Personal Issues and Employee Performance. A study about the impulsive behavior and attitude of employees of public and private companies


Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2017
213 Pages
Edith Endale (Author)

Excerpt

IV
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to ascertain that reprehensive behaviors at
work in the public and private sectors in Cameroon result from personal
issues and these issues can impede employee performance. In other words,
the study is designed to investigate impulsive behavior and attitude of
employees due to family/personal issues and to test the effects of these
behaviors on performance. Personal issues have played a key role in
determining how employees behave at work. Employee attitude and
behavior are patterns, manners or body language of an employee towards
his/her co-workers, colleagues, sub-ordinates, boss, the public etc. It is
crucial to understand an individual from within, for instance what makes
them react the way they do or say the things they say. Building a team of
employees with exceptional performance is undoubtedly one of the focal
objectives for any organization. Therefore, the implications of this study
will help organizations to understand the impact of personal issues on
employee performance and how an intervention technique such as
counseling is a handy practice to ensure that employees are healthy
mentally to perform their duties. Online questionnaires were sent to 225

V
employees of public and private companies across the country. A total of
24 employees were sampled to be interviewed from both the public and
private companies. The sample was given representation to both male and
female using stratified random sampling. The collected data were analyzed
using percentages, graphs and tables. Data was analyzed using descriptive
statistics with the application of both qualitative and quantitative measures.
The findings indicated that personal issues account for the reprehensible
and disreputable behavior of employees that are often neglected by the
organization not having structures to handle such issues. Findings showed
that employees in the Public sector of Cameroon behave more irrationally
than those in the private sector because they are unable to manage their
personal issues which greatly affects their performance although employees
in the private sector had some personal issues that affect their
performance. It was also found that employee performance is affected by
personal issues. Finally, the findings revealed that most organizations in
Cameroon do not have a structure to assist employees struggling with
personal issues and those that had structures like counselling units put in
place were ineffective and inefficient. The study suggested that counseling

VI
is a distinct tool to assist employees deal with problems and feelings that
perturb their performance.

VII
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
INTRODUCTION ... 1
1.1
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY ... 6
1.2
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY ... 7
1.3
RATIONALE ... 9
1.4
RESEARCH QUESTIONS ... 12
1.5
HYPOTHESIS ... 13
1.6
SCOPE OF STUDY ... 13
1.7
SIGNIFICANCE OF the STUDY ... 14
1.8
METHODOLOGY... 14
2
LITERATURE REVIEW ... 16
2.1
introduction ... 16
2.2 Employee attitude/behavior ... 18
2.3 Performance management ... 21
2.4 Personal issues... 24
2.4.1
ANGER ... 24
2.4.2 Trauma ... 31
2.4.2.1
Childhood Trauma ... 35
2.4.3
STRESS ... 41
2.4.3.1
Work Stress ... 45
2.4.3.2
Health Stress ... 46
2.4.3.3
Non-work related stress ... 48
2.4.4
Depression ... 49
2.4.5 Low self-esteem ... 59

VIII
2.4.5.1 THE CONSEQUENCES OF IMPOVERISHED SELF-ESTEEM. ... 60
2.4.5.2
PROMOTING POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM ... 62
2.4.6
Problems and Setbacks ... 64
2.4.6.1
DEVELOPING PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS ... 66
2.4.7
Lack of self-control ... 72
2.4.7.1
Measures to build self-control ... 74
2.4.7.2
Impact of Self-control ... 76
2.4.8
Poor communication process ... 77
2.4.8.1
Interpersonal communication: ... 78
2.4.8.2
Intrapersonal communication ... 78
2.4.8.3
Organizational communication ... 79
2.4.8.4
FORMS OF COMMUNICATION ... 82
2.4.8.5
OTHER ASPECTS OF COMMUNICATION ... 83
a.)Listening ... 83
2.4.9
NEGATIVE THINKING ... 87
2.4.9.1
PRACTISING POSITIVE THINKING... 92
2.5 relationship between personal issues, employee attitude and performance ... 96
2.5
Managerial tool to assist with employees' personal issues ... 98
2.6.1
Implementing Counseling ... 100
2.6.1.1
Why study counseling skills ... 100
2.6.1.2
Types of Counseling ... 102
2.7 Managerial tools and techniques to boost employee performance ... 106
2.7.1
Communicate clear goals and expectations ... 107
2.7.2
Encourage open communication ... 107
2.7.3
Offer Incentives ... 107
2.7.4
Provide constant feedback on the positives ... 108
2.7.5
Adopt a culture of training ... 108
2.8 Managing reprehensive and disruptive behaviors ... 109
2.8.1
Identify the behavior ... 109

