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What Is Behaviour Change And How To Leverage It In The L&D Process

A behaviour is simply something you do. In an organisation, it’s often used to describe the way that people get their jobs done. This is why behaviour change is so important. If you want your training to have a meaningful impact on your organisation, then it needs to change the way your people do things. This enables them to do it better!

What Needs To Happen In The Brain To Change Behaviour?

Employee behaviour change is much easier said than done. You can’t simply screw your eyes shut and will a new behaviour into being. Instead, behaviour change is about what’s going on in your brain. Psychologist Dean Ware, Ph.D. puts it like this:

When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens and the messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over and over begin to transmit faster and faster. With enough repetition, these behaviours become automatic. Reading, driving, and riding a bike are examples of complicated behaviours that we do automatically because neural pathways have formed.

This means that behaviour change requires the creation of new neural pathways in the brain. You then need to strengthen them until the behaviour becomes second nature!

Why Is Employee Behaviour Change Important?

Employee behaviour affects everything inside and outside the workplace (in fact, it just affects everything!). It affects how employees fit in with company culture, it affects employee engagement and it affects motivation levels. James P. Carse wrote, “Only that which can change will continue.” Nowhere is this more applicable than in the world of business. If an organisation is unable to change the behaviour of its people it will be on very unsteady ground. On the other hand, if you foster a culture that’s open to change and willing to work at it, there’s absolutely nothing that can stop your organisation from achieving its goals!

Our very own Juliette Denny has delved into everything you need to know about B.J Fogg’s Behaviour Change Model:

3 Ways That Behaviour Change Impacts Business

1. Increases Happiness In The Workplace

Investing in staff training that drives behaviour change will help reduce unnecessary sick days, staff turnover and staff tension. The better trained an employee is, the happier they’ll be at work because they’ll be able to do their job better! Happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.

2. Increases Profitability

Being open to behaviour change doesn’t just save money, it can increase profits too. In fact, high performing sales organisations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low performing ones. This is because training changes behaviour and improves effectiveness!

3. Saves Time

Behaviour change can dramatically improve the efficiency of your team. For example, the average employee wastes 22 minutes a day dealing with IT issues. With the right training, that’s time they could be spending on work. Across an organisation, this can have a dramatic effect on the profitability of your organisation.

What Happens To An Organisation If Employee Behaviour Never Changes?

Imagine what your organisation would look like if it hadn’t changed at all over the past thirty years; everyone would be strutting into work in power suits, sat at beige computers and using fax machines whilst swilling cheap coffee. An organisation like this would never survive in the fast-paced modern world. Don’t expect the rate of change to slow down over the coming decades!

Organisations incapable of change rarely last very long.

This means that if your training doesn’t lead to behaviour change, it’s a complete waste of your training budget! L&D led behaviour-change initiatives will keep everyone working toward the same goals and through a common framework. It will mean that the organisation will be able to work together more effectively. For instance, Blockbuster Video failed to adapt to the growing trend of online streaming. Now a little company called Netflix is worth $28 billion, while Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010.

This shows that behaviour change is essential to the growth of any organisation. But, many organisations are approaching behaviour change all wrong! Often, this is because they’ve misunderstood what behaviour change entails in some way. This means we need to change the way we think about behaviour change!

Final Word

Behaviour change is essential to the success of your training department. If your training is able to evoke a change in the behaviour of your learners, it will help your organisation to thrive.

Want more behaviour-change related tips? This blog is part of a series on behaviour change, if you want to stay up to date why not subscribe to our blog?

Can’t wait? Our whitepaper: Mobile Learning and The Future fo Training is packed full of practical tips to help you drive behaviour change in your organisation!

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