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It comes as no surprise that in the last 50 years a lot has changed around the world, and with that a lot has changed in the workplaces within organisations around the world. Without these changes, growth wouldn’t have happen and on the more negative side, the market crashes wouldn’t had happened.
Yet through the thick and thin, change is important within the world and organisations. It is needed to keep us thinking, keep us on our toes and keep us growing.
In this article, the first for the My Organisational Behaviour Blog, we will explore the eight main workforce trends which are affecting businesses all over the first world. These examples are mainly taken from the British workforce, but when looking at countries such as the United States of America, Canada and Germany, the trends are much the same.
An Ageing Workforce
The birth rate in Britain has decreased with last year “just 698,512 babies were born, down from 729,674 the year before”. Although this doesn’t seem like a massive problem, the effect of decreasing birth rates means that workers have to continue working for longer to support themselves and the economy. This in turn leads it to being harder for the younger generation to get jobs, as people are not retiring at the standard age set by the government.
This article from the Telegraph paints a good picture of why this is a challenge for organisations;
An ageing workforce creates significant challenges for employers, especially around how to control the cost of benefit provision for this group of workers. Employers need to recognise that the benefits they offer need to be adapted to deliver to the needs of the whole workforce, regardless of age,” said Mr Ball.
A lot is said of older worker being less productive and less inclined to learn new skills. I can’t say I believe this, as it is dependent on the person and culture they are in, rather than the age they are labelled with.
Female Participation in High-Status Jobs
One of the best changes which is happening in organisations is the participation of females in higher roles. After years of women struggling in the workplace, we are finally in a position to see men and women both at the top of the bill.
In fact an article which was published a few years ago on The Telegraph’s website goes as far as saying that there are more women in higher positions than men now, however the pay is still not equal.
I’m a firm believer in that this shouldn’t affect an organisation too much, as men and women should be treated equal anyway, so the way an organisation is run hopefully already takes this into account…
Increasing Participation of Historically Disadvantaged Groups
Another change which is fantastic, is that disadvantaged groups have started to appear more in organisations. From racial problems to people with physical disabilities, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem anymore with everyone having equal treatment in the workplace.
With the higher participation of these groups, it translate into even better places, with David Cameron strengthening his business advisory group with three women and first black FTSE 100 CEO.
More use of Various Flexible Working Practices
Part-time, temporary contracts and zero hour contracts have all become massive in the last couple of years, with people preferring to try and fit work around their life, to be happier and more content. This changes the workplace in many good and bad ways.
Communication can be badly affected as part-time workers and temporary contract workers won’t be around as often, and as they aren’t there as often, they may not care as much, leading to communication problems around all of the company. As well as this it may be harder to keep track of which employees are in when, hence why most companies with flexitime still make it a requirement for workers to come into the office in-between at least 2 to 4 hours when everyone else is there. This allows any important meetings etc. to take place.
On the other hand, flexible working is said to drastically improve motivation as it allows people to have their own lives away from work.
Working flexibly has allowed Karina to be there for her children while also running a start-up business. It has also enabled her to keep costs down and save money during the first few months of setting up a business by not having to rent expensive office space and pay for the associated overheads such as gas, electricity or travel costs. Instead, Karina can work from home, a cafe or wherever she needs to be.
In many ways it depends on the organisation. But the research suggests that flexible working, works.
Read More on this Subject
Group Definition: In the setting of an organisation, a group is the collection of people who are located, grouped or gathered together, either by classification or in a more general sense. People are often put in groups, such as a department, or groups are created by the same culture or objectives within an organisation.
Team Definition: A team in an organisation is defined to be more competitive than a group, with the intention of this grouping of people to be able to achieve a common goal, reach the same objectives.
Below are the slightly expanded definitions which have been created by scholars in the field of Organisational Behaviour.
What is a Group?
A group is a number of people who;
- interact with each other;
- are psychologically aware of each other;
- perceive themselves aware of each other;
- or perceive themselves to be a group.
What is a Team?
A team is a group of people, each of whom possesses particular expertise; each of whom is responsible for making individual decisions; who together hold a common purpose; who meet together to communicate, collaborate and consolidate knowledge, from which plans are made, actions determined and future decisions influenced.
Key Learning Points?
- What is the Definition of a Group?
- What is the Definition of a Team?
- Why should groups and teams be used within organisations?
Image from Flickr by woodleywonderworks
Motivation Definition: The reason or reasons to act in a particular way. It is what makes us do things and carry out tasks for the organisation. However, motivation is often used as an excuse, a lack of motivation for not doing anything. This is why in an organisation discipline needs to be used, to inspire the fact that motivation isn’t always needed, but discipline to get the job done is.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is that which energises, directs and sustains behaviour
(Steers & Porter 1979)
Motivation is important within organisations because managers need to know how to motivate their staff, so that they work harder, enjoy work life more and in turn generate more profit for the company. Its important to know; how people are motivated, why people are motivated and also how the manager themselves are motivated, because if they aren’t then it is very unlikely that the rest of the team will be.
How to Motivate Employees
Although everyone is motivated differently, as they require different things to make them happy and content, there are a set of aspects which will normally work on most people.
- Health Care
These are just a few, if we dive more into the theories though we can see a lot more;
Theories of Motivation
- Common-sense Theory: Motivation
- Expectancy Theory: Motivation
- Fundamental Attribution Error
- Goal-setting Theory: Motivation
- Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory: Motivation
- Maslows Hierarchy of Needs: Motivation
In many situations motivational quotes are used to try and energise employees. A sample of these are shown below;
Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.
– Norman Ralph Augustine
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
– Thomas A. Edison
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
– Mark Twain
Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Who do YOU want to be in life?”
One of my favourite motivational videos, from the great Arnie!
Key Learning Points
- How Would You Define Motivation?
- Why is Discipline Important?
- How Would You Motivate an Employee?
Organisational Behaviour has a few different definitions, depending on where you look. For this reason I have decided to add a couple of these definitions to the page, as this will give us all a better look at what Organisational Behaviour actually is.
The systematic study of formal organizations and of what people think, feel and do in and around organizations.
Bratton et al (2010)
An interdisciplinary body of knowledge and field of research, concerned with how formal organizations, behaviour of people within organizations, and salient features of their context and environment, evolve and take shape, why all these things happen the way they do, and what purposes they serve.
Buchanon and Huczynski (2010)
When looking at definitions for organisational behaviour, we should also really look at the definition of organisation, as this will give us a better understanding of the above, so, what is the definition of an organisation?
Definition of Organisation
Work organization: a deliberately formed social group in which people, technology and resources are deliberately coordinated through formalized roles and relationships to achieve a division of labour designed to attain a specific set of objectives efficiently.
Bratton et al (2010)
Organization: a social arrangement for achieving controlled performance in pursuit of collective goals.
Buchanon and Huczynski (2010)
Organisational Behaviour is a multi-disciplined approach to how an organisation works. It takes into account the personality system of a organisation, the cultural system and also the social system.
A lot has been written up about Organisational Behaviour, and many theories have been made to try and show us what the whole concept is. On this website you should hopefully get an idea of what it is, and how we use it within management to get the most of of employees and ourselves.
Take a look at the following pages to learn a bit more;