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2.8.2
Attack the problem, not the employee. ... 110
2.8.3
Establish disciplinary procedures ... 110
2.8.4
Follow up with the employee... 111
3
METHODOLOGY ... 112
3.1 INTRODUCTION ... 112
3.2 RESEARCH METHOD ... 113
3.3
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION ... 114
3.3.1 Primary Sources ... 114
3.3.1.1
Interviews ... 115
3.3.1.2
Questionnaires... 116
3.3.2
Secondary Source ... 118
3.4 PROCEDURES ... 118
3.5 DATA ANALYSIS ... 121
3.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY ... 123
4
STRATEGY AND TECHNIQUES ... 126
4.0 INTRODUCTION ... 126
4.1 Public companies ... 127
4.1.1
Analysis of section I: ... 127
4.1.1.1
Distribution of respondents according to demographic information ... 127
4.1.2
Analysis of section II: ... 135
4.1.3
Analysis of section III: ... 136
4.1.4
Analysis of section IV: ... 139
QUESTION 23 E ... 141
4.1.5
Analysis of section V:... 142
4.4
Private companies ... 145
4.2.1 Analysis of section I: ... 145
4.4.1.1
Distribution of respondents according to demographic information ... 145
... 149

X
4.4.2
Analysis of section II: ... 153
4.4.3
Analysis of section III: ... 156
4.4.4
Analysis of section IV: ... 158
QUESTION 22 E ... 161
QUESTION 23 E ... 161
4.4.5
Analysis of section V:... 162
5
ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS ... 172
5.1 INTRODUCTION ... 172
5.2
INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS ... 173
5.2.1 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMPANIES ... 173
5.3 Testing OF the hypothesis ... 177
6
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ... 179
6.1 INTRODUCTION ... 179
6.2 CONCLUSION ... 180
6.3 Recommendations for Future Research ... 182
6.3.1 Inclusion of counseling practices ... 182
6.1.1
Employee and family assistance programmes: ... 183
6.3.3 Improved Communication­ ... 184
6.3.4 Educational programs ... 184
6.3.5 Management commitment ... 185
6.4 Future Research ... 185

XI
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Symptoms of stress: ...42
Table 2: Showing questionnaire distribution and return rate...126
Table 3: Distribution of respondents according to gender...127
Table 4: Distribution of respondents according to age group...128
Table 5: Distribution of respondents according to married status...130
Table 6: Distribution of respondents according to educational level...131
Table 7: Distribution of respondents according to length of service...132
Table 8: Responses to question 1-10...135
Table 9: Responses to statements 11-21...136
Table 10: Responses to question 22-24...140
Table 11: Responses to question 25...141
Table 12: Responses to question 26...142
Table 13: Showing questionnaire distribution and return rate...144
Table 14
:
Distribution according to gender...145
Table 15:
Distribution of respondents according to age group...146
Table16: Distribution of respondents according to marital status...147

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Table 17: Distribution of respondents according to educational level...149
Table 18: Distribution of respondents according to length of service...151
Table 19: Responses to questions 1-10... 153
Table 20: Responses to questions 11-21...155
Table 21: Responses to questions 22-24...158
Table 22: Responses to question 25...161
Table 23: Responses to question 26...163

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1- Presumed relationship between variables...122
Figure 2- Pie chart showing the distribution of respondents...127
Figure 3- Pie chart showing gender distribution...128
Figure 4- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
age group...129
Figure 5- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
marital status...130
Figure 6- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
level of Education...132
Figure 7- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
length of service...133
Figure 8- Bar chart showing employee suggestions on how to tackle
personal issues...142

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Figure 9 - Bar chart showing employee suggestions on how to improve
performance...143
Figure 10- Pie chart showing the distribution of respondents...145
Figure 11- Pie chart showing gender distribution...146
Figure 12- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
age group...147
Figure 13- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
marital status...148
Figure 14- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
level of Education...150
Figure 15- Bar chart showing the distribution of respondents according to
length of service...151
Figure 16- Bar chart showing employee suggestions on how to tackle
personal issues...162
Figure 17 - Bar chart showing employee suggestions on how to improve
performance...164

XV
DEDICATION
This thesis is dedicated to the Holy Spirit and my Lord, Jesus Christ of
Nazareth who did not just give me the desire to pursue a doctoral study
but also saw me through to the end of this thesis.

