Human Behavior In The Workplace

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2022

Harvard's Elton Mayo conducted one of the earliest studies on workplace behavior at AT&T's Western Electric Hawthorne Plant in 1927. His findings were later published in the Management and the Worker report by F. J. Roethlisberger and W. Dickson. Their key conclusions are still applicable today: Employees perform better on the job when given a chance to apply what they have learned to solve problems at work.

The original study sought to understand how illumination impacts workers' performance and weariness. The results showed that there are other factors at play besides only the physical environment. Just because someone was paying attention to what they were doing inspired people to work hard. They were also urged to submit ideas and engage in social interaction. It was discovered that their social requirements significantly influenced how they behaved at work.

Neither your knowledge of organizational development, marketing, or organizational development determines the success of your organization. Simply put, it depends on your grasp of human psychology, namely how each employee communicates with your business and your consumers. 

In the more than 70 years following the Hawthorne study, additional research has generally confirmed the same findings: to utilize human capital fully, CEOs and leaders must pay attention to their staff while respecting their fundamental humanity and unique individuality.

However, according to research by the Gallup Organization, an increasing percentage of CEOs are aware instinctively that most firms are operating at around one-third of their human potential. Successful businesses do not rely on staff incentives to ensure improved job performance. They concentrate on human nature instead.

According to one CEO, businesses face only two significant difficulties today. The first is to decrease expenses and raise pricing. The other is to increase margins by bringing in and keeping profitable clients. 

Highly competitive businesses need to provide more than just a pricing advantage. Organizations must understand what motivates employees to achieve this. When they do, they release a ton of potential and energy.

Many businesses need to see how intrinsic motivation, which is controlled by the brain, affects staff performance and, in turn, customer engagement. This drive specifies specific skills and the emotional strategies everyone brings to the workplace. Recent advances in neuroscience provide evidence that emotional processes play a crucial role in learning, thinking, and making decisions. How can leaders gain a better knowledge of their workforce's motivating factors and strengths?

Many theories of human nature offer viewpoints for comprehending fundamental human desires. Reviewing these will serve as a reminder to leaders of how crucial it is to understand how workers act at work and what motivates them. Each theory and its associated measurement only offer a fundamental framework. Understanding how and why people act is made easier with the aid of theories and evaluation profiles. Individual variations must always be taken into consideration and respected.

Because no two employees are exactly alike, it is vital to look at certain categories or classifications of personalities, styles, preferences, and interests in order to better grasp a person's strengths and values.

According to Carl Jung, people either get their energy from relating to other people or from their own thoughts. Additionally, they frequently gather knowledge in a variety of ways by concentrating on details or by instinctively grasping the larger picture. They communicate in various ways, emphasizing either sentiments and ideals or rational thought. They also tend to be more impulsive and pressure-driven or to make judgments quickly with forethought and organization. 

The DISC is a highly well-liked evaluation instrument. It is based on a behavior style preference hypothesis developed in the 1930s by psychologist William Moulton Marsten. DISC stands for four fundamental behavioral preferences:

1. Dominance: How you react to issues and difficulties

2. Persuasion: The capacity to persuade others to adopt one's viewpoint

3. Stability: Adjustment to the tempo of the surroundings

4. Compliance: Adherence to norms and guidelines established by others

The implication is that people have a natural inclination to score well or poorly on each of the four dimensions, which their behaviors will show. An individual with a high D factor tends to be task-oriented, competitive, and risk-taking. An individual with a high I rating is a "people person" who likes connecting and forging bonds with others. A high S indicates a non-demonstrative someone who is dependable, orderly, and diligent. A high C denotes someone who is conscientious about the law, rules, and paperwork. 

A test that identifies individual interests, attitudes, and values is another one that is usually used with the DISC evaluation. It assesses a person's level of interest in six different areas based on research done by another psychologist, Eduard Spranger, in the 1930s.

According to Abraham Maslow, gratifying a person's physiological and safety requirements by itself is insufficient to motivate them. There are others waiting to fill their position after these demands have been satisfied. According to Maslow's Hierarchy, a person gradually tries to meet increasingly complex needs:

  • Self-Actualization
  • Ego
  • Public Needs
  • Needs for safety
  • Physical Requirements

Basic physical requirements include the capacity to get food, housing, clothes, and other necessities for living are known as physiological demands.

Safety needs include secure employment, a safe working environment, and secure installations and equipment.

Social needs: Interaction with coworkers and friends, social chances.

Recognition, acclaim, and benefits for the ego.

Realizing one's goals and maximizing one's abilities to do so is known as self-actualization.

Frederick Herzberg published a seminal piece on employee motivation in Harvard Business Review in 1968, and it is still the journal's best-selling reprint to this day. He emphasizes that while money may not actually inspire individuals, it might lead to discontent if it is insufficient. Work that is fascinating, the chance to participate and be heard, and proper recognition all serve as motivators for people. By allowing workers to take on responsibility and participate in decision-making, jobs become more fulfilling.

Aside from all of the research conducted, here's what we know. Our experience with understanding human behavior in the workplace significantly increases your organization's overall health, increasing communication and serving as a foundation for future growth for every employee. 

Contact us today to learn more about our interactive Human Behavior Workshops.


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