Changing the behavior in your organization means that employees have to work on themselves. This usually comes with some resistance. Watching someone cycling up a mountain, nice! Getting up there yourself? Rather not! Behavioral scientist BJ Fogg emphasizes that it’s important to realize that people are naturally ‘lazy’. They feel resistance when they have to put in effort, so also when learning or refining behavior. Simply because it asks for effort and it causes insecurity. Use this insight to change behavior!
As teacher and researcher at Stanford University, Fogg mainly focuses on the ways in which behavior can be influenced. You will find more on his research and behavior model (Fogg Behavior Model, ‘FBM’) on his website. Fogg argues that someone will act when there is
- a trigger
To teach people new behavior or to refine behavior, Fogg identifies three steps.
1. Motivation: be specific
We know this from experience when designing a training program with a client: it’s difficult to make desired behavior specific. Customer friendly, yes, that’s what we want to be! And result focused! But what does that mean for Aaron the account manager who’s talking to Charles, a complaining client? Translate the goals of the organization and the desired effects to behavior as specifically as possible, says Fogg. The most effective way to teach employees, is microtraining: employees practice certain behavior or certain skills in small amounts of time. When you offer them the behavior in phases, training employees will make (smaller) steps more often and they will be able to apply it in practice sooner.