The modern day business environment is characterized by aggression and excessive competition. To retain profitability and relevance in the competitive arena, an organization has to exhibit innovation and enhance performance among its employees (Malhotra, 2000). Any organization aims at increasing profitability, increasing growth and innovation and introducing new values and culture.
To achieve this, leaders in an organization need to cultivate in their employees a culture of competitive performance and productivity (Christensen & Raynor, 2003). This is achieved through a well cultivated set of organizational behavior.
Organizational behavior generally refers to the actions of people, individuals and groups in an organization. Johns (1996, p.6) defines organizational behavior as the study of “attitudes and behavior of individuals and groups in organizations”. It may include organizational culture, communication, diversity, organizational learning, and organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
An understanding of these actions of individuals within an organization is an important aspect in management because it provides the tools needed to develop an effective leadership guide. Organizational success depends on its people and the core of any organization is its personnel (Metcalfe, Metcalfe, 2001).
This paper sets out to critically evaluate the relevance of organizational behavior as a management perspective. It explores the importance of interpersonal relations and facilitation of groups and leaderships in improving the organizational performance.
Importance of interpersonal relations
Interpersonal relations within employees
A well rounded employee needs to have two types of skills by which they operate with in an organizational setting. On one hand, there are those hard skills that deal with the functional and technical aspects of the job like computer knowledge, financial analysts and filling.
On the other hand are soft skills that deal with the social aspects of the job such as communication, teamwork, leadership and problem solving. These two types of skills work synergistically to come up with the overall culture in an organization (Metcalfe, Metcalfe, 2001).
Despite the amount of time that employees spend on projects, they are very independent people, who spend very little time outside of the workplace together (Jenster & Hussey, 2001).
Some employees are pedantic perfectionists, who like putting maximum amount of effort in their work and do things their way. Such people mostly have laid back personalities and have low tolerance for overly interference with their way of doing things.
On the other hand, some employees are goal oriented and put much of their efforts on deadlines and work completion. As much as managers are busy and important people, who have little free time, they need to work closely with all these types of employees to ensure that they meet their goals (Rodrigues, 2001).
Interpersonal relations between management and employees
Research has shown that a large percentage of staff would prefer to see their senior management and supervisors more often. They reportedly seek for encouragement and input as regards to their work groups and their own work efforts. Reinforcement has been shown to condition behavior.
To reinforce certain behaviors that they would like to see increased, managers should take time to meet and talk to the employees to create an ideal time for reinforcement (Peterson & Fleet, 2004).
Lack of communication between workers, incongruity with family life, and insufficient feedback from managers’ leads to conflict in the work place. Incorporating the people social skills within the work place can help decrease the amount of missed work time, the cost of training new hires and exit interview (Christensen & Raynor, 2003). This will consequently increase productivity.
Implementation of leadership programs that employees are not familiar with may lead to major conflicts in an organization if not well communicated.
Leaders need to learn how to effectively communicate to their employees and take into account their needs during the implementation of new management programs (Hankin, 2005). At times, employees join an organization with great talent, but due to poor management, they stall and along the way start engaging in high absenteeism, and increased turnover. This indicates that they are searching for something more in their jobs.
To get the most out of employees, the management needs to understand their employees’ goals by developing an interpersonal relationship with them. This is important for an organization to have willing and happy employees that are most eager to meet intended goals (Peterson & Fleet, 2004).
Studies indicate that most successful managers show genuine concern for their employees. All employees regardless of their occupation or level of demographic group in an organization incur significant amounts of stress and de-motivation at work in case of a negative relationship characterized by a lack of concern with their leaders (University of Hull, 2001).
Facilitation of groups and leaderships
In order to achieve the organizational goals of increased productivity, the development of organizational groups has been found to be vital for the survival and continued success of an organization.
Rodrigues (2001) remarked that organizational groups enable group facilitators to come up with viable interventional measures that can be implemented to alter undesirable behavioral attributes that are inherent in a particular group. For a group to classify itself as an organization there must be observable elements of cooperation and coordination within the members in accordance to a pre-prescribed format.
Importance of organizational groups in leadership
Leadership is achieved when one person uses the help and support of others towards achieving a particular goal or task. Strong leadership is not only desirable but also essential to the success of the business for it is through it that organizational goals are met (Jenster & Hussey, 2001).
Organizational groups enable a leader to identify and device countermeasures for various issues that affect a particular group or individual. This eliminates the chances of having dissatisfied employees who normally perform poorly and increases the efficiency levels of group members who not only work to achieve set goals, but also to show their commitment to their leader (Peterson & Fleet, 2004).
In all organizations, there arise contentious issues which elicit different reactions from the group members and organizational management at some point in time. How these issues are diffused may spell out the difference between success and failure of the organization. The role of a leader can play a crucial role in ensuring that the crises or contentious issues are managed in a diplomatic manner.
An effective leader should be able to diplomatically handle contentious issues and arrive at a solution that is not only workable, but also acceptable to the various parties involved. This calls for the leader to be equipped with the skills of a negotiator which will enable him/her to constructively resolve the conflict therefore leading to an agreement among all parties involved.
Key to being an effective negotiator is the ability of a leader to understand how various factors affect different members of a group. Understanding group process enables a leader to come up with fair solutions to different issues that affect group members.
Impact of organizational groups on individual performance
The performance of a group in an organization strongly relies on the strength of the relationship that exists between members of the team. Such friendship comes out as a natural force that affects individual performance either positively or negatively. If members of a group have a strong friendship, they will have much communication amongst themselves. This may in turn pull other group members into such discussions.
A social atmosphere is therefore created within the group. This enables group members to enjoy being in a group as a part of the organization (Parker & Ritson, 2005). This type of job satisfaction ensures that the group members are motivated and committed to group tasks. These positive attributes further increases the level of performance exhibited by individual members of a group (Malhotra, 2000).
Strong friendships among group members in an organizational group may also have negative implications on a group’s performance (Solo, 2000). Some group members may feel excluded and less important as regarding to the functioning of the group. These feelings of exclusion often lead to the creation of sub-groups within the main organizational group.
Effective communication in the organization will consequently be hampered because of the resultant limitation to information flow within the group. This way, the performance level of individuals in the organization will be reduced (Jenster & Hussey, 2001).
Discussion and Conclusion
Organizational behavior has gained great relevance in the past few decades due to the significant changed and added complexities in the organizational work force. In my opinion, employees’ behaviors in an organization are based on perception rather than reality.
I think organizational management needs to undertake continuous surveys to understand employees’ perception of the organization. Factors in workplace environment also directly relate to important outcomes such as job certification, intentions to quit, job performance, employee motivation and the overall organizational productivity.
At a given time, a percentage of employees in a company will proudly recommend the company to friends and relatives as a good place to work depending on a complex interrelation of factors.
The future of the organization is in many cases “in the hands of its employees” and it is therefore important to have productive employees.
There seems to be a well established link between employee satisfaction and their productivity at work. I, therefore, think employee motivation is of great importance for the welfare of the entire organization. Individual motivation is imperative for the employee to perform exemplary in the organization.
A person’s individual motivation force is mostly a function of their expectancy. The probability that an individual’s effort will result in desirable outcomes determines the motivation of that individual to act in a certain manner. Intrinsically motivated employees can be expected to perform high quality of work therefore increasing the growth and success of the organization.
Contentious issues sometimes arise in an organization and elicit different reactions from organizational group members and organizational management. To me the difference between success and failure of an organization strongly depends on how these issues are diffused. Leaders in an organization should learn how to effectively manage such crises in a diplomatic fashion.
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