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

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

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

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

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

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.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

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

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

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

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