XVI
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor and advisor
Dr. Jack Rosenzweig for his patience, motivation, and immense knowledge.
I am also grateful to the following university staff: Catherine Gutarra,
Nadia Gabaldon & Arturo Gonzalez for their unfailing support and
assistance.
I thank in a special way the managers and supervisors who gave me the
opportunity to do a study in their organization as well as the employees
from the various organizations who took part in the study without being
compensated. Without your participation this research would not have
been possible.
For hours of discussion, valuable comments and contributions on this
research, my sincere thanks go to Dr. Ayompe-Mody Lacour and Dr.
Agbor Terence. Thank you Dr. Ayompe-Mody Lacour for the advice and
explanations each time I had concerns about my research. Dr. Agbor

XVII
Terence without your motivation and inspiration, I would not have
considered doing a doctoral study.
A very special thanks goes out to my sister, mother & aunty; Nicole Okie,
Pastor Regina Okie and Mrs. Ayompe-Mody Emilia Okie respectively, for
their moral, financial and spiritual support. I am also grateful to my other
family members, friends particularly Mr. Njang Emmanuel who have
supported me along the way.
I must also acknowledge my husband Njang Elvis for the continuous
encouragement throughout these years of study and through the process of
writing this thesis. Without his love and editing assistance, I would not
have finished this thesis.
I express my very profound gratitude to Mrs Omoregie Judith Mercy for
her assistance in the collection of data, to Dorcas Pokua for her continuous
encouragement and to my colleagues who have been very supportive.
Appreciation also goes out to the Atse's family in Bedford, United
Kingdom who have also been a support system at every given milestone in

XVIII
my life particularly in the course of undertaking this research. I doubt that I
will ever be able to convey my appreciation fully.
In conclusion, I recognize that this research would not have been possible
without the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Thus, I am grateful to the
Almighty God for the good health, strength and wellbeing that were
needed to complete this thesis.

CHAPTER ONE
1 INTRODUCTION
Employee wellbeing, while it may sound less important, deserves just as
much attention as any broken bone.
Gennard & Judge (2005) assume that
t
roubled employees facing various personal issues in their lives are out
rightly less efficient as far as performance is concerned, they are known to
be quite rude, reprehensive, impatient, ill-mannered, discourteous and
uncivil; which ultimately translates into poor organizational performance
with its entire negative indices manifesting. By nature, human beings are
highly complex and unpredictable. In spite of available motivational
techniques and incentives, the average worker may still be struggling with
issues that will take a toll on their performance. It is on the strength of this
fact that it is worth identifying personal issues that may negatively affect
the performance of employees and counsel them on the best ways to
provide support. This is in a bid to deduce appropriate measures or
techniques to minimize the occurrence of having employees left all by
1

themselves to handle issues which would have been also handled by the
organization (Cameroon private and public sectors) they work for, and by
that; making them feel neglected. The main idea behind this research is to
get organizations realize that everyone has an issue, two or even more they
are dealing with
(Marchington & Wilkinson 2005)
. Sometimes these issues may
be those which they have grown up with, others may simply be
experiencing these issues at adult age. Having all these baggage would
definitely have a toll on employee performance. Unfortunately this is rarely
ever considered as important. To every organization, an employee must
turn up for work (recruited) at the time he was contracted to do so, get
paid(reward) for services rendered or goods produced, gets trained for new
equipment or new procedures in order to get that employee improve on
their output and results (training and development), resolves unavoidable
conflicts between themselves and management or other employees,
(employee relations and conflict management) and get some incentives and
benefits for the purpose of motivating them. Now after all these measures
have fully been applied, the employee still struggles with performance
sometimes barely a week after all these measures.
2

