Perception Individuals behave in a given manner based not on the way their eternal environment actually is but, rather on what they see or believe it to be. It’s the employee’s perception of a situation that becomes the basis for behavior. Whether or not manager successfully plans and organizes the work of employees and actually helps them to structure their work more efficiently and effectively is far less important than how employees perceive the manager’s efforts. Similarly, issues such as fair pay for work performed the validity of performance appraisals, and the adequacy of working conditions are not judged by the employees in a way that ensures common perceptions; or we can be assured that individuals will interpret conditions about their jobs in a favorable light. Therefore to be able to influence productivity, it’s necessary to assess how workers perceive their jobs.
Absenteeism, turnover, and job satisfaction are also reactions to the individual’s perceptions. Dissatisfaction with working condition or the belief that there is a lack of promotion opportunities in the organization are judgments based on attempts to create meaning out of one’s job. The employee’s conclusion that a job is good or bad is an interpretation. Managers must spend time understanding how each individual interprets reality and, when there is a significant difference between what is seen and what exists, try to eliminate the distortions. Failure to deal with the differences when individuals perceive the job in negative terms will result in increased absenteeism and turnover and lower job satisfaction.
Individual Decision Making: individuals think and reason before they act. It is because of this that an understanding of how people make decisions can be helpful for explaining and predicting their behavior.
Under some decision situations, people follow the rational decision making model. But for most people and most non-routine decisions, this is probably more exception than the rule. Few important decisions are simple or unambiguous enough for the rational model’s assumptions to apply. So, we find individuals looking for solutions that satisfied rather than optimize injecting biases and prejudices into the decision process, and relying on intuition.
Given the evidence we’ve described on how decisions are actually made in organizations, what can managers do to improve their decision making? We offer some suggestions in the ensuing lines.
Firsts, analyze the situation. Adjust your decision making approach to the national culture you’re operating in and to the criteria your organization evaluates and rewards. For instance, if you’re in a company try that doesn’t value rationality, don’t feel compelled to follow the rational decision making model or even to try to make your decisions appear rational. Similarly organizations differ in terms of the importance they place on risk, the use of groups, and the like. Adjust your decision approach to ensure that it’s compatible with the organization’s culture.
Second, be aware of biases. Then try to minimize their impact.
Third, combine rational analysis with intuition. These are not conflicting approaches to decision making. By using both, you can actually improve your decision making effectiveness. As you gain managerial experience, you should feel increasingly confident in imposing your intuitive processes on top of your rational analysis.
Finally, try to enhance your creativity. Overtly look for novel solutions to problems, attempt to see problems in new ways, and use analogies. In addition, try to remove work and organizational barriers that might impede your creativity.