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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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.”

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Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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Hyperion

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

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We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

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Vice President, Human Resources

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.

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Hyperion

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.

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Training Manager

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

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

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!”

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Vice President Human Resources

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.

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VP of Human Resources

Cutera

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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VP of Human Resources

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

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Human Resource Manager

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

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Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

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Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

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HR Director

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