lubrication which makes a group work well, or the grit which snarls it up.
many people work for large organizations, each with thousands of people, they
spend the majority of their time in a small group of a dozen or so individuals.
How people react with one another, particularly when dealing with difficulties
or disagreements, can help determine how smoothly a department functions.
The social group:
Social behaviour is
what gives a team or department cohesion. One obnoxious individual can have a
profoundly negative effect. Managers should watch for bullying or one person
disparaging or undermining a colleague. The results of unacceptable behaviour
are increasingly to be found in claims for damages against employers! Do the
members of a department get along well with each other, are they polite and
treat each other with courtesy and perhaps socialize outside work? Do they do favours for each other, provide cover if others are absent and
talk to each other on personal matters? However,
wanting to be ‘friends’ with, or ‘bond’ with everyone is unrealistic and
can be counter productive!
Behaviour is important: Being polite in the
office is becoming more important. People who are crass, rude, impatient or
thoughtless in their office can have a disproportionately adverse effect and
will probably upset clients as well. To help prevent the hiring of
problem people, the security guard, receptionist and personal
assistant/secretary should be asked
for their impressions when people turn up for interview. Psychology testing is
useful; however, its ability is usually limited to weeding out the wrong people
from being hired, rather than selecting the right ones. The way ethnic
minorities, older people or new starters are treated is an aspect of culture. Do
existing staff resent newcomers or do they try to help them?
Social behaviour varies between countries, for example, whether you greet
colleagues by a handshake, kiss, hug or bow - do the wrong thing and you may
offend! Many organizations run
courses for their staff on how these customs vary between countries.
The effect of the workplace: A
person may display different characteristics at each of their workplaces. A hospital
consultant may be rude with administrative staff in the general office, domineering with colleagues in the operating theatre, quiet and
deferential with patients in the consulting room , while being jocular and
in the ward.