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Employee Behavior and Performance

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Evaluating employee performance is not simply a matter of saying that he did or did not meet targets. There are a number of factors, especially behavioural ones, that affect performance and many of these are difficult to quantify or measure in mathematical terms. Behaviour is affected by circumstances and this must be taken into account when examining performance. It is subjective in many ways, but that is where the supervisor’s skill and experience come into play. Being able to understand employee behaviour is a critical factor in motivation and improved performance.

Among the key issues are:

Communications skills: An employee cannot work in isolation. He must have the communications skills to relate to and work with others. Some people are able to work very efficiently on their own, but have difficulty in working with others. This is often not due to selfishness or an antisocial attitude, which is negative behaviour. Rather, it could be because of an inability of communicating. This kind of issue will not only affect the employee’s performance but will also create discord in the workplace. If communication skills are a weakness, improving it is something that should be added to the employee’s key result areas and evaluated as part of an ongoing performance review.

Conflict management: An employee who does not come into conflict with fellow workers is one who is not contributing. A person is employed, at any level, not just to do a specific job, but to add value to it in some way or the other. Doing this can affect the work of others and result in conflict. Conflict management skills enable the employee to find a work around so that he is able to do the value addition while finding a way to smooth the ruffled feathers of others. An inability to do this or failure to understand the need for it will result in conflict, thus causing the employee to stop being creative, or even paving a way for major discord in the workplace.

Work ethic: An employee with a good work ethic can be an invaluable asset for the employer. A person who comes in on time does his work well and is able to cooperate with others and handle a variety of tasks is one to retain and promote. However, a potentially good worker could be demotivated by all kinds of issues, ranging from family problems and workplace conflict to not having the right skills or unavailability of training and educational opportunities to upgrade skills etc. If behaviour reflects a poor work ethic, taking the trouble to get to know the employee better to understand the reasons for the negative attitude can often help in finding ways to guide the employee into overcoming the problems, which would eventually bring his/her performance back on track.

Leadership: Not all employees are natural leaders. This doesn’t mean those people can’t be entrusted with leadership roles. Often, the apparent lack of leadership qualities stems from insecurities and lack of self-confidence. An employee who is unwilling to accept responsibility and has a pessimistic attitude towards success could be mirroring internal insecurities. Including confidence building activities in the employee’s job description could turn a follower into a leader with a positive outlook.

 

So, use these parameters to judge and improve employee behaviour and performance, which would ultimately contribute to the bottom-line.

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