Learn more about employee behavior, its definition, and formula to help you better manage your employees.

Employee behavior definition, formula and examples

The behavior of your employees can either improve the organization or derail its growth. What is employee behavior definition? It refers to the manner in which employees respond to situations or circumstances at the workplace. Although several elements can influence an individual’s behavior at work, mostly their culture and that of the organization shape their behavior. As the employees try to perform their duties, different forces both internal and external influence the way they behave. Employee behavior formulas help organizations to assess their employees’ behaviors.

Employee behavior formula

Based on the organizational development theory, individual behavior is a function of their differences and the environment. Lewin, one of the founders of this theory, developed a formula to explain this phenomenon. The formula is B=f (P, E), where B=behavior, P= person, and E= environment.

Let’s evaluate each part of the formula separately, for better understanding. It will also help us to apply it in real life situation. For example, P represents a person. The main question is here is to understand the personal factors, which influence one’s behavior. They include personalities, skills, abilities, ethics, perceptions, emotions and attitudes. The aforementioned factors can make one understand the similarities and differences between personal behaviors.

Personality plays a significant role in an individual’s behavior. The DiSC Profile Assessment, finds out there are four personality styles including dominant, steady, conscientious and influential. However, even people who share one group such as dominant might behave entirely different, owing to their individual factors including perception or attitude. Knowing these differences, helps you understand your employees’ behaviors better.

In addition, E represents the environment. Some of the environmental factors that affect employee behavior include the workplace, a group in which the employee is a member and job characteristics among other influences. For example, if a person has a dominant personality and they are employed in an autocratic organization, they will try to be submissive; otherwise, they will always be in conflict with the leaders.

The relevance of the employee behavior formula for managers today is to make them understand that employees have a distinct combination of personal and environmental differences. They need to take time to know their employees. It is even possible for employers to influence their staff’s behavior, especially if they can regulate the environment. This formula can enable a manager to become a better manager of their employees, by harnessing positive behavior in them.