Behaviourism to foster a productive work environment

Behaviourism

Behaviourism is a psychological concept developed by B. F. Skinner. Many people believe that such ideas can only be applied in places like schools and kindergartens and not as part of workplace training solutions. However, the story is entirely different.

Business owners have a lot to learn from behaviourism and related concepts. It can help them understand employee behaviours, which in turn increases their chances of success.

This article will describe behaviourism and show you how it can make your employees more productive.

What Is Behaviorism?

One of the most useful theories that can explain workplace behaviour is the reinforcement theory. Essentially, employees tend to keep reinforced behaviours and dispense with those that aren’t. The theory also states that past behaviours can be modified so that their impact on present behaviours is limited or neutralized.

When people are provided with positive reinforcement, they are more likely to repeat their actions. As a result, when you offer employees various incentives, you can expect their production to increase since they will keep doing the actions you rewarded them for.

Other forms of behaviour in your business can also influence your workplace organization. For instance, your employees’ leadership style and personality are reliable indicators of how they will perform. To that end, you can set up interviews to evaluate candidates and employees and determine if they will fit in with the company culture.

Moreover, organizational behaviour deals with a group and individual dynamics. It aims to understand behaviour in the workplace and develop ways to predict how employees will behave. This method can help you control actions detrimental to your company.

What Can Business Owners Take Away From Behaviorism?

By now, you may have already reached some conclusions about how you can take advantage of behaviourism to build a more productive workplace. Here’s how you can follow the abovementioned principles to improve your corporate training and create an ideal business environment:

Display Kind Behavior

Treating your employees the way you want to be treated will help develop a positive atmosphere and a loyal community appreciative of the leader’s consideration. If you behave kindly with your employees, they’re likely to return the favour and be more comfortable doing their daily jobs.

To achieve this goal, you can perform various acts of kindness. For example, you can give away a branded coffee mug to your employee. Even a simple ‘Thank You’ is a small but powerful way of showing your employees that you appreciate their efforts. This will drive them to remain productive, knowing that they are working in a rewarding environment.

Generate Motivation

To help your employees feel motivated, you can empower them to solve various problems and make workplace decisions. Another great idea is to provide your employees with the opportunity to take part in training activities or flexible work schedules. The motivation aspect applies to all departments, from sales development to call centres.

Include Rewards and Incentives

Positive reinforcement is arguably the easiest way to achieve higher production. It’s also the most desirable since it goes easy on every team member involved. As previously mentioned, the technique comes down to recognizing and rewarding employees for preferred behaviours, such as an outstanding presentation, report, or pitch deck.

The most effective way of imparting positive reinforcement is to do it periodically. You don’t want your employees to start expecting rewards for every single task performed. They should be included intermittently so that your team doesn’t get used to them.

Moreover, try to identify rewards that have intrinsic value for your employees. For example, a well-thought-out note, plum assignment, or simple praise in front of the whole team will make your employees feel appreciated and motivated to perform on the same level or even better.

Don’t forget to always include feedback in the workplace, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism. Providing feedback is beneficial to your employees since it allows them to see where they performed well and which areas need improvement. In doing so, your employees can grow and work on the skills necessary to contribute to your company’s growth.

Relating Employees’ Past Experiences in Interviews

To predict how prospective employees will act in certain situations, you should conduct interviews to see how they behaved in the past. You can discuss with a candidate if specific past problems could have been resolved differently. If the prospect is fit for the job, they should know how to relate their experience to your business.

Applying Organizational Behavior Management (OBM)

Many people refer to workplace behaviourism as organizational behaviour management. All of the methods previously mentioned are part of OBM and all of them have the same goal – making your employees more productive.

As we’ve already discussed, there are many ways to increase workplace efficiency. But the business environment has evolved significantly, which is why you should consider adding a technological element to your OBM. Here are a few examples:

Get Your Employees Moving Around

If you’re running a business that requires your team to sit for hours on end at their desks, you should find a way to increase their physical activity. This will keep them in good health and maintain workplace productivity. A great way to do this is to introduce an app that jingles for a couple of minutes every hour, signalling that it’s time to get out of their seats and move around.

Track Your Team’s Exercise and Eating

If your business entails frequent travel, it usually means less exercise and poor eating. To prevent this, you can get your employees apps that monitor their activity and diet while on a business trip. It will keep them healthy and more likely to get the job done.

Employ Gamification and Microlearning

Video games are a motivating addition to any business. Modules like leaderboards and badges make workplace learning fun and engage your employees. This creates an environment conducive to greater productivity and growth.

Furthermore, use microlearning activities to make your employee training more efficient and time-saving. It comes in various structures and includes engaging content.

