Human resourcesInternal communication

How to gradually change employee habits

12 March 2020

You can’t change your employees’ habits overnight. It takes patience, a good amount of willpower, and above all, the right tools. For business owners, the best approach is to position yourself as an internal influencer. The right tool in this case? Mobile training, a teaching tool designed for smartphones.

Changer progressivement les habitudes
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Exert influence in daily doses

Do your employees sometimes lack initiative when dealing with customers? Do they have a hard time making the right product suggestions, which ultimately hurts your bottom line? The traditional solution would be to provide a training session on the importance of being proactive. In the days that followed, you would undoubtedly see a difference in your employees’ performance. However, their old habits would eventually resurface, especially among the most senior employees. That’s perfectly normal—it takes time for people to change their behaviour.

Mobile training offered in a microlearning format is designed to be continuous. Employees complete different types of daily training modules (text, photo, video, etc.), each under 10 minutes long. 

Though short, these modules can integrate all five stages of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, a model developed in the 1970s that’s still used today to facilitate the adoption of new habits: 

  1. Precontemplation stage (the reason employees need to change their habits)
  2. Contemplation stage (what will happen when they change them)
  3. Preparation stage (tips and tricks for adopting new habits)
  4. Action stage (tests to evaluate learning and rewards for results)
  5. Maintenance stage (continued training to avoid relapses)

Unlike traditional training, which is planned months in advance, mobile training makes it possible to respond quickly to new challenges. For example, if your electricity costs suddenly increase, you could design a new training module right away that encourages your employees to adopt more energy-efficient behaviour.

Create a climate of healthy competition

It’s not enough to give your employees information in the hope that they’ll suddenly change their ways. To encourage them to put what they’ve learned into practice, it’s important to use positive reinforcement by creating a reward system.

Mobile training lets you do just that by incorporating games into each training module. Your employees learn while having fun and have the chance to earn prizes by completing post-training quizzes. Every month, those with the best results receive either “virtual” prizes, such as badges and interviews, or “tangible” prizes, such as T-shirts and mugs. 

Gamification creates a climate of healthy competition. Every employee wants to come out on top, but to do so, they need to complete every training module and pass the quizzes designed to encourage them to change their behaviour. 

Build emotional engagement through storytelling 

As an internal influencer, you should also aim to incorporate storytelling into your training modules. Your employees will retain more information if they feel emotionally engaged during the learning process. Storytelling allows you to strengthen their brand loyalty while gradually introducing the desired behavioural change.

For example, to encourage certain employees to be more punctual, you could describe a fictional employee who had trouble getting to work on time and reveal the steps they took to turn things around. That training would be far more effective than a theoretical course on punctuality in the workplace.

Transform your employees into ambassadors of change

While your managers can help you achieve your goals, the best ambassadors for change in your company are your employees. They’re there to help each other work toward adopting new habits. With mobile training, they can encourage employees in other branches or departments too, creating a snowball effect. 

That’s because mobile training solutions include a social component that allows users to communicate with each other. In addition to creating a sense of community and building team spirit, that social aspect acts as a catalyst for change.

What’s more, you can use your employees’ feedback to ensure that future training modules better meet their needs. For example, some of your employees might need a refresher on teamwork or productivity. 

Collaboration
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Be more flexible

Employees aren’t always thrilled about having to come in for a day of training, especially if the goal is to change their habits. Some can get defensive, believing that their company is trying to tell them how to behave.

By contrast, mobile training puts employees in the driver’s seat. They can complete the modules anytime and just about anywhere: on the bus on their way to work, during lunch breaks, or even before bed. That level of flexibility means your employees get to learn at their own pace. They’ll gradually start to change their habits without even realizing it.

Develop good habits from day one

If you find that many of your employees have bad habits, you can take measures to ensure that new recruits don’t start out with or develop the same ones. How? By creating onboarding micromodules to be completed during an employee’s first few days on the job. You can use this introductory course to cover company values and other topics, making it mandatory for all new hires before they’re given access to the rest of your training.

Another advantage of gamification in mobile training is that it allows you to see which users are having more difficulty and suggest that they complete additional modules. With the Albert solution, for example, you can view employee statistics and find out who’s getting the best results.

Start a revolution with the Albert solution

As you can see, becoming an internal influencer is a long-term process. However, once you have a solid framework in place, bolstered by a mobile training solution like Albert, changing employee behaviour—whether among new hires or longtime personnel—becomes a lot more doable. In the end, you’ll have a happier, more productive, and more efficient workforce.