By developing and embedding behavioural programmes, companies can enable their employees to think differently about business success.
Attempting to change the way a company thinks isn’t an easy task. It requires all members of staff, top to bottom to embrace behavioural programmes and drive a new company culture. Although change can be met with some apprehension, it is crucial to the success of a business and is fundamentally worth it in the long run.
However, asking your entire workforce to do things differently and change their current existing behaviour patterns can have poor success rates if it is not done properly. This is why it is crucial to get staff on board by providing them with training that is bespoke to your company.
In every aspect of life, we naturally become comfortable with the habits we have. According to HR Zone, our habits only use one part of the brain and therefore require much less energy than most activities. Only when we change our behaviour do other parts of our brains become activated, stimulating new learning and enthusiasm among workers.
However, it’s vital that companies act on this transition period known as the ‘active learning’ phase. Businesses and HR leaders must continue to drive change so that new habits truly become embedded and start to feel like second nature. Companies can do this by aligning internal learning mechanisms with development and performance plans.
According to psychologist Edgar Schein, there are three stages we must all pass through during an effective change process:
1. Unfreezing current patterns or unlearning old behaviours
2. Changing and applying new behaviours
3. Embedding new behaviours
The first stage is often the most difficult because change usually happens when something isn’t performing as well as it should be or as well as it has done in the past - hence giving a motivation for change. It is also a difficult stage because workers need to accept that old ways of operating are no longer effective. To minimise worry among employees, it is worth businesses providing reassurance, training and providing emotional support.
In the second stage, new ways of working are produced in a variety of ways including coaching, observation and online training courses. Companies must also ensure that workers feel comfortable practicing new methods without a fear of failure. It unlikely that many of the workforce will be successful first time, so their efforts for trying must be rewarded.
The third stage is perhaps the most important stage of developing and embedding behavioural programmes. This is because organisations and businesses must ensure that new behaviours become routine, rather than just a one-off action.
Managers, HR leaders and senior members of staff can make a big difference here by actively encouraging and reminding others about the new behaviours, specifically the positive impact they are having. When employees see that these new processes are having a positive impact in the workplace, they are more likely to enforce them.
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