Majority of the working people in the metropolitan and suburban cities usually end up spending almost 60 to 80% of their daily productive hours for and at their workplaces. The interpersonal experiences at the workplace have a significant impact on the quality of life of these people.

Who is responsible for these experiences – the immediate boss/ the super boss/ the leadership team/ the HR team/ the colleagues or the employees themselves? What makes people behave the way they do? Can we decode the factors responsible for people behaviour and use these insights to improve people management?

We can classify the key influencers of employee behaviour into four groups

 Demographic Profile

Employee behaviour mirrors their upbringing and cultural ethos. The demographic profile of their family plays an essential role in shaping up life.

What are these demographic influencers?

Deep societal beliefs

Societal structure and culture – traditional or orthodox versus modern and unconventional – the social fibre shapes up the thinking pattern and behaviour of the people living in them.

Home environment

Everyday choices or a lack of them shapes the thinking and decision-making process of the children when they grow up. The home environment is a result of multiple factors such as

  • Parents’ profession and purchasing power
  • Place and Type of residence where s/he grew up
  • Family status


Parents’ vision, outlook towards life and availability of financial power determines the type of education their children get.

Education opportunities play a pivotal role in preparing an individual to excel in his professional life.

The demographic profile coupled with the current office environment has a noticeable impact on the employee behaviour, emotions and their responses towards any situation at work.

Personal Needs

 Financial security

Earning enough money to support oneself and one’s family is the fundamental driver behind the need to find a good job. Money acts as a motivator, usually for most of the population. Though there are a few people who are motivated by other goals, such as selfless service and upliftment of the society using their knowledge.

Emotional security

Healthy family life and supportive society have a positive influence on employee behaviour and performance at the workplace. When the family is supportive and understands the nature of their work, the employees can focus and devote more time to work.

Personal growth

Too much security and stability can sometimes become boring and less stimulating for employees who are driven by the higher needs of self-growth and actualization. If this need is unmet for a long time, it can result in emotional fatigue and southward performance in the current job.

The management needs to spot such employees and motivate them by offering challenging work.

Professional Needs


The need for self-sustenance guides the concept of the basic minimum pay. Young workforce supporting their education or personal expenses with their own earnings display this need.

The nature of the job is secondary in these situations.


Employees who have spent many years of their lives obtaining specialized degrees or higher qualifications, have the innate desire for excellence in whatever they do in life. The top-performing employees without formal professional qualifications also are driven by this need to excel.

These high performers are an asset to any organization and can play an active part in the growth of the business.

Wealth creation

Creation of wealth to fund various life goals such as the purchase of a bigger vehicle, a house, a second home, support for parents, the education of the children and building a corpus for the old age, etc is there on everybody’s agenda.

The management can help employees take care of their personal goals and involve them in realising organization goals in turn.

 Organizational Culture

 Promoter’s purpose

Every organization is started for a reason/ purpose which is valuable for the promoter of the organization.

The purpose is usually translated into various tangible goals, reflected in the vision and value statement of the entity.

The employees who are in tune with the ultimate goal of their organization tend to show positive behaviour and perform better than the employees who are not convinced of this organizational purpose.

Leadership styles

Every leader has a leadership style reflecting their personality. It could be democratic or autocratic, laissez-faire or authoritative or a mixture of these styles.

If the leadership style suits the organizational purpose, the business prospers for example, an educational institute needs a semi-democratic leader Principal, whereas a factory needs an authoritative leader.

The mismatch between the nature of jobs and the leadership styles create a conflict between the employees and the leaders and negatively impacts employee behaviour.

A suitable leadership style brings out the best employee behaviour.


Collaboration is the key to success in any organization.

Leaders who ensure that employees coming from diverse cultures and environments believe in and are guided by a common goal or purpose, are successful in the creation of a collaborative work environment leading to organizational success.


Maintaining a healthy competition between peer groups promotes excellence and helps to move the organization towards market leadership and excellence.

Managing employee interactions in a project centric organization can be a challenging task

Projectized or project-centric organizations are engaged in executing their project work by forming cross-functional project teams which are temporary in nature.

The employees in these teams come from not only from different cultural backgrounds but also from various functional groups with pre-set behavioural traits, having to work together as one unit.

We can understand fully well as to why project managers need good interpersonal skills to manage their project teams.

The PMO director and the project portfolio managers, who are trained at managing culturally diverse project teams and motivational techniques, are the ones who excel in their project results and improve the profitability of project enterprises

Part 2 of the article coming soon.

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 About the Author

Sanjeevani Sathe, is a VP Research and Content with Whizible, a firm that offers technology solutions for profitability improvement for project enterprises.

Sanjeevani is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has 10+ years of work experience in research and consulting with the Boston Consulting Group, UCStrategy and Rare Enterprises private equity group owned by Mr Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

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