It is widely believed that a decline in performance in both the public and
private sectors generally and in Cameroon in particular can be attributed to
both internal and external factors that impede employees' capabilities at
work. This trend is occasioned by the incidence of different forms of
unproductive and reprehensible behaviors, stemming from all the baggage
which an employee drags with him to work that may result from his
present, past and childhood experiences. Every organization desires in one
way or the other to improve its performance, either in a formal or an
informal way in order to meet the generally expected standard and goals of
the organization. How to ensure that this performance increases at an ever
increasing rate depends on numerous factors; however this study would
limit itself to investigating employee performance by tackling personal
issues that have long stood as obstacles to employee performance either
through counseling techniques or measures as it is believed that the easier
way to get through to an individual is to talk with him, hear him out and
counseling is one of those forms through which an organization can reach
out to its employees facing difficulties. A look into most organizations has
shown that many organizations have neglected the role of counseling in its
3

strategic activities. Board meetings are held with stakeholders, top level
management, long term and short term goals are put forth, strategies to
achieve are proposed but in all of these counseling the very individual who
are the main wheel drivers of the machinery of organizations to its success
are usually undermined especially when these very individuals are of the
worst behavior towards their co-workers and the public. Not identifying
what problems your employees have, what state of mind they had when
they walked in through the doors of the organization is like expecting a hen
to lay eggs for you without nurturing it.
As per Jackson & Schuler (2000), if employee performance is paramount to
the prosperity of an organization. Thus, organizational success is a
derivative of employee performance. Therefore employees' mental health
and state of mind which could be catered for through counseling is
paramount to organizational success. Murphy and Cleaveland (1991)
mention that the human capital of an organization gives life and meaning
to the organization. In other words the performance of an organization is
predicated upon the attitude of the human capital.
4

One would realize that this is quite costly for organizations that undergo
these processes and procedures as a cycle. The answer may just be looking
at the bigger picture and thinking outside the box. A lot of research has
been done on performance of which most of it was inclined towards
performance in a holistic manner and how reliable and valid the
instruments used in appraising performance are instead of investigating the
views of those individuals who are being appraised as to what actually
hinders or enhances their performance (Cook & Crossman 2004).
Conclusion from various studies shows that unless an organization takes it
upon itself to support its employees with their struggles or personal issues
particularly in the areas where their performance is most affected, the
organization is bound to suffer as goals would not be met, employees
would not be motivated to bring in their best, or buy the vision and
mission of the organization and to work as though they were in a team
(IIgen et al., 1979).
This study would limit itself to personal issues that pertain to the society in
question, which in this case is the Cameroonian society.
5

1.1 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to ascertain that reprehensive behaviors at work in
the public and private sectors in Cameroon result from personal issues and
establish that these issues can impede employee performance. The study
would help to find out the views and difficulties of the individuals who are
subjects of performance appraisal and to identify the best measure to help
them overcome or minimize these personal issues so that they do not
influence their performance negatively.
The specific objectives of this research work are:
i.
To investigate into disreputable behavior and attitude of
employees at work.
ii.
To explore personal issues that employees are most likely to bring
with them to work that may make them act reprehensibly.
iii.
To create a link between personal issues and employee
performance.
iv.
To identify and apply measures that can be put in place to assist
employees with personal issues in order to improve performance.
6

v. To make appropriate recommendations on the possible ways to
assist employees with personal issues in order to enhance their
performance
.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Cameroon
is
an African country in the central part of this continent that
shares it's boundaries with Nigeria to the west; it is bordered by Chad to
the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south
.
Having
French and English as the two official languages of country, Cameroon has
an array of companies and parastatals. The country has a huge economic
sector in the Littoral region known as Douala which is named the
"economic capital of the country" Also, in the central region of the
country, Yaoundé which is being named as the "administrative hub", has
vast number of ministries named according to the activities they are
involved in. For example Ministry of Higher Education is in charge of
implementing and developing government policies and programs in
universities and professional school. Cameroon operates in both the public
and private sectors to boost its economy. By private sectors, it implies
7

companies in the national economy that are not under direct government
control, usually run by individuals and groups although they are legally
regulated by the government. This sector is composed of the business
sector that is intended to earn a profit for the owners of the enterprise. The
private sectors in Cameroon are commonly called corporations, limited
companies, limited liability companies, or unlimited companies. . It is
worth mentioning that the private sector in Cameroon should account for a
higher percentage of the population's energetic workforce although the
public sector is the main recruiting force. The public sector is that part of
the economy which provides various governmental services and accounts
for one of the largest sectors of the economy. Services provided by the
public sectors include: Law enforcement (the military
and police), infrastructure, social services, public hospitals and public
education. Also, the public sector in Cameroon runs at three levels, the
national, regional, and local (municipal). Funding for public services is
usually raised through taxes. There are also times when the public sector
would partner with an organization in the private sector to create a public-
private partnership. In some cases, the public sector is taken over by the
8

