Specify Behavior Choices that lead to better Performance

Dos or donts

Much is spoken about Organisational ‘Values’ and ‘Beliefs’, and their relevance to Organisational Performance. Whist it is helpful to define the Values an Organisation holds dear, at the end of the day, it is the things people Do and Say that actually create ‘Performance’. This is ‘Behavior Choice’…and we generally see people follow patterns of consistent choices…’Behavior Habits’.

We know that these Habits are hard to change: what we did yesterday (in a given situation) is probably what we will do today, and tomorrow….

Some Behavior Choices have a positive impact, some have a negative impact…

So if you want better Performance, you need to look at what Behavior Choices people are making in your company.

Remember, Behavior is what people Do and Say. It is visible actions and words.… We are not talking here about beliefs or values or thoughts or preferences or personality. These are buried deep inside a person; and, whilst they do often influence a persons’ natural behavior choices, we do not have a right to interfere with these. However, as an organisation you do have a right to demand certain Behavior Choices: the ones you know will have a positive impact on your business.

“Do’s and Don’ts”: Your task is to replace those behaviors that have a negative impact with behaviors that will have a positive impact on your business.

The problem is, how to know what you have and what you want to change?

This is process of specifying Behavior Choices is called Behavior Mapping, and we have successfully done this for 18 clients in India.

Behavior Mapping is one of the methods used in our unique approach model ‘S.Qo’: S.Qo approach ensures that you Specify what is required/not required, Quantify who is doing what, so as to Optimise performance and potential: It sounds obvious doesn’t it? But so many companies have not actually written down the Behavior Choices they want people to make, and not make. No wonder performance suffers.

Specifying Behavior Choices takes only 4 weeks. It’s the first step to better performance.

Making Behavior Specification work

Once the Behavior Choices you want have been specified, better performance will only come if people actually change their Behavior Choices .

How to do this? Your road map needs to have a combination of all the following elements:

Communication: You need to state publicly what your expectations are for the culture you are defining and the behaviors you want to see. A communication plan needs to be compiled.

Education: Like any behavior change (think of changing diet for instance), accepting that you need to make a change is the first step. This is where opportunities for self-discovery and feedback are essential. Give and accept feedback any time behavior does not align with what you have desired.

Support: A supportive environment is known to be crucial. If others around you are following the ‘old way’, then it makes it doubly hard to change. Senior role models need to be the first to adopt and be held accountable for the changes you want to see.

Reinforcement: Rewards for progress are also essential. Build a recognition system that acknowledges successful behavior change and publicises examples where people have demonstrated the positive impact choices. Make sure your appraisal and compensation robustly measures behavior choices as part of the PMS. At the end of the day, money talks….

4 Steps towards better performance:

  • Generate a Behavior Map
  • Create a well-managed internal communication plan.
  • Train and make accountable Senior most role models to ‘walk the talk’
  • In parallel, align your performance management system

Everything else will fall into place.

Specify Behavior Choices that lead to better Performance – we know it works!


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