6 steps to behaviour change

Getting leaders and employees to do something new or different requires more than information. Based on research in neuropsychology and behavioral science,
we have developed 6 principals for behavior change.

1. SPECIFY THE BEHAVIOR

Be specific about the behaviour you want to reinforce. General messages without information about specific behaviours have little effect. Start by identifying the core behavior(s) you want to spread. This is the behaviour that is most likely to have the greatest impact in terms of achieving the results you want. The behaviour must be specific, which means that it is something that you are able to both see and measure.

2. FIND THE FEELING

Answer the question: Why should the target group care? Emotions trigger actions. In order to create change, you need to appeal to the right emotions to engage and motivate your target audience. Different emotions have different effects. Negative emotions tend to narrow the mindset and focus attention. Positive emotions make us more open and creative.

3. TELL STORIES

Communicate important information through storytelling. The brain remembers stories better than facts and bullet points. It engages emotions and activates a greater part of the brain.

4. FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC OVER TIME

Learning and changing behaviours require time. Individual information activities (articles, presentations, etc.) or learning situations have a limited effect on behaviour. To achieve change, you must focus on and repeat a specific topic over time. Plan for multiple sessions and repeat.

5. INVOLVE ACTIVELY

Passively receiving information has limited effect on behaviour. By involving employees in contributing to the changes themselves, they gain ownership and a higher sense of commitment to the actions that have been decided on.

6. USE PEER INFLUENCE

Social belonging is a basic human need. We seek recognition from members of the social groups we belong to and will avoid negative reactions. When the group enters into an explicit agreement about measures and actions, it increases commitment and compliance among the members of the group.

Source: IMG Nord: Review of 30 years of research