private which is known as privatization. Furthermore there are three
economic sectors in Cameroon, the primary sector constituting mainly raw
materials, the secondary sector- the manufacturing and tertiary for services.
Cameroon is the largest and one of most diversified economy in the
Central Africa region, but still largely depends on agriculture and oil
revenue to support growth and job creation. In order to achieve the main
aim of this study, both the private and public sectors in Cameroon would
be sampled.
1.3 RATIONALE
This study addresses the problem of misconduct or reprehensible behavior
likely resulting from personal issues that employees demonstrate at work that
impede their performance in spite of all measures an organization may put
in place to motivate its employees. It is not uncommon to walk into a public
office in Cameroon and get snubbed and yelled at for no good reason. It is
very usual to be insulted by an individual ranging from top to bottom
management extending to staff for merely raising a concern, a suggestion or
a problem. It is not strange to get to an office and get ignored for half an
hour simply because the receptionist or the individual to attend to you is lost
9

in their own world, day dreaming or simply not in the mood to talk to
anyone. The nonchalant attitude of employees towards their work, their
colleagues and the public is becoming notorious even when management
sometimes sees into it that employees are provided with the best incentives
and other benefits, absences are extremely high. Mistakes at work are
eminent, focus and concentration levels are low, unpleasant and impulsive
behavior amongst employees is alarming. It has been the practice of some
employees to feign illness when the level of supervision from superior is
intense or they have personal business to attend to. In other words, work to
an average employee is a burden regardless of how management tries to
accommodate them. These employees most often than not come late to
work, some show up at mid-day; others close earlier than scheduled This
attitude and behavior has gradually but successfully crept into the private
sector too. It is quite disturbing because one would think that these attitudes
occur in the public sector only, nonetheless this attitude is creeping into the
private sectors which ought to be a standard from which the public sector
can look up to. Poor and impulsive behaviour and an indifference towards
work in whatever guise translates to manpower wastage and; profoundly
10

affects the performance of employees negatively. Therefore, it is imperative
that a serious investigation be conducted on the state employees find
themselves in, what they may be dealing with that they may not be able to
handle. So they bring along with them to work personal issues that make
them harsh to their colleagues, customers and the public as a whole, this in
no doubt hugely affects their performance. Abang et al. (2013) state ``It is
obvious that some organizations are faced with poor level of attitudes such
as erratic provision of services has become an increasing persistent problem
facing the corporation and seriously affecting the general public, careless and
casual handling of the existing tools and machines and general nonchalant
attitude of staff in the discharge of their duties". Following the above
quotation, it is apparent that the attitude and behavior employees bring to
work and exhibit have a significant impact on their performance. This brings
us to the realization that there is a serious problem that could cause monetary
loss and unnecessary expenditures as a result of poor performance leading
to mistakes that would eventually affect the public and the economy. In a
developing country like Cameroon, where all available resources, human and
materials, are adequately utilized for sustainable development, it is important
11

to investigate what the causes of such erratic behaviors are for employees in
both the public and private sectors. It is assumed that these sectors ought to
be very efficient and effective, as they have a major impact on the economy
of the country, considering the fact that both sectors are substantial
employers of labor in Cameroon today.
For the purpose of this study, both the public and the private sectors of the
various regions would be sampled (stratified random sampling).
Consequently, the findings of this study would reflect to a large extent,
employee performance with regards to social issues in all units of both the
public and private sectors in Cameroon. The question posed is what could
really be the problem? This brings the researcher to asking some questions.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Are personal issues the cause of public and private employees behaving
reprehensibly and disreputably at work?
ii. Are employees with personal issues poor performers?
iii. Should counseling be considered as a helpful talking therapy for
employees to discuss and talk about their problems and feelings?
12

