Industrial psychology dynamics are a very important part of an organization because, in order for organizations to be successful and operate at optimum levels, employees and managers are required to operate in harmony with the organization’s culture. Individual behavior within an organization is heterogeneous, and hence every individual’s behavior varies from individual to individual hence requiring organizational managers to manage organizational behavior of employees (DuBrin 2004) appropriately. Since organizations bring together many individuals from different backgrounds, it is necessary that organizational members show respect and appreciate the diversity amongst each other.
Managers are therefore required to resolve workplace conflict, come up with appropriate measures of reducing stress, form guidelines to handle individual differences between employees and encourage healthy barrier-free communication within the organization (Knights & Roberts 2002). Moreover, managers are required to ensure that employees are motivated individually and also as teams. Managers are also required to ensure that cultural diversity and personality differences of all individuals are respected.
The employees of this big call center are a good example of the complex nature of industrial psychology and organizational behavior. The character and behavior of Susan and Molly are not appropriate because they also appear to come out as culture insensitive individuals when they talk behind the back of Karishma, this has led to the frustration of other colleagues (Roberts 1998). Moreover, Dan and Joy are frustrated individuals who feel wronged and let down by their colleagues who seem not to care. On the other hand, the supervisor, Mr. Davis, is frustrated by the individual and group performance of the entire group, and output has even gone down. The current situation of this organization is quite bad, and hence these are issues that need to be addressed at the moment.
Cultural diversity is a common characteristic of many organizations. Different organizations are home to individuals of different races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds that, when brought together, they achieve success for the organization (Knights & Roberts 2002). The major rule is that all employees are expected to carry themselves appropriately in order to avoid making comments or displaying behavior that is considered culturally insensitive. The actions of Molly and Susan were inappropriate and very unfair to Karishma, simply because Karishima dresses differently and has a weird accent, it is not appropriate to discriminate against her or talk about her in such a culturally insensitive manner.
The actions of Molly and Susan can be considered as Counterproductive work behavior because, in this case, both Molly and Susan’s behavior act against the strategic objective of an organization because it has negatively affected other organizational members (Roberts 1998). Organizations are created for the sole purpose of bringing together individuals from different backgrounds to work together towards the same goal in harmony. This counterproductive behavior is intentional and also has distressed and annoyed Joy, their co-worker. The organization should, therefore, lay and enforce a strict framework that will require all employees to respect aspects of cultural diversity, especially while in the workplace. The dangers of cultural insensitivity within the workplace, in most instances, affect organizational performance negatively.
Cultural insensitivity makes it impossible for employees to work together as groups effectively by bringing down the motivation of employees who feel discriminated against (Roberts 1998). It is hence compulsory that organizational leaders and managers put in place strategies that will require employees to treat others as equals and not with hostility. This is why organizations should prepare regular cultural sensitivity training and workshops so that employees can get to learn each other’s culture and learn to appreciate each other. Cultural sensitivity training and policies within organizations ensure that employees have the courtesy, especially when dealing with each other within the workplace; cultural sensitivity programs will help the organization avoid culturally insensitive behavior within the workplace as it was witnessed in the cafeteria when Susan and Molly were taking lunch.
Handling individual differences & solving problems
Individual differences often pose a threat to the success of many organizations; since organizations consist of individuals who often are required to work in groups, it, therefore, becomes necessary that organizational members have well-established mechanisms to solve problems that exist between individuals (Watson 2006). Individual differences between individuals in the organization have affected the ability of the workers to work together towards the same goal. The hostility of Molly and Susan towards Karishma and Joy’s reaction to their behavior represents some aspects of personal behavior. Moreover, the hostility of Molly towards Dan when Dan informs them that its time for him to have his lunch break and them to go back to work clearly illustrates that there are individual differences between them that will ultimately affect the output of the organization.
Because individual differences pose a huge threat to the success of the organization managers of organization behavior, they are required to set policies and guidelines in order to ensure that individual differences do not interfere with organizational goals. Customarily if policies and guidelines backfire, managers are often forced to intervene by arranging a one on one meeting between rival parties in order to end any feuds which are responsible for personal differences (Watson 2006).
During this meeting, which serves as ceasefires, employees openly discuss their feelings and issues and repair their broken relationships for the greater good of the organization (Knights & Roberts 2002). Molly’s behavior is not responsible and therefore Mr. David after receiving complaints from Dan should call Molly and solve the problem by making it clear that wasting time within the organization will not be tolerated and every employee should stick to guidelines and show concern for others by keeping their personal differences from interfering with work in any way (Watson 2001).
Motivation of employees
The current situation of the company indicates that productivity levels within the company have dropped drastically; the supervisor, Mr. Davis, is worried about the current state of the employees. Moreover, other employees like Molly and Susan lack the motivation to work, and hence they even extend their lunch break into working hours and hesitant to go back to work. Supervisors and managers need to understand what motivates employees because motivation is extremely important to industrial psychology (Watson 1996).
Motivation is a form of energy an individual puts toward work. Motivation can be used by management as a tool to influence the behavior of employees, in this case, Mr. Davis should use principles of industrial psychology to understand that employees need to be motivated (Knights & Roberts 2002). It is hence necessary to understand that employees are individuals who have a set of goals and a path which they would like to follow. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory, and goal setting theories help managers understand how to influence the behavior of employees positively to benefit their organizations with the aim of increasing output.
