Changing Behaviour

How do you drive behavioural change in your business?

Businesses seeking to improve internally often focus on trying to transform day to day operations through the introduction of new processes, technology or equipment.

While these new additions can lay the groundwork for change, they cannot drive operational transformation. The people who are responsible for the day-to-day use of the processes and equipment must change too. After all the tools are only as effective as the people who use them.

One of the most effective ways to drive behavioural change among your team is to lead by example and inspire. Managers should get involved and take the lead in adopting new behaviours. The goal should be to illustrate how everyone in the team can benefit from adopting a new behaviour. This creates a sense of unity and also provides team members with an opportunity to learn from each other. It also drives a certain (healthy) level of peer pressure. If everyone on the team is adopting a positive behavioural change, then nobody wants to be the one who lets the rest of the team down.

Managers can reinforce positive behaviours by rewarding team members for specific behaviours that will drive positive change. Rewarding employees for specific behaviours motivates them to exhibit this behaviour more often.

As with anything in business, communication is key. Managers should talk with team members and communicate any upcoming changes. In addition to signposting changes, the management team should put training sessions in place so that all employees know what is expected of them once the change goes live. Post training feedback sessions should also be arranged so that team members can discuss the challenges they faced in adopting the new changes. If you want to change behaviours and drive new processes or improvements, you must be prepared to invest time in your people and to listen to their feedback.