In the last MasterClass, we discussed how to Eliminate Bad Habits that can kill your career as a Manager.
The MasterClass this month is about Breaking Bad Habits That Are Killing Results For Your Team.
Watch the video below where Sandra will:
- Show you how to apply a 3-Step-Formula to help your team break their Bad Habits and get them on the path to ‘A-Team’ results
- Give you real, practical examples and case studies on how to use the change formula
Changing behaviour can be one of the hardest things to achieve but it’s possible when you understand change and HOW to approach it in a way that works.
Subscribe to the PODCAST of the Great Managers® MasterClass
[Video Transcript Below]
Breaking Bad Habits – Case Study
Barbara is a CFO in a consulting firm and she’s fuming again about the monthly expense reports that have not been submitted. This happens every month.
At least 30% of the team don’t submit on time and sometimes even more than that.
This puts enormous pressure on her and her accounts team.
They’re expected to close the company books on time and expense reports are part of that.
Barbara’s really frustrated about this and every month she writes her nagging email. She sends an email full of underlined words, upper-case and exclamation marks.
She wonders why she has to shout and push and shove people before they do what they’re supposed to do.
Then she stops and remembers a three-step formula she learned and decides to apply it.
She starts thinking about the current expense reports process.
Is it too complicated for some people? Is it paralysing the writer?
Maybe it is clear but the elephant would rather do anything other than an expense report.
Maybe the reporting system itself has barriers in it that her team are not aware of.
She knows that something has to change and getting the expense reports in on time is not optional.
The 3 Step Formula to Break Bad Habits in Your Team
Keep thinking about your own situation as we go through this formula.
Here’s what Barbara did:
1. Direct the Rider
- Get clear on what’s required – The 4 Ps
- Purpose – Why is the change needed?
- Picture – Paint a mental picture of a successful outcome.
- Plan – The steps, stages and timeframe of the change required.
- Parts – Who is responsible for what? Be clear about roles.
- Find the bright spots – Barbara looked at the 70 % of people who were submitting on time. What were they doing differently?
- What must be stopped or let go? What are the other people, the laggards, doing? What stops these individuals from complying? It’s hard to get clear if you don’t know what the barriers are.
2. Motivate the Elephant
- Find the feeling – Can Barbara find the general feeling about the expense reports?
What Barbara found was that people actually did care about the members of her accounts team. When they didn’t get their expense reports in, they’re actually letting Maria, one of Barbara’s team members, down who was having to put the late expense reports in. Once she made it personal and they all learned that Maria was so impacted by their behaviour, well they did care about her. Negatively impacting Maria was something they would never do deliberately.
- Shrink the change into small steps – Barbara was starting to think about how she can make the expense reports easier using CUSP model (Control, Understanding, Support, Priorities).
- Control – To change employee behaviour within your team, express the benefits of the behaviours you wish to see, but give your employees the opportunity to make their own decisions. Give them some control, some autonomy. You might be surprised at how many people will fall in line with your desired behaviours if they have some input on how the changes will happen.
- Understanding – As they move through transition it is important for them to feel understood. Listen to them, encourage them, and give them feedback about how they’re going. Ask good solution-focused questions.
Help them understand what’s in it for them – what are the benefits or rewards?
- Support – Provide whatever support you can to make the change as easy as possible.
- Priorities – What needs to be done first? Is there time for learning new things? Make sure the environment supports that. What is the most important thing to start?
- Help them identify with the new – People are sensitive to social norms and want to do well. Barbara started making it rewarding to be part of the 70% on-time group. That was the group that got lots of positive attention rather than the other group.
- Growth mindset – What new skills or attitudes were required. What sort of help do people need to fill in an expense report easily?
3. Shape the Path
- Tweak the Environment – Was there something the accounts department could do to make the reports easier? She started thinking about the templates themselves and whether she could create a fill-in-the-blank template format so it was really easy for people.
- Build Habits – She shared the routines of the high achievers. The people who were completing on time, she started sharing their information around and encouraging these new habits with the others.
- Change with others – She also got a small group of the laggards together. They became a little bit of a buddy group working together to make the behaviour change.
- Rally the herd – Encourage and reward the new behaviors, the right behaviors and acknowledge progress. Give timely feedback. The team started to make it a bit of a game or challenge. For example, offering rewards for people who were getting them in first.
Remember, what looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.