Last updated: 25.04.18

Start at the top – driving behaviour change within your organisation

In order to survive in the modern world, organisations must be flexible enough to adapt along with technological advances, changing markets and customer demands within their industry. Change is an integral part of any industry – and this should be mirrored by organisations themselves.

However, change requires people to do things differently and alter their existing behaviour patterns, which isn’t easy. That’s why change needs to start at the top of the organisation and be driven from within by managers and leaders, with the help of a robust L&D strategy.

So why change behaviour?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

– Anonymous

Organisations rely on their employees to deliver their goods or services and if the way of working changes or the goods and services change, then employees need to adapt along with them.

As employee behaviour is shaped by their organisation’s culture, you need to be aware of the culture your organisation has created and how it currently shapes how your employees operate.

Starting at the top

Create a strategic, long-term plan which considers the existing culture and how it affects your employees, as well as what type of behaviour change you need to introduce. However, for behaviour change to be accepted, it needs buy-in, otherwise imposed changes will be met with resistance and a drop in motivation and performance.

Discussing the need for change in an open and ongoing forum enables employees to voice their opinions, queries and concerns without fear of reprisal, giving them more of a reason to buy into the new process.

Once you have defined and tested the behaviour you require, create training around it as part of your organisation’s L&D strategy to ensure everyone in the business understands what will be expected of them.

Using training to drive change

Successful change management requires everyone to understand the reasons behind the programme of change, the objectives, and the implications for them and the organisation. A rallying cry from a figurehead at the top of an organisation can be beneficial, but it takes something more formal to drive change across the whole organisation.

Traditional training methods can certainly be used to communicate the message, however, these methods tend to focus more on imparting knowledge and making sure the content is understood, rather than ensuring the training is implemented and adopted throughout the organisation.

E-learning, on the other hand, is increasingly presenting itself as a more effective solution, accommodating the variations in pace, curiosity and learning style of each employee – enabling them to put the training into their own context, whilst providing them with resources which are available whenever they’re needed.

In fact, research has indicated:

Versatility is a key benefit of e-learning, as a wide range of techniques can be employed to increase interactivity, engagement and, ultimately, the retention of learning.

So, if your organisation is considering making fundamental strategic changes, online learning providers can help create relevant training, which management and key leaders can then utilise to drive behaviour change.

For a full consultation with leading online learning providers Virtual College, contact Naomi Hepworth at