Overcoming the Challenge of Changing Employee Behavior

graphic of a steep upward curve showing the challenge of Changing Employee Behavior

Changing Employee Behavior and Breaking Old Habits Are Hard
Changing employee behavior—or more simply put, exchanging one habit for another—is fraught with difficulties.  Anyone who has tried to keep a New Year’s resolution beyond January knows that it is an uphill battle.  Even when we know that the change (i.e. eating healthier, keeping a journal, maintaining an exercise regime, achieving a better work/life balance) will be in our best interest, we too quickly fall back into old patterns and less wholesome habits.

One Explanation
New research reports that our brains prefer the old routines; they are hard-wired that way because it takes much less energy.  If a behavior has worked for us in the past, our brains suggest we do it the same way next time…and thus a habit is born.

Let’s say, for instance, you want to increase your exercise program.    But that means you have to get up earlier or trade time at home for time at the gym.  This often takes more energy than your brain is willing to expend.  It’s far easier to stay with your current program and not push yourself.

Can Tools Help When Changing Employee Behavior?
There are a whole slew of products and programs designed to help support behavior change. When it comes to changing employee behavior, we believe that they alone cannot do the job.

Fitbit
Take the Fitbit for example.  It was touted as the answer to exercising more consistently and effectively…improving fitness and boosting weight loss.  However, studies say that such activity trackers offer minimal support and little to no advantage over standard weight-loss approaches.  For a while, you may take more steps, but there is virtually no lasting improvement to your weight or your overall health.

A More Comprehensive Approach Is Needed for Changing Employee Behavior
To change employee behavior for real, a more comprehensive habit change is needed.  You have to be able to follow change management best practices:

  • Change one goal for another that is more meaningful and more rewarding
  • Apply some discipline
  • Keep focused on the end result
  • Be clear what benefit you will get out of the change
  • Have consistent feedback and support from those around you
  • Handle and learn from some slip ups
  • Celebrate small and regular progress

Habits in the Workplace
Changing employee behavior in the workplace is similarly challenging to changing personal habits.  Employees, their coworkers and their boss all have to be convinced that the goal is worth the extra effort changing of behavior.  It helps to:

  • Write down the goal
  • Articulate the specific steps to achieve the goal
  • Ask for help from coworkers
  • Cut yourself some slack if you slip once or twice
  • Delight in each step in the right direction

The Bottom Line
Bad habits can be broken and new behaviors can supplant old ways of doing things.  Define your new goal, be ready to fight your brain when it directs you back to the old routine, and regularly reinforce the value of new habits and behaviors.

To learn more about changing employee behaviors, download The Must Have 7 Principles of Effective Training

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Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

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Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

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

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 consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

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

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

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

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

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

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