1.5 HYPOTHESIS
The null hypotheses (H
0
):
i.
Employees in the public sector have less personal issues that do not
interfere with their performance since they gain from stability,
benefits, relaxed and flexible schedules
.
The alternative hypothesis (H
1
):
ii.
Both public and private employees with reprehensible
behavior/attitude have personal issues and these organizations do
not have structures such as counselling units to pay attention to these
personal issues that affect their employees.
iii. Personal issues may be big stumbling blocks to employee
performance.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
This research work is limited to seven companies/ministries (public and
private) in Cameroon. It was intended to cut across all ten regions of the
country, however it would be limited to seven major regions of the country
with the Adamawa region to represent the three Northern areas (Maroua,
Garoua and Ngaoundere). Buea to represent the South West, Bamenda to
13

represent the Northwest, Bafoussam to represent the West region. Douala
to represent the Littoral region, Ebolowa to represent the South and Bertoua
to represent the East and Yaoundé will represent the Center region. These
seven majors regions would provide seven companies as a stratified form of
sampling.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study would be of immense help to the human resource
practitioners in the public and private sectors in Cameroon in ensuring a
considerable reduction in insolent and reprehensible behavior and thereby
enhancing performance
.
Furthermore, the implications of this study will help organizations to
understand the impact of personal issues on employee performance and how
an intervention technique is a handy practice to ensure that employees are
healthy mentally to perform their duties.
1.8 METHODOLOGY
The stratified random sampling approach is used in this study and data will
be collected from different sources. The two sources of data collection for
this study are:
14

i. Primary source which would involve collecting raw data directly from the
field, which in this case is the public and private sectors of Cameroon.
Questionnaires will be administered through an online survey, Interviews
will be conducted through direct phone calls, Skype and WhatsApp.
ii.
Secondary source which involves the collection of data from published
books, journals and articles.
15

CHAPTER
2
2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 INTRODUCTION
A study done by
Richard & John (1998) points out that
changes in employee
behavior is an indication that an individual may have personal issues that
are interfering with their work. Personal issues ranging from depression,
rape, child abuse, domestic violence amongst others ought to be looked
into diligently and such issues are noted to be destructive in the lives of
those suffering from them. Depression is real, too many people are
unhappy. Depression is not only from relationships be it erotic or filial, but
from work places too. Societal pressure is causing these behavioral patterns
portrayed in most offices particularly the public and private sector offices
in general and particularly in Cameroon. (
Boyne et al.1999).
In this chapter, relevant literature from articles, journals, books, academic
literature and professional publications on personal issues, employee
behavior and performance as well as measures of intervention such as
counseling would be covered. The chapter discusses the various individual
16

problems or issues that individuals/ employees are faced that trigger
reprehensive or poor behavior which influences their performance
negatively.
17

2.2 EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE/BEHAVIOR
In an attempt to analyze the causes of poor attitude at work, several
researches have been done before on employee behavior. Employee
behavior is the way in which an employee responds to his environment, his
colleague or the task assigned to him (Locke et al. 2002). Negative
behaviors in the workplace range from making rude, condescending,
insulting and demeaning statements to others, using angry and hostile
tones, shouting or yelling, throwing things or slamming doors when
displeased, belittling colleagues in front of others to being physically or
verbally abusive toward others, attacking immediately if criticized or
questioned, laziness, rumor mongering or gossiping etc.
Greenberg & Baron
(1995) in their book "Behavior in Organizations: Understanding and Managing the Human
Side of Work
" explained that there are "red flags" in an employee's behavior
that can be used as clear indicators that the individual is struggling with
some issues. However, these signs may seem harmless initially but taken
together they may represent a serious problem specifically on the climate in
the organization and/or performance .It is therefore very important to
avoid ignoring the initial indicators of these red flags.
Stranks (2007) believes
18

that t
here are some of the signs and patterns that might help to identify an
employee who has a problem or who is struggling with individual issues.
These patterns include: Changes in mood, defensiveness and inappropriate
outbursts, changes in workplace performance, changes in productivity or
the quality of work, attendance problems, frequent conflicts over trivial
matters, procrastination, inability to concentrate, accidents or incidents,
complaints from other workers, customers or the public, confusion,
forgetfulness, sadness, harshness, continuous lateness to work, changes in
appearance (Mawhinney et al. 2001).
According to George & Brief (1992), employee behavior can be
understood as an employee's reaction to a particular situation at the
workplace. It is fundamental that employees behave sensibly at the
workplace not only to gain appreciation and respect from co-workers and
the public but also to maintain a healthy work culture. One needs to adhere
to the rules and regulations of workplace set by the organization. It is
imperative to know that the work place is not a place where employees can
shout on fellow workers, spread rumors, criticize one another, quarrel and
be less serviceable to the public or be rude with team members. Such
19

climate of poor behavior not only affects the business but the reputation of
the organization as a whole. All these put together would bring down
productivity due to poor performance.
20

