How Employee Behavior Affects Organizations

Growth and Performance

Employee behavior affects organizational performance and productivity. Behavior is a function of personality, perception and attitudes. Organizations recruit for job-organization-values-fit, and to assign employees to jobs that match their values, attitudes and personality. Recruiting employees that  match organizational culture and values helps reduce adjustment problems. Assigning employees to positions that matches their values, attitudes and personality helps increase job satisfaction. Thus, managers and supervisors need to understand how employee behavior affects organizations.

Examples of How Employee Behavior Affects Organizations

Assigning “a lone ranger” to work in a team will create conflict and performance problems. Unchecked employee deviant behavior creates performance problems. Robbins, S & Judge (2013) p 25 suggested an organizational behavior model that fosters a positive work environment as having inputs, processes and outcomes at individual, group and organizational levels. The individual level elements are as follows:

Individual level inputs of:

  • diversity
  • personality
  • values

Go into processes of:

  • emotions
  • moods
  • motivation
  • perception
  • decision making

To produce attitudes like:

  • job satisfaction
  • work commitment
  • job involvement
  • employee engagement

And behavioral outcomes like:

  • productivity
  • job performance
  • organizational citizenship behaviors

Studies on Employee Behavior Effects

A 2010 Harvard Business School study found that the above cited job attitudes have a positive correlation with behaviors that contribute to organizational performance. Absence of the same variables negatively affect organizational performance. At Caterpillar, employee engagement initiatives saw an 80% reduction in grievances and 34% increase in highly satisfied customers. Other 300 studies confirm the link between satisfaction, job performance and financial performance. In the studies, firms with high employee morale recorded 19% growth. Firms with low morale recorded 10% growth. The studies also found employee development, resilience, vitality, employee growth, engagement, training, and teamwork, as positive organizational behavior variables.


The above short discussion underscores the importance of organizational leadership’s need to understand how employee behavior affects organizations to allow them to manage the same with competence. Every activity from recruitment, performance management, industrial relations, training through to exit interview should seek to reinforce congruence of employee values, attitudes, perception and behavior with the organization.

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