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Candace Van Zyl
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Can You Change Staff Behaviour?

03 March 2014, 12:39

You know what it’s like to run a team or a business; your greatest asset is your staff… Who are also potentially your greatest challenge! As a manager or CEO how do you go about effecting a culture change, or even just motivating your staff to perform?

Validation Drives Changes
It’s human nature for people to seek validation. Some people are motivated by recognition, others by time off, and some by financial rewards; but it’s nearly impossible to know which staff member responds to what, leaving managers forced to use a one-size-fits-all employee motivation programme.

The common factor across all people in the labour market is the need to be singled out for the right reasons. Which is why designing a rewards and recognition programme (R&R) needs to speak to the emotions of your staff so that, whether performing well or poorly, the programme links behaviours that the business wants to encourage to recognition.  This is a key principle in changing hearts, minds and effecting behavioural change.

Happy Staff Happy Future

Everyone wants to build a business that lasts... Nothing is more expensive than a high staff turnover, so keeping your staff on board with a staff motivation scheme that actually works is key...

Small Change, Big Impact

Here are a few things that a well-structured R&R programme can affect:

·         Staff absenteeism

·         Shrinkage

·         Improved productivity

·         Lower staff turnover

·         Happier staff

·         Happier customers

Small changes have a big impact on the bottom line; improve profits by lowering absenteeism, training cost and recruitment fees, based on lower staff turnover.

So How Do We Do it?

Now that you agree that an employee R&R programme is critical in terms of aligning staff behaviour to company objectives and vision, how exactly do you go about setting one up?

1.       Business Intelligence: The system should be viewed as a business tool, providing feedback and business intelligence to management concerning the state of the company, the company’s EQ and equips leadership to re-align strategies a lot quicker than in the past, because staff are now more receptive to messages from senior management.

2.       Engage Younger Generations: Our dynamic emerging and younger generations are easily bored, but very receptive to technology and change. Your programme should therefore be dynamic and have enough flexibility to change over time, in order to remain relevant and interesting for your staff to continually engage with and buy-into.

Things to Consider When Driving Behaviour Change
There are many factors to consider when designing a workplace programme geared towards motivating your staff. These include:

1)      Age groups and gender of your staff

2)      Level of worker skill

3)      Generational issues

4)      Cultural issues

5)      Number of staff members

6)      What is the change required

7)      Geographical spread of work-force

8)      Fairness and inclusivity

Can One Size Fit All?
Every business is unique and designing a programme that actually delivers on its promise to change behaviour is harder than it sounds. So unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all solution that is going to suit every business. The design of a programme that delivers results takes a lot of experience, a powerful platform and a fair amount of creative flair.

How to Avoid Failure

Here are three points to remember to ensure your R&R programme actually works:

1)      Business leaders want to inspire their staff to be accountable and take full responsibility for their actions so make sure you give your team the freedom to impress and excel, otherwise your initiative will backfire and actually cause more unhappiness and even resentment

2)      Make sure the programme is meaningful – it’s the best way to get staff to buy into it

3)      Keep it simple; you have many levels of staff and a mixture of culture and aptitude so make sure your staff understand the way it works

4)      Don’t just go through the motions just to use up the budget allocation. If you take recognition of your staff seriously you will reap the rewards.

Good luck!

Otto Remke, CEO of the Gistics Group.

About the Gistics Group

The Gistics Group has been tailor-making employee R&R programmes and implementing Organisational Development initiatives for both large and small companies for over 10 years. With base programme infrastructures already developed in very diverse industries, we can easily customise a solution for your staff compliment that will be wholly funded by the performance improvements initiated by it.

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