Thursday, July 12, 2012

Importance of Organizational Behavior

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Organizational Behavior Importance

The belief that a company’s success is a result of the technical ability of its workforce has many implications. Employees that possess these ‘hard skills’ are essential to the development and bottom-line of a company. However, I believe that organizations who invest in increasing people skills or ‘soft skills’ will grow into successful businesses. This practice of organizational development of ‘putting people first’ has been proven to stimulate employees to reach their highest potential, create a work environment free from apprehension and maximize productivity through increased loyalty and pride of workmanship. Whereas the former may benefit a company to the extent that the technical aptitude is essential to stay afloat amongst competitive adversaries. The latter provides a means to not only maintain that edge but to heighten morale within the organization so that its employees can contribute to higher levels of success.

Successful organizational behavior starts with the company’s willingness to face challenges and turn them into opportunities. The ideal that the underlying principle of a business to stay competitive be attributable to hard skills amongst its employees has changed drastically over the years. These are the days where cultural diversity in the organization is commonplace and changes in global markets and leadership styles are a must to thrive in business. For a company to maintain a competitive edge requires technical savvy amongst its employees, but if the organization does not know how to communicate, motivate, listen or interact with them, then a breakdown in the structure of the organization will be imminent. These are the challenges that most businesses face as crucial times lie ahead with weak economies giving way to job cuts, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate scandal. In these ever changing times, the ability to cultivate the interpersonal relationships between management and the workforce by putting people first are becoming vital to the company’s success.

Companies that put people first have shown that success is inevitable. These are the companies that cater to the needs of their employees and realize that their employees are its only true competitive advantage (Robbins, 001). The philosophy is rather simple, it’s the initiative and maintenance that will be hard work. Successful company’s that stress the importance of OB share similar qualities. These companies value cultural diversity, cater to employees’ family needs, maintain stability, and provide motivation.

A business that is in touch with cultural diversity understands that a diverse workforce can help improve the companys competitive position in the marketplace. The management of diversity can be considered a response to the need to recognize, respect and capitalize on the different backgrounds in our society in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender. Different cultural groups have different values, styles, and personalities, each of which may have a substantial effect on the way they do business (cited online at SBA, Woman’s Business Center). Organizations which understand the diverse cultures of their employees will benefit in terms of lower anxiety, higher retention, and higher morale, which results in higher productivity. The next level of benefits can be achieved when organizations recognize that the diverse cultures of their employees can really be an asset to stimulate innovations and creativity. Incorporating diverse opinions and experiences will allow organizations to look outside of the box”. Some organizations also have recognized that their employees need to understand other cultures in order to effectively serve their diverse customers and to maintain their market share.

Another successful attribute to companies that put people first is the concept of ‘doing the right thing for our people is doing the right thing for our business’ (cited online in the Workforce Stability Institute). The impact of doing nothing about work-life issues hurts the bottom line and activates undue stress. It affects the employees, the business, and the community overall. For employees it means not having to feel guilty because theyve left the office a little early to pick up the kids from daycare or visit an ill parent. Or it includes flexible work arrangements such as reduced hours, job sharing or flextime for those who may have been burdened by family needs. Other such programs may include wellness programs and dependent care resources. Investing in the employee’s well being and work-life issues are key components to the importance of organizational behavior in the workplace.

Another importance factor of promoting people skills within an organization is its capacity to retain its workforce. To maintain a stable workforce, employers must deliberately engage in retention activities. These efforts can range from recurring interviews to family activities and individualized compensation packages. People need to feel wanted, valued, appreciated. They want to do meaningful work and have some say in how their jobs are designed, managed, and measured. Todays employees want to be stable, but are often pushed out by those who are more concerned with power and position than with caring for people (cited online in Workforce Stability Institute, 00). Administration must actively listen to line employees to determine what the important retention issues are and must be committed to reducing turnover by working diligently to produce internal successes. Examples of this include, supporting rewards for perfect attendance, establishing consistency in flexible scheduling throughout the organization, frequently and personally expressing appreciation to employees, and promoting from within.

It has been said that people cannot be motivated, people have to motivate themselves. Employers can create motivational environments, providing appropriate support and giving suitable rewards to those who perform well. Quite often, the most important issues are not money-related, but deal with intrinsic motivation (. A carefully thought-out system of rewards and recognition can make a big difference. One of the prime motivators today is personal and professional growth. People want to learn, to improve their skills, and to keep themselves at a high level of employability. Most of these workers will be content to stay in their current jobs if they see room to grow and make a meaningful contribution to their employer. If they dont feel that they can grow, they will leave. Administration should work with the employee to develop a long-term growth plan to gain skills and knowledge because employees are constantly measuring opportunities for growth (Smalle, 00). They will pursue career paths that are made available to them because they need a sense about what their growth opportunities really are. Companies that are successful at career counseling start the process even before the employee joins the organization. The new worker’s supervisor then continues the education process. This process adds a sense of self-worth amongst its workforce thus increasing worker morale and ultimately contributing to the bottom-line of the company.

Traditionally hard skills such as those required to carry out engineering, scientific or IT functions have been prioritized in business, because they are essential. Nowadays they are essentially the minimum. With a more sophisticated workforce, increased choices available to customers, and downsizing, employees need to handle more work and greater responsibilities (Connolly, 00). These essential hard skills must be supported by soft skills that enable managers and employees to be able to communicate with skill. It is the employee that can make or break the business. Therefore, in today’s economy, if a business is not investing into the soft skills of their workforce, they are working themselves out of business.

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