Final Thoughts

Even though it may have sounded far-fetched at first, behaviourism has numerous implications in the workplace. If applied correctly, your employees will become more efficient.

To ensure you’re taking the right approach, contact the experts at Learnsure. We’ll show you how behaviourism can help any business and implement many other methods that will become an integral part of future workplace learningBook a demo and check out our services for yourself.

Solving Real-Life Problems with Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Today’s business world is replete with setbacks that can hinder a company’s growth. In many cases, they occur due to improper employee learning and development, which will only result in them using improper ways to solve problems. When employees have a hard time addressing obstacles in the workplace, there’s often a cap on company potential and customer satisfaction.

Traditional methods of training employees are ineffective nowadays. You’ve got to turn to modern training strategies if you have a mind to teach your employees how to take on future challenges.

In this regard, one of the most useful approaches that you can take is experiential learning. Find out what that is, how it works, and how you can use it as a growth driver.

What Is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning bridges the gap between various learning concepts and the real world. In many ways, it’s the learning of new skills through activities (usually with a set of goals). Participants are placed in situations with real-life contexts that they have to navigate themselves. At the end of these activities, they can reflect on their experience and develop practical ideas.

Today, experiential learning is a crucial part of business training solutions. It creates a unique learning experience that sparks conversation and refines problem-solving skills.

Over the past decades, traditional training methods haven’t proven as fruitful as initially hoped for. Without direct application, it’s all too easy for employees to forget or misunderstand many concepts. This has led to more and more leaders implementing experiential learning strategies.

Another positive of experiential learning is that it lies in the middle of business learning initiatives. It’s a compromise between isolated training methods and simulations. Participants learn by performing their daily jobs, though not necessarily an exact replica of the workplace.

For the best results, experiential learning programs must have the following components:

  • Immersive experience and compelling metaphors that imitate real-world problems.
  • Engaging themes that disguise connections to the real-life workplace.
  • Fun factor to promote participation
  • Objective results
  • Cause and effect chain
  • Promoting the initiative for change
  • Result-based debriefing

It is the combination of these elements that leads to a promising learning experience. When participants are eager to engage, their confidence to take on their everyday challenges will increase.

How Does Experiential Learning Work?

Experiential learning works according to several principles. For starters, an engaging experience allows participants to take a break from their daily grind and have fun overcoming various challenges. They do not have to be made aware that they’re acquiring new skills, and this is where clever metaphors and themes can mask the primary purpose of the activities.

If you’re running on an accelerated timeline, you can quickly check out the results and help people learn from the entire experience. Finally, a detailed debrief links the activities to workplace situations. The learners get to see how they can apply their newly-acquired skills to various obstacles.

The result is behavior change caused by participants’ understanding of the consequences of applying their skills. Therefore, if they are to make mistakes, they will be more likely to take a different approach the next time. They’re going to reach conclusions about using various skills and their effects. For this reason, the retention rate is higher than with other training strategies, and skill development is more evident.

What Are the Benefits of Experiential Learning?

We’ve already mentioned a few ways that experiential learning can help your company. Here’s everything else that it can do for you:

Greater Capacity to Address New Situations

If your employees learn through a hands-on approach, they’ll be much more able to adapt to future situations. To illustrate this, let’s look at a study by the AACU (Association of American Colleges and Universities.) It had two student groups, one of which took an experiential learning program, whereas the second had direct instructions.

Although both groups achieved similar results in their final exam, the experiential learning group was better at practical assignments. Those participants outperformed the other group in drawing up a legislative policy. The ability to apply multiple aspects of their experiential learning gave them the edge over the other group.

In short, you can expect your employees to perform better if you inspire them to be innovative and use several skills to solve problems. With just instructions, you can expect subpar results and low customer satisfaction, making it so much easier for competitors to overtake you.

A Safe Environment

Failure can significantly harm your employees’ confidence. But if you set up an environment where failure doesn’t entail severe consequences, they can learn from their mistakes and improve on them. Simulations used in experiential learning sequences allow participants to fail safely. As a result, there’s no harm done to their confidence or any risk of poor performance in the workplace.

Accurate Skills Assessment

Compiling learning statistics can be challenging, even if it’s necessary. It gives you insights into how effective your learning methods are.

The same goes for experiential learning. An array of gamification and simulation programs can provide you with valuable feedback about the choices that your employees made in their learning activities. In turn, you can determine the skills that they capably demonstrated and those that will require more attention.

Superb ROI

Experiential learning takes place at your premises. This allows your employees to practice during their usual workflow. As a result, there’s less time spent at conferences, in boardrooms, or outside the office. Getting your employees to work on their skills on-site will almost invariably result in a higher ROI than sending them to learn someplace else.

Make a Wise Investment

Overall, experiential learning is one of the most practical ways of training your employees. It prepares them for future challenges by introducing them to real-life problems.

