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How To Encourage Behaviour Change In The Workplace

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 199

I have seen and experienced, as have you I'm sure, so many change efforts that have failed to live up to expectations. It doesn't seem to matter if the change is mall or large or whether it takes three months or a year to implement. Why?

Well I imagine there are many reason a change may not be sustainable - poor implementation plan; ineffective project management; lack of vision and belief that the change was a good thing; leadership detached from the change; This list could go on and on. I'm sure you have plenty of other reasons you could add as well.

Even if all of these things were addressed do you think the change would be sustainable? Maybe, but I'd suggest that more often then not it would still fail because behaviours that need to be changed and the new behaviours that need to be supported are overlooked.

Some times it's hard to recognise the behaviours that need to change so it's important to take the time to look at this. Ask yourself what behaviour is driving the current results? What new behaviour do you need to deliver new and better results?

Examine behaviours around - The way you make decisions (Top down? Consensus? Veto?); The way you respond to customer requests (With intent to understand? With intent to resolve? With intent to protect the company?); The way you handle things when they don't go according to plan (Blame? Shame? Point fingers? Learning experience?); The way you create strategy; How disciplined you are at sticking to plans or strategy (Change frequently? Consistent? Inconsistent? Flexible?); The way you communicate; The way you engage people in problem solving; etc.

Once you are clear on the behaviours that need to change and the new behaviours you want you can begin to plan ways to support the changes needed.

So what can you do to change behaviour?

- Demonstrate the behaviour you want to see at every opportunity - Communicate the behaviour needed and it's importance - Look for examples of the behaviours you want in performance reviews, promotion opportunities and when hiring people into the company - Reward the desired behaviour e.g. if you want to encourage employees to look for opportunities to make changes in their work then you could create a 'Change Agent of the Year' award or cite examples in all employee meetings etc. - If necessary change policy, procedures and even structure to support the new behaviour

There are many other things you can do to make changes in behaviour, the important thing is that people are aware of what needs to change, what the new behaviour looks like, that leadership is committed to it and that things are in place to support it.

Therese Wales is Managing Director of Up to You providing Leadership Coaching and Organizational Change Management Services. For your free excerpt 'Know your Outcome' the first step to creating lasting change go to or Email for more information.

Source: EzineArticles
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