Organization Behavior

Organization Behavior

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Organization Behavior

Organizational behavior can give companies a competitive advantage, increase profits, and help attract the best and brightest employees. However, it can be very difficult to manage and when not done so properly, can lead to lost productivity and can destroy a company from within. With the positive and negative consequences of organizational behavior in mind, we sought out an organization to assist where we could put our knowledge to work. We settled on Moon Cooperative, a natural foods store located in Oxford, Ohio and will be focusing on the deli department and the employees within that segment. We gained access to the internal environment through the deli manager, Lucy. Our communication was done through one of our group members via text. Through the series of text conversations, Lucy opened up to us about some of the challenges that the deli department is facing.

The main concern that Lucy voiced was the persistent inefficiency and lack of growth within the deli. She explained that these two problems have manifested themselves primarily through the 4 employees that she oversees. Lucy mentioned that many times she would come to her shift and see that none of the prep work (which is supposed to be done by the employee with the shift before her) had not been completed. This made Lucy extremely overwhelmed during her own shift, as she would have to balance taking and assembling customer orders while doing double prep work.

Poor communication is also a chronic issue. Inefficiency increases when new employees must be trained to replace old ones who quit, which happens on a nearly monthly basis. All of this appears to stem from an overall lack of personal responsibility and motivation and leads to sub-par work, as Lucy explains. While employee inefficiency explains some of the lack of financial growth within the deli, it is also evident in the old equipment that the deli is forced to use. Lucy mentioned multiple times that the commercial blender the employees use often breaks and makes preparing each order take much longer than it should. All of this is a problem because it causes employees to stay past their scheduled shift times to catch up on prep work, which increases labor costs for Moon Co-op. It also causes customer dissatisfaction by having to wait longer for their food and often having to deal with incorrect orders.

After hearing all of this from Lucy, we wanted to dig deeper into the root cause of the symptoms that Lucy was witnessing on a daily basis. The underlying cause for most of the problems in Moon Co-op’s deli appears to come from poor leadership on behalf of the General Manager. Lucy mentioned to us multiple times that her employees were essentially “terrified” of the GM due to her habit of going on long tirades and being generally unapproachable and irritable. The GM’s inability to wield personal power and her reliance on mostly legitimate and coercive power has likely contributed to the low motivation amongst the employees, which is showing up in their work ethic and contributes to the insubordination that has occurred towards Lucy and the GM. Lucy had previously attempted to set up a system to keep her employees accountable but this initiative was not backed by any support from GM or Lucy’s own position power so it has not amounted to much.

The GM also appears to be doing a poor job at handing off the necessary managerial responsibilities to Lucy. This creates confusion among the employees regarding who their direct supervisor is and decreases Lucy’s ability to successfully delegate tasks and wield authority to those under her. In addition, the GM’s inability to let go of control of the deli has hindered its growth. The GM often refuses to provide the necessary funds to buy new equipment or experiment with new recipes. Lucy also mentioned that the GM takes leftover money from the deli’s weekly budget and puts it towards other parts of the store. The GM clearly has little respect for Lucy and does not seem to trust her to make decisions and try new things that could help the deli grow. Lucy has attempted to talk with the GM about increasing the deli’s budget and taking more control, but she is still somewhat new to the managerial position and does not know how to properly make her own case. Of course, the deli employees are fully aware of the ways that their GM is undermining the importance of the deli and this undoubtedly causes a deficiency in their relatedness and growth needs, as outlined by Alderfer’s Existence-Relatedness-Growth Theory (213).

Considering that a major issue in the organization is the low motivation and poor attitudes of employees, our first solution will work toward improving employee morale and creating a more enjoyable workplace. Therefore, we propose that Moon Co-op implement an after-work activity in which employees can collaboratively create recipes together, not only for their own personal use but also for the store to sell in the deli department. This solution tackles many issues that the organization already has, as well as creates other benefits that can be used in creating a successful organization.

Poor attitudes in the store are leading to employees not completing their day-to-day tasks and being generally unhappy when coming into work each day. Since attitude has a direct effect on how well a person’s work is carried out and his or her efficiency is in doing so, creating a plan where employees can take part in an entertaining activity that not only benefits themselves but also benefits the company is a solution in tackling this issue. In addition, poor attitudes also have the potential to affect the customers that these employees interact with. If a customer feels that he or she is being treated poorly by an employee, the chances that the store loses that customer in the future to a different store increases. Better attitudes because of employees being happier in the workplace will resolve this issue.

Poor attitudes lead to low motivation and by creating an atmosphere where employees feel that their opinions are valued and that they are working toward a common goal, a more efficient work atmosphere will ensue. Given that the deli department will create an opportunity for the employees to have their recipes out for sale in the store, they will feel as if they are a part of something rather than a disposable object in the organization. According to the book, happy employees are more productive employees and a higher investment in the organization will lead to a more efficient workplace (Phillips, 144). Rather than having the problem of employees not completing their specified tasks, employees will be eager to work hard and potentially take on more power in the future.

