Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Understanding Employee Behavior Patterns and Motivations

The best managers understand their employees, what makes them tick, how they are likely to act in any given situation, and in what situations they excel. This awareness can often lead to putting together strong teams with the right mix of personalities and abilities. Understanding and discovering employee behavior patterns and motivations can help pull your human capital together into a productive unit.

There is a psychological saying, "The way that people do one this is the way they do everything." It means that we are creatures of consistent habit in that our behaviors in one situation often are repeated in similar circumstances. Employees who act one way in one situation are likely to repeat that behavior in another.

Our behaviors are based on deeper patterns and motivations that when uncovered can lead to a story about our strengths and weaknesses. As we begin to look at patterns of behavior in different situations we begin to get a bigger story of who are employees are and why they do the things they do. Knowing this can lead to greater group creation.

Let us say an employee that is placed in a challenging situations increases his/her effort to meet those challenges. They do this by improving coordination with other employees, breaking down activities into steps and then focus on an objective. Adding that person to the team would be beneficial as they can improve group consensus and goal directed behavior.

We may also use the example of an employee who is seeking to support an image of themselves. This image is faced on some false perceptions and is dysfunctional by nature. When placed in a difficult situation they focus on making themselves look better, undercutting their team mates and demanding their way without considering the needs of the team. Definitely not someone you want on a high performance team.

How we learn about our employees is to pay attention to what they talk about, how they act in certain situations, and the way in which they interact with others. Find their work strengths and weaknesses. Create an understanding of what stimulus create what type of responses. When forming your team include those with complementary skills that create a team energy that leads to stronger group performance.

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