2.3 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
Performance management is an all-important practice in Human resource
management because the cost of poor performance is a lot greater than any
other practice in HR worth mentioning because it can lead to low quality
products, loss of customers. If deadlines are not meet or are inferior, the
entire activity of the organization is slowed down. (Huczynski & Fitzpatrick,
1989).
Stredwick (2005) asserts that in the private sector, the performance of an
organization is measured in terms of its profits made and the increase in
value of its shares while in the public sector performance measures are more
controversial. Armstrong (1992) defined performance management as a
process or set of processes that is used to establish a shared understanding
on what is to be achieved as per goals set for an organization. According to
Armstrong & Baron (1998), performance management is an approach that
is seen as strategic and integrated which is expected to deliver success to
organisations through the improvement of performance of the individuals,
thus not having employees attain this height of performance is seen as a
major hindrance to the existence of an organization.
21

Furthermore, Heathfield (2007) puts it in a better way, he identifies it as a
process where a work environment that people are able to perform to the
best they can is created. This implies that if the environment is hostile, then
performance is not feasible. This gives us a more elaborate understanding
of the work behaviors and attitude vis-à-vis performance. If employees find
their colleagues hostile to them, there is no doubt that outstanding
performance would be far-fetched. Let's not forget that the benefits of
good performance cannot be under rated. If employees perform as
expected, there would be reputational advantages with customers/the
public, superior productivity and ease of facilitating continuous
improvement and change.
Cummings & Schwab (1973) mention that becoming a high performance
working business will produce benefits in terms of customer attraction,
customer retention, customer loyalty, and will in turn, therefore, yield other
consequential advantages in terms of workforce planning, production
planning, product/service quality and profitability. Initially for the
organization, these rewards will not necessarily comprise of financial
benefits, but also of job security, which is now envisaged as a sustainable
22

competitive advantage, a major asset of the business as a high performance
working enterprise, and so forth.
High performance cannot be disregarded, such practices can improve
motivation, job satisfaction and employee commitment. As seen earlier,
organizations that have adopted high performance working practices have
seen improved quality and innovation. As a result, customer loyalty has
increased, prices remain competitive and the organization too remains
competitive in its marketplace
23

2.4 PERSONAL ISSUES
Goewey (2014) admits that if an employee has a personal problem or issue,
that's a different ball game altogether but if it is affecting their performance
in the work environment and affecting other employees, that's where the
organization needs to get interested and get involved. However, for an
organization to intervene or get involved, management needs to
understand what some of these personal issues are in the first place.
Personal issues are wide and extensive ranging from internal and external
factors but for the sake of feasibility, the list of personal issues for this
study would be exclusively narrowed down.
2.4.1 ANGER
Different people feel and show anger in various and different ways. Anger
is a feeling that is sequel when we are not happy about something, when we
are disappointed, when we are experiencing failure or seeing something
that is not fair or someone not treated fairly (Carter & Minirth 2004).In
modern society, anger is seen as an immature or uncivilized response to
frustration, threat, violation, or loss. The norm is to keep calm and to be
coolheaded. These are considered more socially acceptable and of good
24

conduct. Furthermore, anger that is constantly entrapped can lead to
persistent violent thoughts or actions. So the question is how much of
anger should be tolerated. Everyone gets angry over something; however
the anger the researcher will be discussing is the anger that is destructive;
that which can hurt or harm people. Put forward by Tafrate & Kassinove
(2009)
, t
he anger that affects our health, lives and relationship with people
or that which occurs very often and is destructive to even property and
must therefore be managed adequately so as to live a happy life. Edmiston
& Scheff (2010) allege that anger is said to be destructive when the
following signs are present in employees:
The tendency of always starting a fight or always getting involved in fights with
other workers or other individuals outside work.
Easily provoked to violence
Having anger that lasts longer than it should.
Unable to control their anger.
Easily irritated at the slightest opportunity
Always venting anger at innocent parties
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Details

Title
Personal Issues and Employee Performance. A study about the impulsive behavior and attitude of employees of public and private companies
Author
Year
2017
Pages
213
Catalog Number
V387558
ISBN (eBook)
9783668625426
ISBN (Book)
9783668625433
File size
2027 KB
Language
English
Tags
personal, issues, employee, performance
Quote paper
Edith Endale (Author), 2017, Personal Issues and Employee Performance. A study about the impulsive behavior and attitude of employees of public and private companies, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/387558

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