Behavior Change Theory – Choosing Between “Must” and “Want”

A man has two choices that apply to behavior change theory: need and want

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

1.  Actively Involve Employees from The Start
A critical piece of behavior change success is individual buy-in. If you actively involve those affected by change from the beginning, people are going to feel some ownership of the problem and the solution.

Be sincere in your interest in their thoughts, ideas and concerns. Change is never easy. Acknowledge that it may take time and effort.

2.  Paint The Picture of Success
Make sure the end result will appeal to those who matter most. Employees need and want to know that there’s something in it for them. This is the “carrot” that makes their work toward change worthwhile. The goal must have clear benefits that they can almost see, taste and feel.

3.  Give People a Sense of Control
There will most likely be some who resist the change. Focus instead on those who embrace it. Recognize and reward their efforts. Most nay-sayers will soon join them; a few may decide to leave and that’s OK.

In the end, you need employees to commit to the change on their own…to “want” to reach the goal, not feel that they “must.”

4.  Take One step at a Time Toward The Goal
Don’t expect the change to be accomplished all at once. Real behavior is changed slowly and over time. If you work with existing routines, rather than against them, you stand a better chance of changing behavior as new actions become habits one step at a time.

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 is more rewarding (greater benefit).

With this approach, behavior change becomes a more natural path to overall workplace improvement.

To learn more about change behavior theory, download Rhapsody in Change: How to Mobilize, Design and Transform Your Change Initiative

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More