Behavior change doesn’t seem that complicated. People are naturally willing to transform to make their own lives better, right?
Wrong. Humans are creatures of habit and each person has their own way of doing things. In a workplace setting, minor individual actions can influence others to behave similarly; thus, each minor action by an individual could have company-wide impacts.
For many organizations, when thinking about culture change, behavior change is top of mind, and it makes sense. Culture is made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of behaviors and habits interacting with one another every day. Where do you possibly begin?
Take one new behavior at a time.
- Simplify complex behaviors into micro-behaviors, making them more concise, simpler to apply daily and easier to create new habits.
- Provide examples where the new behaviors can be easily be incorporated in simple actions in the workplace.
- Partner the new behavior with an already existing routine. This will lead to the individual intentionally changing their behavior – they may not even realize it…
Identify key influencers.
- It’s much more effective and efficient to inspire change than to mandate it. People take cues from those they know, trust and respect.
- Provide an easy way for employees to share accomplishments surrounding behavioral shifts. This will inspire others to do the same.
Lastly, celebrate when individuals demonstrate desired behaviors.
- Take time in team meetings to recognize employees living the new behavior and highlight how it has impacted business outcomes.
- Get executives on board. Encourage leadership teams to write thank you notes to outstanding participants or consider monetary incentives.
Behavior change is complex. It can be an overwhelming project at first glance, but by taking it one behavior at a time, engaging and leveraging key influencers and celebrating successes it can be a relatively cost-effective way to successfully evoke culture change.
Read about the rest of the six levers that shape employee experience in our e-book, The Case for Culture.