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Productive and Counterproductive Behavior

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Productive and Counterproductive Behavior in an Organization
Melissa W. Imler
University of Phoenix
PSY/428
April 25, 2011
Judy Manning

Abstract

Organizations hire employees that exhibit productive behaviors in order to produce effective service within an organization. Productive behavior is referred to in three different forms. Employees that promote counterproductive behavior within the workplace can cause an organization to lose value. Counterproductive behaviors from employees run against the goals of the organization. There are four common forms of counterproductive behavior that will be discussed. Productive and counterproductive behaviors definitely impact the overall performance of the employees within an organization. There are several strategies that can increase productive behavior and strategies to decrease counterproductive behavior in an organization.
Productive Behavior The definition for productive behavior is when the employee behavior positively contributes to the organizations goals and objectives. In the financial aspect, productive behavior represents the moment the organization achieves some return on the investment of the new employee. Productive behavior is classified into three forms: job performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and innovation.
The first form of productive behavior is job performance, which is a representation of engaged employee behaviors while at work. Another aspect of job performance is that it represents certain behaviors that are later evaluated by the organization. There are two models of job performance including; in-role performance and extra-role performance. In-role performance is the performance of the technical aspects of an employee’s position. Extra-role performance is the nontechnical aspects, which include exhibition of motivation, enthusiasm at work, effective communication, and being a good team member. Job performance can be measured and assessed in eight different ways: job skills tests, paper/pencil tests, on-site hands-on testing, off-site hands-on testing, symbolic simulations, high-fidelity simulations, task ratings, and global ratings. Overall performance on the job and the ratings of the employee’s performance are the two most applied performance assessment methods in organizations.
The second form of productive behavior is organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is referred to as the behaviors that are presented, which are not part of the employees’ job description like being kind to others or helping other co-workers. Organizational citizenship behaviors are not evaluated, nor are they a part of the appraisal system that is used in most organizations for assessing employees. Organizational citizenship behavior can be based on five different types that include altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, conscientiousness, and civic virtue.
Innovation in organizations is the third form of productive behavior. This is a representation of employees that come up with great ideas or concepts that help to further the goals of the organization. Many organizational teams recruit members who excel in innovation.
Counterproductive Behavior Counterproductive behaviors are the behaviors of employees that run against, or counter to, the goals of the organization. There are four commonly studied forms of counterproductive behavior: ineffective job performance, absenteeism, turnover, and accidents. The first form of counterproductive behavior is ineffective job performance, which is very difficult for an organization to detect. After it has been detected, the organization must determine the cause of the performance problem. Many organizations find it difficult to prevent and/or respond to ineffective job performance given by their employees. The second form of counterproductive behavior is absenteeism, which refers to the employees that do not show up for work or are tardy several times per week. It is very important for the employees to only have excused absences. Employee turnover is the third form of counterproductive behavior. Employee turnover basically means that employees have left the organization and new employees take their place, or when an organizational position is lost it is quickly filled again. There are two kinds of employee turnover: optimal turnover and dysfunctional turnover. Optimal turnover occurs when employees who perform poorly leave the organization. Dysfunctional turnover is when the turnover rate is so high that it increases costs of job training, which can make the organization dysfunctional. The fourth and last form of counterproductive behavior is accidents. Accidents that occur in an organization can be very costly and are extremely serious. Most agencies or organizations abide by a strict set of safety standards that are provided by the legislation, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Act that provides legal standards for safety in the workplace.
Organizational Impact of Productive/Counterproductive Behaviors Productive and counterproductive behaviors impact job and overall performance in all organizations. Productive behavior is a positive behavior that encourages, promotes, and aids in an organization for its purpose. Organizations rely on the employees to act accordingly and in return the organization will be productive. Counterproductive behavior impacts an organization by causing the organization to lose value, money, face, etc. Employees who emit ineffective job performance can bring down other employees and cause a greater turnover in the organization.
Strategies
The recommended strategies to increase productive behavior in an organization are: using a prevention and promotion method, which means that the organization can promote productive behavior while preventing counterproductive behavior. Another strategy for increasing productive behavior is running a background check on any prospective new hires in order to determine if they have the ability to produce for the organization. Required drug screenings can also increase productive behavior in an organization, whether they are pre-employment or random drug tests. Evaluating your employees and educating them of their expectations promotes productive behavior. Strategies to decrease counterproductive behavior in an organization include recognition, rewards, and positive reinforcement methods. This also deems the organization as a humanistic practice. Employee affirmation is important for the organization because, it encourages the employees to be productive instead of counterproductive.
Conclusion
Organizations benefit from employees who are productive and work towards the goals of the organization. Satisfaction with their job plays an intricate part of their overall performance. Hiring employees in an organization that are innovative and creative thinkers will help the organization produce exemplary services. Employees that exhibit counterproductive behaviors in an organization can create a dysfunctional atmosphere and can harm the organization itself. Productive and counterproductive behaviors largely impact the job performance of the employees in an organization. All employees should be educated on what their expectations are and the safety standards and legal standards must be understood. There are several strategies that an organization can use to increase productive behavior and decrease counterproductive behavior. Each organization can set their own strategies to work best for them.

References Ganly, S. (2010, October 20). The definition and impact of productive and counterproductive behavior. ASSOCIATED CONTENT, retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5895342/the_definition_and_impact_of_productive.html?cat=3

Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practioner approach (2nd ed.). : John Wiley & Sons.

Viklund, A. (2008). Positive reinforcement strategies. Wordpress. Retrieved from http://positivereinforcement.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/positive-reinforcement-organizational-values-and-leadership/

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