Employees currently in this institution are not motivated individually and also at the group level, and hence some of them lack the desire to dedicate themselves to their work. In an ideal working environment, employees should work optimally on their own. Hence, no employee should end up reporting each other to the supervisor (Watson 2006). The company should hence design appropriate motivation programs that are both monetary and nonmonetary in order to motivate employees optimally. Additionally, the management should regularly appraise employees and set credible goals for them so that they can be motivated to achieve organizational goals
Stress at work
Parker (2002) notes, “Stress is a harmful physical and emotional response that takes place particularly when there is a mismatch between job demands, capabilities, resources, and the needs of the worker.” This case is a clear indication that the organization in question has some of its employees experiencing a lot of stress that is work-related (Watson 2006). Joy and Dan, together with the Supervisor, Mr. Davis is stressed, individuals.
Joy is particularly not pleased by the insensitive behavior of her colleague’s, and hence she is stressed, in an ideal situation every employee should have sensitive and understanding colleagues who are cautious and respectful, but the gossip and backstabbing that she witnessed in the cafeteria have angered her. On the other hand, Molly’s aggressive reaction towards Dan has forced him into a compromising situation where he has to report Molly’s behavior to the supervisor, who is also in a dilemma because the organization is not performing well and individuals in the organization cannot agree on taking a picnic.
The effects of stress can be very drastic and ultimately affect the overall performance of the organization. Employees are supposed to exist in a working environment that is stress-free in order to maximize the level of output within an organization is maximized(Knights & Roberts 2002). Managements are often required to come up with mechanisms in order to ensure that the levels of stress within organizations are kept at an all-time minimum. The following are strategies which could be used by management in order to ensure that stress within organizations is managed appropriately; employee workload should be streamlined with workers’ capabilities and resources this way, employees will not end up being overworked and stressed.
Managers are also expected to clearly outline employee roles and responsibilities and set clear guidelines for carrying out responsibilities. Because stress issues are linked to different personality traits that are heterogeneous within the organizations, managers are required to facilitate forums where workers can get opportunities to brainstorm on various ways in which they can solve work-related problems (Knights & Roberts 2002). Moreover, due to the diverse nature of organizations, managers have the responsibility to combat workplace discrimination of any kind so that individuals do not feel discriminated against. Lastly, managers can introduce a participative leadership style that will involve employees more often and assist workers in solving various stress-related issues in the workplace.
Reducing barriers to communication
Good communication is a key ingredient to a successful organization; coordination cannot be successful in instances where communication mechanisms are not well set up within the organizations (Parker 2002). The current level of disorganization in the organization is as a result of poor communication that has also affected the behavior of employees. As the supervisor, Mr. Davis is the strategic head of the organization and hence should communicate firmly the strategic intentions of the organizations, the guidelines, and procedures and how employees are expected to behave. But because communication from the top is not streamlined, organizational success is now compromised as individuals are even abusing work time hours by extending lunch hours.
Additionally, group activities within the organization are also compromised due to the fact that the organization of the communication system has led to poor coordination of activities (Parker 2002). Top management should hence create a clear/formal and personalized channel of communication that clearly defines the roles of all individuals and their work targets, whereby this will enable employees to work with a particular goal in mind.
Clear messages usually ensure that not only individuals and groups understand what is expected to them thus, use of formal communication structures by the supervisor, Mr. Davis, will ensure that employees end up more serious and it will become easier for him to coordinate individuals and groups within the organization(Knights & Roberts 2002). A good communication structure will ensure that employees will communicate more effectively with each other and make it simpler to solve problems such as selecting the locations and particulars of the picnic.
Achieving successful group activities
Individuals are sometimes required to work in groups while at work in organizations due to different personality traits, motivation, and goals of individuals; groups often end up not agreeing, and this compromises the success of organizations (Parker 2002). Group dynamics usually pose a great challenge to managers, and they are required to develop strategies that enable employees reach consensus and agreement. Group members are more likely to disagree if they feel that the group’s decisions bring about a win-lose or lose-win situation(Parker 2002). This is hence why managers use the strategy of collective bargaining and intense negotiations where group members come together and give their opinions, which will form the basis of the final decision.
Collective bargaining and negotiations are a way of creating win-win situations and should be used by Mr. Davis and his employees in order to ensure that all group activities inclusive of the picnic are successful. If a certain portion of employees feel that they are disregarded during group activities whereby their opinions are not taken seriously, their most likely reaction will be to exclude or sabotage group activities. It is necessary for Mr. Davis to ensure that he regularly encourages openness and that the opinions of particular individuals are not disregarded, and the process of decision making in group activities is participatory and even in some instances done through voting (Watson 1996).
Industrial psychology is a discipline that enables managers to understands how employee behavior can be used as an asset to their organizations. The case study has shed light on the fact that employee personality is heterogeneous, and hence there is a need to ensure that heterogeneity of personalities does not hinder the success of individual organizations. Managing employees hence requires managers to set up mechanisms and strategies that will enable organizations to smoothly manage employees in order to influence their behavior in the most appropriate way.
Managers are required to minimize stress levels in organizations by developing good communication channels, address issues of cultural diversity, create good motivation programs, and also set up a good mechanism of solving work-related issues. If managers fail to influence employee behavior to the benefit of the organization, then the most likely outcome will be a decline in organizational output, group, and individual performance.
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