Productive and Counterproductive Behaviors in the Workplace Employees within an organization can either contribute positively or negatively towards their employing organization’s overall success and effectiveness. The organizations that ream the most productive behaviors from their employees typically incorporate motivational and leadership activities that encourage these behaviors (Jex & Britt, 2008). This paper will define counterproductive and productive behaviors and describe the impact those behaviors have on job performance and the overall performance of an organization.Counterproductive Behaviors Logic says that employees should want to do well in their jobs. But despite this logic, some employees do not. For various reasons employees will sometimes perform counterproductively towards their employer’s overall goals.
Examples of these types of behaviors are ineffective job performance, frequent absence from work, unsafe behavior, turnover, theft, violence, substance abuse, and sexual harassment (Jex & Britt, 2008). These types of behaviors can result in high costs for organizations.Detecting Counterproductive Behavior The best way employers can detect counterproductive behavior among employees is to perform routine performance appraisals. There are several methods for performing appraisals, including electronic, production data, and subjective appraisals. Each of these systems has pros and cons to it, and are only marginally effective (Jex & Britt, 2008). The truly best way to detect counterproductive behavior is to interact with employees and monitor their job satisfaction. What Causes Counterproductive Behavior?An employee who does not perform well in his or her job may do so for reasons like lack of ability, interruptions from other employees, or poor task design (Jex & Britt, 2008).
As well, poor job performance may result from elements in the organizational climate that provoke poor attitude, or, much less often, because of deep psychiatric problems (Jex & Britt, 2008). Once an employer detects a counterproductive behavior among his or her workforce he or she must try to pinpoint the cause of the behavior. One way of doing this is through the attribution process, in which the mployee’s supervisor would evaluate an employee’s current performance against his or her past performance, his or her performance on specific tasks versus his or her overall performance, and his or her performance compared to other employees. By doing this the supervisor can try to determine the cause of the ineffective behavior and whether it is being caused by internal (lack of ability or motivation, poor attitude, or psychiatric issues) or external (coworkers, poor task design, or lack of tools) factors (Jex & Britt, 2008). Responding to Counterproductive BehaviorOnce a behavior is detected and the cause of the behavior is analyzed, employers must decide how to respond to the behavior. The best first response is to have the employee’s manger discuss the counterproductive behavior with the employee in question (Jex & Britt, 2008) and determine whether the behavior can be corrected in order for the employee to retain his or her position. Once the discussion takes place the manager and employee can decide whether further training or coaching would encourage improved behavior or whether an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) would be beneficial (Jex & Britt, 2008).
Of course, organizations would be best off to prevent counterproductive behaviors from occurring at all. This can be done by going to the effort and expense of hiring the right employees, possibly by utilizing the tools of selection programs to analyze potential employees skills and personalities. As well, employers should nurture their employees’ skills and abilities to encourage productive job performance. Finally, they should also offer employees frequent feedback and measurement of their performance to help keep them on track with respect to organizational expectations (Jex & Britt, 2008).Productive Behaviors Despite the fact that some employees do not contribute positively to the organizations they work for, most employees try to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities and even go above and beyond their required duties at times. Examples of productive behaviors include positive job performance, organizational citizenship, creativity, and innovation (Jex & Britt, 2008). Assessing Productive Behaviors Organizational psychologists use various models to assess job performance.
These models evaluate in-role (technical aspects of a given job) and extra-role (skills that transcend the specific content of a job such as communication skills and being a team player) performance by employees (Jex & Britt, 2008). These assessments allow managers to recognize productive employees and encourage and motivate them to continue in their efforts. Predictors of Productive Behaviors There are several methods that organizations can use when recruiting employees to predict whether candidates will contribute positively to their organization.These include general cognitive ability, level of job experience, and the personality trait of conscientiousness (Jex & Britt, 2008). By evaluating these predictors, organizations can save themselves time and money by hiring the right people who will contribute to organizational goals without excess coaching, training, or need for reprimand. The Affects of Counterproductive and Productive Behaviors Clearly an organization will be affected by the employees that support it. Employees that contribute positively will help the organization move towards its goals, and, if innovation and creativity are present, possibly even surpass their goals.
On the other hand, employees who work counterproductively within an organization, will cost management time and may require additional effort to be spent on reputation management, recruitment, and training (Jex & Britt, 2008). Organizations would be best served to recruit employees with the most potential to work productively by analyzing their job experience, personality, and cognitive ability before offering an individual a job.References Jex, S. M. , & Britt, T. W. (2008).
. Organizational Psychology. A Scientist-Practitioner Approach, Second Edition. Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/classroom/ic/classroom. aspx.
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