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Samantha Caine

Business Linked Teams

Client Services Director

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5 simple steps to inspiring new employee behaviour


Employee behaviour is key to business success. A lacklustre workforce will negatively impact the bottom line, but the workforce’s inefficiencies could be attributed to shifts in the skills and behaviours that are required to help make a profitable business. It isn’t enough to simply demonstrate the workplace skills and behaviours required to turn things around – sometimes the ways in which they are taught must also change with the times.

With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation widely reported to be a threat to industries as well as livelihoods, recent findings by PwC present an alternative viewpoint. The survey of 10,000 people questions views on the workforce of the future and reveals that 73 percent of the respondents don’t believe that technology can ever replace the human mind.

Whether or not this proves to be true in the long term, such technologies are already disrupting the ways in which people go about their daily job roles, therefore their skills and behaviours must change too. The same survey also found that 74 percent of those questioned are willing to learn new skills or re-train to remain employable in the future.

It’s important for businesses adapting to disruptions, whether technological or not, to invest in recruiting, developing and maintaining the right behaviours to ensure they remain agile in a rapidly changing world. When approaching behavioural change, basic behaviours must be considered, such as being courteous to colleagues, being honest, dedicated and hardworking.

The workplace skills needed to be effective in a particular role must also be considered, such as ensuring an employee is able to make decisions, negotiate effectively or lead virtual teams. Then we must consider business processes – does the individual have the ability to navigate and implement the business’ ways of working, such as following the sales process and implementing the performance management process.

The process of inspiring required behaviour in your employees can be achieved in five easy steps:

1. Identify and document the processes, skills and behaviours that you want to instil in your employees.

This should happen at all levels including corporate, department, team and individual level. The chosen behaviours must be measurable against the business’ objectives. Behavioural change can only be successful if the desired processes, skills and behaviours are aligned to the business’ vision, goals and values.

2. Communicate the behaviours that you require, both generally as a business but also on an individual basis.

Behavioural change cannot be achieved unless those driving the change and those expected to undergo change are aligned in their understanding of what is required.

3. Establish the most suitable solution for enabling the desired change in behaviour. 

It could be a tailored training course, coaching from a manager or mentoring from another colleague, but once an effective programme has been put into place, it is important that those instigating the training walk the talk. The business must demonstrate the behaviours that it expects from its employees. If, for example, innovation is the desired behaviour then the business needs to demonstrate its innovative capabilities. This must happen from the senior management level down and can be perpetuated through incentives such as internal competitions and prizes for achievements in innovation.

4. Observe employee behaviour so that changes can be identified and monitored. 

This can be achieved through department managers recognising and recording the development of each desired behaviour. It is important that managers feedback on behaviours and intervene when necessary to ensure that employees are on the right track to achieving successful behavioural change. Managers must also be mindful of external forces that can affect change within their teams, such as market changes that can cause adjustments to the behaviours, skills and processes that the business requires.

5. Reinforce and reward the new behaviours to ensure employees don’t revert to old behaviours.

This can be achieved by inspiring employees through success stories from other colleagues and regular updates on what the business has been able to achieve as a result of behavioural change. Finally, it is vital that employees are rewarded for the changes that they have achieved.

A key requirement for instilling behavioural change is to make sure the right individuals with the necessary skillsets are hired in the first place. When filling roles, businesses should consider possible disruptions, such as market fluctuations, and the skills that the correct candidates should have on standby, should those disruptions ever occur.

With the right behavioural training solution in place, individuals, teams, departments and entire organisations can excel in their roles and adapt quickly to disruption.


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Samantha Caine

Client Services Director

Read more from Samantha Caine

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