Thinking About Behavior Change Theory
Which are you more likely to choose…spending your time on something you are told to do or on something you want to do?
Easy, right? Of course, we would go for what we want to do rather than for what feels like an obligation.
Basic Human Nature
It’s basic human nature to avoid something painful and to want something pleasurable. And this is what many behavior change experts forget when they try to change behavior…especially in the workplace.
People Like Choices
People like to feel that they have a real choice and that the choice they make will benefit them in the end. If you are embarking on a program of behavioral change at your organization, you need to keep the behavior change theory basics in mind and make them work for, not against, you.
Start with a Clear Picture of the Desired State
Once you have determined what organizational change needs to be accomplished, you need to have a clear picture of what that change will look like and how you will communicate its benefits to your work force. Your objective is simple…facilitate the adoption of new behaviors for the good of the individual, the team and the business.
Four Behavior Change Theory Steps to Successful Change
Remember to be sincere about your interest in their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Change is never easy. Acknowledge that it may take time and effort.
The goal must have clear benefits that people can almost see, hear, taste, and feel.
In the end, you need employees to commit to the change on their own – to “want” to reach the desired state, not feel that they “must.”
The Bottom Line
Take a page from those who have learned what works in product design and creation. Consumers are much more likely to choose a product that they feel they can accept or reject (freedom and autonomy) and that is more rewarding (greater benefit). With this approach, behavior change becomes a more natural path to where you want to go.
To learn more about change behavior theory, download Rhapsody in Change: How to Mobilize, Design and Transform Your Change Initiative
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