The various personal factors influencing individual behavior have been classified as shown in the following chart.
Each of the factors is explained below.
1. Age of an Individual influence behavior
Among the personal factors influencing behavior the most important is a person’s age. Generally speaking as an employee grows older his level of enthusiasm for work may decline. This happens either because the employee feels saturated or because he lacks physical fitness. It is for this reason that for certain jobs as those of sales representatives youngsters are always preferred.
Another point worth mentioning here is that the older members of the organization may not be prepared to adapt themselves to the changing environment. They are generally conservatives who prefer to work in the conventional manner. The rate of absenteeism is likely to be higher in the case of older employees. The number of people opting for voluntary retirement is also higher among elders.
2. Sex of an Individual Influence Behavior
Men in the workplace generally show greater interest in union activities. Women employees, on the other hand, may be reluctant to even join trade unions. Employers, generally feel that women employees are more sincere and will show greater commitment towards the job. Many organization prefer women employee for this reason.
But due to domestic obligations and unavoidable circumstances, women employees may avail leave frequently which cannot be denied. Say for example, a pregnant employee may avail maternity leave which cannot be neglected as per law. So, sexual differences here influence individual behavior.
3. Education of an Individual Influence Behavior
The level of education of an individual does influence behavior. The general belief is that education disciplines a person. An educated employee knows how to get things done in the workplace without incurring anyone’s displeasure. He does not lose temper but quietly achieves his goals.
The influence of level of education on a person’s behavior may also be explained from another angle. A highly qualified person when offered with lower level job, may not show enthusiasm in his job. Such a person deserves a better placement. On the other hand, if a person with lower qualification is placed in a higher level job he cannot perform well in his duties. Thus, Selection and placement of the right person for the right job is very much important.
4. Marital Status of an Individual Influence Behavior
The need for a secured job and stable income is greater in case of married employees. A married employee has greater domestic commitments and therefore adapts himself to the needs of the organization. He cannot resign his job in case he derives less or no job satisfaction or finds the work environment not conducive.
On the other hand, an unmarried employee without much domestic commitments may find a better job if the present job does not give him satisfaction. So, marital status of an employee influence behavior.
5. Potentials of an Individual influence Behavior
Needless to say, the potentials of an individual influence his behavior. A person with the ability to perform any task effortlessly is able to be emphatic. He is in a position to demand better status in the organization. It is only people with greater potentials who contribute significantly to the progress of any organization. It is, therefore, quite natural that such people are given higher remuneration and greater decision-making authority.
A sales officer, for example, who always attains or exceeds his targets has to be given greater incentives failing which he may leave the organization and join some other organization that recognizes his potentials.
Various psychological factors influencing individual behavior are briefly explained as follows.
1. Personality of an Individual influence behavior
The personality of a person, as misunderstood by many, is not just determined by his physical appearance alone. The physical characteristics of a person, no doubt, are important but these get noticed only if accompanied by certain intellectual qualities as stated below:
Leadership capacity and so on.
An individual, who possesses the attributes mentioned above, can certainly command respect wherever he is. Such a person is always able to achieve what he wants to achieve.
2. Perception of an Individual Influence Behavior
Perception is the process of knowing or understanding. A given situation is perceived differently by different people. If the perception of a person is correct he/his organization stands to benefit. If it turns out to be incorrect he/his organization loses.
Every organization requires people who are in a position to perceive things right. A person without the capacity to make correct perceptions has to listen to those who possess such a capacity. So perception of individuals greatly influence their behavior.
3. Attitudes of Individuals Influence Behavior
In the context of the workplace, attitude is the feeling of an employee about his job, his superiors and fellow-employees. Attitude may be positive or negative. An employee with a positive attitude likes his job, carries out the tasks assigned by his superior and maintains friendly relationships with the fellow-employees.
Employees with a negative attitude, on the other hand, are insincere in their work. They quarrel frequently with their superiors and fellow-workmen.
4. Values of an Individual Influence Behavior
The ‘values’ of a person indicate to him as to what is good and what is bad. Different people have different values. For example, some people are spendthrifts while others consciously save. Some contribute to charity while others do not.
In the workplace the values of an individual do influence his behavior. For example, if an employee’s value system tells him that he should not strike work to express his grievances to the employer, he will not take part in strikes. Likewise, an employee, who wants to be sincere in his work, will not be whiling away his time.
5. Learning Influence Behavior
Learning is the process of bringing about changes in an individual’s behavior. Employee absenteeism, for example, may be a problem faced in many organizations. As employees are eligible for certain types of leave, e.g., casual leave, sick leave, earned leave etc., they may be willing to avail the same. But this affects employee attendance.
To secure better employee attendance certain measures may be adopted. For example, casual leave and sick leave can be made encashable. Such a measure would encourage good attendance.