Not only will the opportunity to create recipes after work with fellow employees boost attitudes and motivation of employees, employee engagement will also heighten. Employee engagement is “a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or coworkers, that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work” (Phillips, 145). In other words, this means that when employees feel more enthusiastic and engaged in the workplace, their efforts toward their work will increase. Taking part in a fun after-work activity will boost engagement at work and make employees feel passionate about the store that they are directly helping through their recipe creations. Additionally, rather than feeling as if they have to come to work each day and putting in minimal effort because of this general feeling, employees will want to come to work and will be more likely to go above in beyond in their daily work because they have a bigger stake in the company.

The second solution we are proposing deals with the distribution of power within Moon Co-op’s deli department. Moon Co-op’s hierarchical structure currently doesn’t foster teamwork and cooperation. The existing structure or lack thereof has led to frequent employee turnover and the abuse of power by management. Implementing a change in the organization’s leadership and management will help spur growth by removing the barriers impeding the progress of the organization. Therefore, our group recommends that by altering the composition of the company regarding its management and leadership that Moon Co-op will be able to solve the multitude of problems affecting the growth of the organization.

Multiple reports from both managers and employees have surfaced that have placed the general manager as the reason behind the lack of growth and high employee turnover. Currently, the general manager is hesitant to give specific responsibilities to the subordinate managers and employees. Also, the general manager is unwilling to give the deli department the necessary funding or budget it requires to run efficiently. By withholding these funds and keeping certain responsibilities away from the employees, the general manager is abusing the legitimate power she possesses which consequently impacts the organization and its employees. Her authority over her employees is solely due to the position in which she holds and not a result of anything she does. If Moon Co-op, wishes to grow as a business then this issue of power must be addressed head on. Our group believes that redistributing the power within the organization is the best way to accomplish this task.

Creating a more even distribution of power is easier said than done. To accomplish this, we propose that Moon Co-op focuses on making sure that their employees feel valued by empowering them. Empowering the subordinate managers and employees requires that they are given the authority and responsibilities to make at least some decisions. Giving more responsibilities to employees, along with the necessary training, can help increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the whole organization. Through taking some power away from the general manager and empowering the subordinate managers and employees, Moon Co-op will create an environment where all employees feel as if they have a stake in the success of the business.

To ensure successful implementation, we believe that an open discussion between all levels of management and employees needs to take place. A discussion, where all barriers of communication are removed, will give employees an opportunity to voice their opinions in a productive manner, while making sure that all concerns are addressed. If the redistribution of power is successful, then it should result in increased accountability for all employees and managers at Moon Co-op. This increased accountability will make the managers and employees feel valued which can increase productivity and allow the organization to grow.

Conclusion

Group and individual behavior is widely affected by many variables in an organization (Rozhdestvin et al., 2015). As such, there are many factors that determine behavioral patterns. They include management techniques, culture, individual communication as well as human psychology. For these reasons, organization behavior refers to the analysis of behaviors that are associated with any particular business-oriented organization. Moreover, organization behavior can also be defined as the study of the behavior and nature of the different people who are found within an organization.

There are three vital elements that are associated with organizational behavior. They include the goals, vision and values. These elements define the organization’s culture. Moreover, the organizational behavior consists of social, formal and informal environments. Organization behavior is vital in responding to the various requirements that are associated with globalization of the modern world. Additionally, it provides the required support for improving the quality and productivity of work (Tasselli et al., 2017). It is also important in the re-building of any organization’s structure. Organization behavior also encourages and empowers people to perform maximally.

Working on a team is a very essential element in the organization’s success (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2014). As such, it broadens one’s way of thinking due to the diverse ideas that are aired in group meetings. Moreover, it teaches one the importance of respecting other people’s opinions. This is because different people are encouraged to air their perspectives in different areas of study. As such, working on a team enables people to interact with each other, and in the process, the variety of ideas that are presented are consequently analyzed after which the best idea is identified and implemented.

As such, organization behavior determines the profits, competitive advantage and the ability of an organization to attract the best employees as well as customers. In this regard, Lucy cited poor communication, lack of efficiency and lack of growth within the organization as the most prevalent problems. All these problems were attributed to poor leadership. As such, the employees have a bad attitude and are poorly motivated to work. To solve these problems, power should be distributed accordingly in the organization. Moreover, the employees should be properly motivated to work. Lastly, there should be an open line of communication in the organization.

References

Rozhdestvin, A. V., Svarnik, O. E., Grinehenko, Y. V., & Alexandrov, Y. I. (2015). REGULARITIES OF INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE ACTUALIZATION DEPENDING ON ITS DIFFERENTIATION DEGREE IN THE PROCESS OF BEHAVIOR ORGANIZATION. PSIKHOLOGICHESKII ZHURNAL, 36(3), 67-72.

Tasselli, S., Kilduff, M., & Landis, B. (2017). Personality Change: Implications for Organization Behavior. Academy of Management Annals, (ja).

Wagner III, J. A., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2014). Organizational behavior: Securing competitive advantage. Routledge.