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Showing posts from May, 2013


Motivating staff for the best performance possible is a matter of finding the right drivers that interest them and reinforcing those drivers while providing negative reinforcement on other, unwanted behaviors.  There are two main types of theories to motivate employees - the content theory (motivation is internal based on employee needs and wants) and process theory (external factors that can be used to influence employee behavior).
Two of the most famous content theories are Maslow's hierarchy (as shown above) and Herzberg's two factor theory.  Maslow's theory proposes that lower order (physiological) needs must be satisfied before higher order (psychological) needs can be considered.  Herzberg's theory falls in between Maslow's and other process theories and states that one set of factors causes motivation and satisfaction (content factors) and another set is responsible for dissatisfaction and low motivation (hygiene factors).
Process theories of motivation are pr…


The General Adaptation Syndrome has three key area's: Alarm - is the ‘fight-or-flight response’ that mobilizes the body and mind to defend against physical and psychological threat.Resistance ExhaustionEmployees suffering negative stress related symptoms (Alarm/Resistance phases) generally demonstrate specific behaviors or patterns in lowered on the job performance - inattentiveness and carelessness are two prime examples.  As stress continues to build  and the cumulative effects get felt, an employee's ability to cope tends to get exhausted (Exhaustion phase - physical and mental shutdown) and they experience job burnout (a prolonged period of psychological withdrawal from work). Note however that positive stress (eustress in contrast to distress) exists also and while eustress can lead to increase effort and performance (challenges to the employee) ... too much of this too can eventually lead to exhaustion.

Environmental stress factors originate from economic, political or tec…


Stress on the job is an unfortunate fact of life and probably something that is here to stay until the inevitable robot uprising (probably another cause for stress to be honest) but controlling our reactions to the stress we experience on the job is a crucial component of work–life satisfaction. Some common strategies for reducing stress are as follows: Exercise - notwithstanding the obvious weight loss and health implications, moderate, regular exercise is strongly correlated with personal well-being (peace of mind), rising levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and falling levels of bad cholesterol and reduction in other health risk factors.  Exercise also helps to reduce stress and can mitigate intermittent explosive disorder (IED) symptoms as discussed in further detail here.Relaxation - while exercise gets the heart pumping, relaxation in contrast does the exact opposite, but it too has a positive effect on stress reduction and overall well being.  There have been many studies conducted tha…


In contrast to the hard sciences like Physics and Chemistry, Organizational Behavior (OB) is a Social or soft science that is specifically focused on people and processes at work.  OB studies the relationships between operational effectiveness and employee needs and how differing factors like job satisfaction, organizational commitment and job involvement relate.
Management while a key component of the study of Organizational Behavior does not in and of itself comprise the whole of OB.  Management in fact deals with achieving the goals of OB through the people and resources of the organization.  Manager`s jobs in the 21st century have changed from what they were previously (& the rate of change is increasing significantly with Generation Y) however and have taken on more of a focus towards coaching, mentoring and conflict resolution.
Values are enduring beliefs that a person has and they help drive their behavior and actions.  Values are considered either Instrumental or Terminal.