic conditions (for example rate of inflation), the conditions of labor market, labor unions, technological changes, and laws and regulations (Werner and DeSimone 2009: 36).
External forces such as technological changes and economic downturn can negatively impact employee behavior as it can lead to downsizing thus negatively affecting the remaining employees (Werner and DeSimone 2009: 38). Other external forces that affect employee behavior are those that are outside the employee but within the workplace and they include supervisors, outcomes, coworkers, and organizational culture and structure. Outcomes refer to the results of employee behavior and they can be either organizational or personal. Personal outcomes are the outcomes that add value to the individual and they include recognition and pay.
On the other hand, organizational outcomes are outcomes that are valued by the organization and they include product quality, teamwork, and productivity. These outcomes influence the employee behavior as the employees will work towards achieving them. Supervisors influence employee behavior as they direct the behavior of the employees by enforcing rules and rewarding efforts. Coworkers influence employee behavior in that they determine employee job satisfaction as well as the level of employee performance.
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For example when working as a team, if some team members feel that others are not giving their best, they may get discouraged. Organizational culture and structure affects the behavior of employees through giving of rewards. Normally, employees will be motivated to undertake activities for which they will be rewarded (Werner and DeSimone 2009). Another organizational aspect that influences employee behavior is job design where jobs which offer opportunities for personal growth makes the employees satisfied and more productive (Werner and DeSimone 2009: 42).
Internal factors involve motivation, skills and abilities of the employee, and employee attitudes. Motivation could be in form of rewards or punishments and it drives the employees to perform. Employee attitudes and thoughts can influence their behavior. For example it can influence the employee’s motivation to further their education thus improved productivity in the workplace (Werner and DeSimone 2009: 42). Finally, an employee’s abilities and skills affect their ability to perform.
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