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Productive and Counterproductive Behavior in Organizations Essay

If the leader of an organization you were considering making an investment in was consistently tardy to meetings and procrastinated deadlines, would it make you reconsider where you were putting your money? You want to know that the person has ambition and is organized. The ideal person would be right on time, prepared, and be eager to conduct business. These are some of the differences of productive and counterproductive behaviors. And they can directly influence to the success, or failure, of the organization.

I would define counterproductive behavior as having the opposite effect of the desired goal of the organization, whether it is intentional or not (The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English,2009). It would require an employee to be doing, or not doing things detrimental to the organizations goals. Things like obsessive absenteeism, harassing coworkers, or being the bully around the office are some examples of unintentional counter productivity. Now, an employee who is angry or upset with the company, or maybe has interest in moving to another organization, can be very counterproductive.

This employee could sell trade secrets, intentionally supply incorrect information, or just stop caring all together in every detail of their work. And depending on the importance of that employee, that can contribute to the failure of the organization. Productive behavior is keeping in mind the goal of your organization and only doing or deciding on something if it is going to positively affect that goal. Some examples of productive behaviors are always being on time, being efficient, and effective at achieving your own personal goals as well as your organizations.

These are the kinds of people that you would want motivating the rest of your employees. If that positive attitude and eagerness is spread around, that can only be even more beneficial to the organization. Simply having an employee with a productive attitude can have an amazing impact on your organization. If they start every day being proactive and honestly giving their best to the organization, other people are going to recognize this, and want to return that attitude. The employee will see it in their achievements, as well as others around them.

Their job performance will be outstanding because someone with productive behaviors will always be dependable and loyal to the organization. Any employee having counterproductive behavior is going to be a liability to your organization. Their poor job performance will have a direct effect on everyone around them. Even if it is something as small as being five minutes late for work, three or four times a week, it needs to be addressed. It will create a negative environment for your employees.

Those who are on time every day will be resentful of this employee, and feel he is being given special treatment. If it is a constant problem with a specific employee or department, it is crucial to find out why and solve the issue quickly before it has major negative effects on your organization as a whole. To persuade your employees to be a little more productive in their behaviors, try things like offering bonuses every month for employees who are on time every day and are clocked in for all hours scheduled.

Also, try ensuring that the right tools and equipment is made available. It will help to keep operations of the organization orderly and efficient. And, in turn, makes it easier for your employees to be productive and also form those habits themselves. The best way to discourage counterproductive behaviors is to basically have a non-tolerance policy. Your organization needs to make it known that it does not tolerate tardiness, absenteeism, harassment, or any other acts that negatively affect the organization without some sort of repercussions.

That, coupled with employees seeing the rewards and opportunities offered for being productive, should definitely help detur counterproductive behavior. In closing, productive and counterproductive behaviors can basically make, or break, an organization. Leaders need to do everything in their power to ensure their employees have the best tools and opportunities available. While also remembering to keep them productive and lead by example, you have the start of an extraordinary organization.


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