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Major factors related to individual differences that affect job performance include many things, some based on culture, others based on personal values which are a natural extension of culture including family, religion, environment, etc. As far as affecting job performance, major factors would include the following.
Religion is a major factor in job performance for several reasons. Religion determines someone’s moral framework which, in turn, affects their work ethic, honesty, relations with others, etc. A very conservative religious person is less likely to interrupt productivity with an inter-office affair, or to engage in verbal abuse of coworkers. Religion in other countries can cause differences regarding business operations – working on the Sabbath day (Friday as in Jewish countries or Sunday as in America), etc.
Intelligence is a major factor in job performance, also for several reasons. For example, Wal-Mart has undergone criticism because it has implemented technology successfully so that many unskilled laborers can be hired at low wages and in less-than-stellar working conditions. This has been part of their corporate plan to maintain a low price point. Studies have repeatedly shown – for hundreds of years – that the higher one’s education, the higher one’s salary grows proportionally to that education.
Skills are a direct factor in job performance. Skills are not just bullets on a resume – in order to achieve certain outcomes in an employee related position, skills are necessary to achieve that. If it were evident that the employee lacked the necessary skills, he or she would either be trained quickly or relieved of employment.
Personality traits, independent of religion and culture, such as laziness, hyperactivity, nosiness, obnoxiousness, reliability, etc., also directly affect job performance. Personality traits are also what determine a person’s charisma, which is an essential part of leadership which, in turn, affects job potential and growth. General happiness and trust are also important factors in job performance – and job satisfaction as well. Introverted and extroverted people also have their own set of challenges and satisfaction, depending on how their personality type is perceived and how it blends in with the corporate culture.
How one behaves within the corporate culture is important. Other cultural factors include where one “comes from” such as their country, family, or ethnicity. These can directly influence a person’s personality because of the way they were raised.
Personal and corporate politics play off each other in the corporate culture. From interpersonal politicking such as backstabbing, rumor-mongering, etc., to corporate values and politics such as lobbying and upper management as well as a company’s overall stance toward the government of the corporation (and beyond) are all applicable.
Stamina and the ability to handle stress, work together to create positive job performance, especially over time. Work-related stress has led to burnout in more than one individual (most likely the understatement of the year!).