Effecting Positive Behavior and Culture Change

Continuing on the change management theme of my last post, how do you effect positive behavior and culture change in your organization?

Globoforce pioneered the concept of values-based recognition to manage this change process. This approach clearly shows employees how they demonstrate the company values in their daily efforts; how doing so benefits themselves, their teams, the company, and the customers; and how their efforts will be acknowledged and appreciated by both their peers and their managers.

This model for behavior change through values-based recognition follows five steps.

1) Establish a clear ambition to unify efforts, then build your recognition program around that ambition. We encourage Global Strategic Recognition, which rewards employees for reflecting the culture and desired behaviors that get needed results, and not just the result itself. More on this here.

2) Secure commitment from the top. The CEO must back the initiative and directly secure the commitment of his direct reports. Quantum Performance cites a 60% failure rate of corporate change initiatives that do not have the CEO and his direct reports strongly committed to the initiatives.

3) Create a sense of ownership. McKinsey’s model for behavior change illustrates that the “energy needed to drive change comes through a sense of ownership of the answer. When we choose for ourselves, we are more committed to the outcome.”

4) Monitor, measure and evaluate against these program goals and values-based behaviors. This acts as a “lagging indicator,” enabling leadership to intervene in low-performing areas with targeted training and development initiatives or other actions to reinforce desired values-based behavioral performance.

5) Offer the reward of choice. A final critical component to generating and sustaining excitement and engagement among participants is rewarding desired behaviors in a way that is personal, meaningful and culturally relevant for them.

Does this work in practice? Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL, seems to agree in this article from the Financial Times. This article in European CEO also supports these tenets for successful positive change. My next post will focus more specifically on how several companies followed these tenets to measure and effect culture change.

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