Examples of Behavioral Approaches in Business Management
The behavioral approach to management focuses on human relations and employee well-being. Rather than simply setting tasks and demanding that they be completed, the behavioral-style manager helps create conditions that keep workers satisfied and motivated. Social factors and psychological motivations take on more importance than financial incentives. This approach assumes the worker wants to work, and that if the manager provides the right environment, productivity will follow.
Companies that offer daycare for children of employees engage in behavioral management. The idea is that if employees know their children are nearby and are well cared for, work can proceed with fewer distractions. This is an example of trusting that the employee wants to work and giving the employee a work environment that doesn't pit the job against family life. Providing daycare is a behavioral approach to getting the most out of employees, because it focuses on employee satisfaction.
This electronic version of the suggestion box can give employees the sense that their ideas have value to the company. Empowering employees to make suggestions and create initiatives is a behavioral approach because it helps employees enjoy their jobs and raise their self-esteem. Management can monitor chat rooms and even join the conversation to encourage exploration of ideas. When enough people get behind a suggestion, management can meet with a delegation to discuss the possibilities.
Allowing employees to choose flexible schedules is a way of trying to respect individual needs and improve job satisfaction by concentrating on providing an accommodating workplace. This can help a company retain employees and gain a reputation as a good place to work. Such a reputation may attract top talent. Employees can choose their hours as long as they work a set number of hours per week. Flexible scheduling can even expand to allow employees to work from home several days a week.
The behavioral approach lends itself to positive reinforcement as a way to increase productivity. Managers who use this style look for employees who are doing things right rather than employees who are doing things wrong. By pointing out the beneficial behavior and even rewarding it, the manager sends the signal that such behavior can help employees get ahead in the workplace. As a side benefit, using positive reinforcement requires a manager to spend time among the workforce to observe. This promotes increased familiarity and has the potential to promote positive relations between employees and managers.