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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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 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

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

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

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

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

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

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

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

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

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

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