Internal & external factors that influence employee behavior

Written by nicole papa
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Internal & external factors that influence employee behavior
Leadership is an internal factor that influences employee behaviour. (team image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

Employee behaviour, also called organizational behaviour, is a result of factors that influence the ways employees respond to their work, leadership and customers. Identifying the internal and external factors that affect their behaviour can help the company understand why employees are committed and motivated. Internal factors include leadership, organizational structure and the corporate culture. External factors include family life and other business relationships.

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Internal – Leadership

Leadership plays a key role in setting the tone of an organisation. According to allbusiness.com, the one quality that influences employee behaviour in a positive way is trust in leadership. When employees perceive leadership perceived as trustworthy, full of integrity and honourable, it motivates them to be more productive. The rest of the organisation will mirror what leadership does.

Internal - Organizational Structure

Lamar University defines organizational structure as, “the formal system of task and reporting relationships that controls, coordinates, and motivates employees so that they cooperate to achieve an organisation's goals.” This includes the organisation's policies, procedures and expectations. A healthy organizational structure will enable employees to be more efficient, while an unhealthy structure can keep employees from reaching their potential.

Internal – Corporate Culture

An organisation's intangible norms make up its corporate culture. For example, the corporate culture of Starbucks includes friendly service, a welcoming atmosphere and flexibility in the hours an employee can work. This culture is very different than the corporate culture of a local police department, which is more focused on getting things done and protecting the public.

External – Family Life

Employees' family life can have a direct impact on their behaviour. If there's a conflict in the family life, it can affect the employee’s behaviour at work. The employee may respond negatively to criticism at work and interaction with the leadership. Happiness at home can result in a motivated and happy employee.

External – Business Relationships

Other business relationships have an impact on employee behaviour. For example, if a company has a partnership with another business and the other business has high expectations, employees may respond in their performance because of those high expectations.

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