AS WE look to improve team performances in organisations, there are many aspects to consider, from the quality of leadership to the environments our teams are working in.
Often, in order to take forward steps, behavioural change is required and this is where many teams run into problems. Leaders regularly fail to understand why people find it so hard to change — but it shouldn’t be such a mystery. All we need to do is to consider human nature a little more closely.
Without a compelling reason, it’s unlikely anyone will change willingly, because they don’t see the benefit in doing so.
People need a sense of progress in the teams they are working in. They need to perceive that they are “getting somewhere” personally and/or professionally. Unless we build this sense of progress into our organisations, then change will always hit stumbling blocks.
Ultimately, people have a limited amount of time and energy, so they will invest it in ventures that are beneficial to them.
If, for example, money is the most important things to a person, then simply instructing them to change or face the prospect of losing their job (and therefore their income) might produce some desirable short-term changes.
However, most people aspire to something a little more than just financial gain and they want to know that they are making a contribution to something more profound. They want meaning in their work. This is the compelling reason that they need to see before they will follow through with the desired change.
As you may guess, unless the process of change is managed by skilled leadership, it will often be met with resistance.
Stanford University professor Dr B.J. Fogg designed a model of behavioural change that highlights some valuable considerations for leaders.
According to his model, for any behaviour to change, three qualities are needed: motivation, ability and a trigger.
In Fogg’s model, behavioural change first depends on the organisation raising motivation levels. In the context of what we discussed above, a perception of progress in employees’ minds is one of the main motivators in the workplace.
Work needs to be perceived as part of the bigger vision of the organisation, which means communicating this vision and the organisational values to all; then, tasks need to be broken down into achievable steps and all the little “wins” along the way celebrated and rewarded.
People need the ability to carry out the desired behavioural change. If the task is easy, then ability levels may be considered high, and vice versa. Effectively this means that we can increase employees’ ability levels by simplifying the task or increasing their skill-sets.
The latter way is often the most difficult, but organisations can often achieve a great deal by simply making it easier for employees to do better jobs. By providing the resources and support to allow people to do their jobs more efficiently, we may avoid the need for six-month training courses.
If the motivation levels are high enough and employees have the ability to make the requested changes then they will do so, providing there is a trigger or cue. Dr Fogg talks about the “activation threshold”, which determines whether a trigger will succeed or not.
The three factors in Fogg’s model are well worth bearing in mind for any leader; and remember that all three are needed for meaningful behavioural change.
This becomes sustainable when leaders are able to regularly revisit the model and assess whether the three key factors are present over the course of time.
How often have we seen changes “successfully” implemented only for people to resume old behaviour after a few weeks?
Article by Mark R Stephens. He has a background in travel, B2B sales and personal development. The team at NeuroPower is at the forefront of introducing new approaches to organisational development through the findings of neuroscience. Find out more at www.neuropowergroup.com Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_R_Stephens