Studying organizational behavior involves looking closely at how your employees work with each other and with management as well as how they behave and communicate in your small business. The main objectives of OB are to create a workforce with desirable behaviors, help you become a more effective manager and leader and positively define your company's culture.
Understanding OB can unveil ways you can improve your workforce's morale, raise productivity, make better hiring decisions, lead change, handle conflict and improve communication in your business.
Improve Employee Behavior
Understanding the behavior of those in your organization gives a lot of insight on how the positive and negative behaviors of your workers have an impact on your operations. You might find that certain employees tend to slack off, while others take on the bulk of their team's work, and this negative behavior harms the morale of the hard-working teammates.
You might also discover that the behaviors come from the culture of the company itself, and you can then seek ways to promote a more positive, efficient and effective work environment.
Once you discover the cause of poor behavior, you can use disciplinary and reward methods and establish rules so that your employees know how they're expected to act. For example, you might consider individual incentives to motivate all employees to put in their part.
Enhance Leadership Skills
Another one of the objectives of OB is to help you become an effective leader who uses the right leadership styles for your organization and its culture. Studying your company's organizational behavior requires closely looking at how employees interact with each other and respond to management, and this gives insights on how you can best direct your employees to perform effectively.
You might find in your studies that your employees work best when given some control over their work instead of a leadership method that is less participative. In other cases, you might find that your team is flexible, and a situational leadership approach works best.
Increase Employee Motivation and Satisfaction
Organizational behavior also provides many theories on motivating your workforce and keeping employees satisfied so that you can increase productivity, reduce turnover and improve morale.
Some of these ideas include improving workplace hygiene, using an effective feedback and rewards system, supporting a good work-life balance and offering employees the chance to have a say in how the organization is run. OB principles also offer strategies for giving effective job feedback so that employees are motivated to improve and feel that they have a future with the company.
Assist With Leading Organizational Change
Making significant changes in your small business can lead to issues where employees aren't supportive or refuse the change, so understanding organizational behavior can give you some insight on how your staff might react and how you can best get them onboard when change is necessary. Strategies you might take include creating a culture focused on innovation, giving employees input on changes and giving concrete evidence on why any change is necessary.
Organizational behavior theories also provide ideas for handling conflicts that occur during the change process. This might involve making accommodations or compromises to get all employees on board or even ignoring the conflict if the change is critical for the survival of your organization.
Establish a Desirable Workplace Culture
Your small business needs to have a positive workplace culture to perform at the highest level, keep workers satisfied and engaged and attract the best employees. Organizational behavior studies demonstrate how you can use effective leadership and management styles, hiring strategies, compensation packages, company policies and a suitable work environment to shape the culture in a positive way.
For example, if you run a technology company, your culture might be focused on innovation and encourage employees to share ideas, respond positively to frequent change and learn new technologies quickly.
Other Objectives of OB
While most of the objectives of organizational behavior relate to effective leadership and positive employee behavior, others focus on supporting learning in the organization, building quality teams and improving communication.
- Looking at factors such as current employee motivation, the work environment and the interests of employees can help you best determine how you should train your employees.
- Examining work styles, communication preferences and employee traits can help you create effective work teams.
- Assessing preferred leadership styles, the organizational structure and employee diversity helps with choosing effective communication methods and styles.
- University of Minnesota Libraries: 1.2 Understanding Organizational Behavior
- MyEducator: 1.2 Why Study Organizational Behavior?
- University of Southern Indiana: What Is Organizational Behavior?
- New Jersey Institute of Technology: Importance of Organizational Behavior in the Workplace
- Northwest Missouri State University: Why It Is Important for Managers to Understand Organizational Behavior
Ashley Donohoe started writing professionally about business topics in 2010. Having eight years experience running all aspects of her small business, she is knowledgeable about the daily issues and decisions that business owners face. She also has earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a leadership and strategy concentration from Western Governors University. Some other places featuring her business writing include JobHero, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Chron and Study.com.