But if you don’t have all the necessary tools and knowledge, implementing experiential learning at your company is next to impossible – unless, of course, if you enlist the help of Learnsure. Our experts are well-versed in experiential learning and know just how to engage your employees. Using a technology-driven method, we can transform your learning environment for the betterment of your business operations.

We know all about the best workplace learning practices, from design thinking to microlearning. So, book your demo now and see our top-rated services first-hand!

Revolutionise Corporate Learning with Design Thinking.

Revolutionise Corporate Learning with Design Thinking.

Managing a company can get complicated. Some of the most challenging obstacles include skills development and managing business dynamics, stakeholders, and customer needs. Is it any wonder then that many businesses are resigned to an uncertain future for not being able to cope with the rapid tempo of change?

Luckily, there’s design thinking that you can adopt to control your business operations. Some of the most well-known companies, including Pepsi, Nike, and Google, have been practising this strategy, and there’s no reason to think that much smaller businesses can’t follow suit and enjoy many of the same benefits. It can help you with your company’s organization, communication, and goals

Take a look for yourself at the process of design thinking and how you can use it to run your business more efficiently.

What Is Design Thinking?

Design thinking aims to understand customer needs and embrace the use of creative thinking to resolve customer problems. In practice, design thinking can involve any number of human-centered innovation processes applicable to design activity, be it for a product, service, or the entire business.

The use of design thinking helps you address any concerns by putting customer needs first. The discipline centers on observing with empathy how users interact with their environment and it employs a direct approach to the development of solutions.

One of the critical components of these processes is visualizing concepts. In many cases, even vague concepts can spawn the brightest ideas, though it would require your team to think visually and your business to simplify a particular concept and make it tangible and much easier to understand.

Design thinking can comprise many stages, and one of the most common is a five-phase process:

  • Empathizing with customers
  • Defining your insights and customer needs and problems
  • Ideating to develop ideas for creative solutions
  • Prototyping to start developing solutions
  • Testing the solutions

Why Should Businesses Adopt Design Thinking?

The modern business landscape can be harsh and difficult to navigate. If companies can’t keep up, they won’t be able to adapt to the present state of affairs, let alone what the future holds.

Including design thinking in your corporate training can help you overcome these obstacles. Here are some of the reasons that make design thinking one of the best business training solutions:

It Helps You Make Plans

There are many distractions in today’s technology-driven world. Business leaders have to stay on top of changes and lead their company in the right direction. This is where design thinking can be immensely helpful.

It helps you visualize any aspect clearly and create a roadmap for the future. For instance, a visualized goal can give you an edge over your competition. In light of the constantly evolving business environment, having a well-thought-out objective at any moment in time can be crucial.

Team Innovation and Collaboration

A large part of design thinking concerns interactions, brainstorming, and eliciting contributions from all team members. This makes for an excellent method to obtain inputs and develop new ideas for products or services together. It promotes collaboration with the customer at its centre. In this fashion, you can use design thinking to align your employees with a common goal.

Problem Identification

Design thinking won’t build your products or services directly. What it does is offering solutions to real-life problems.

It requires posing relevant questions and identifying problems of paramount importance to your customers. For example, holding brainstorming sessions, as design thinking often calls for, can result in greater contribution from all and faster problem identification.

Creative Solutions

Many businesses fail to live up to their potential when all they do is making incremental improvements to their existing services and products. While the practice is perfectly acceptable and may well be good enough for survival, it can also leave your business vulnerable to outside disruptions.

Conversely, design thinking challenges the status quo by fostering creativity and enabling innovative ideas to surface. You can test those ideas later and determine if your customers would be happy with the end product. In doing so, the test results can provide you with a greater upside.

Learning at a Fast Pace

Design thinking assembles in a single room people from various departments for generating as many ideas as possible. This allows for quick testing of ideas in a prototype environment, after which you can pursue ideas that have traction and do away with the unpromising ones. The outcome is faster learning and problem-solving.

Clarity During Meetings

While full of useful insights, business meetings can also be a huge waste of time. You may discuss many things, but this doesn’t guarantee that your team will understand your company’s goals.

On the other hand, design thinking can lay out your expectations and get the team on the same page. With your employees in synergy, you can then develop a clear plan everyone will be able to follow easily.

How Do You Implement Design Thinking

Design thinking consists of a range of principles. Coming up is a summary of what you should do to encourage design thinking:

  • Find a way to add quality to your product or service by learning from seasoned practitioners.
  • Conduct experiments to boost your team’s creative confidence. The goal is to let them take risks in safe environments.
  • Start coaching and facilitating creativity, collaboration, and co-creation.
  • Focus on the customer experience.
  • Help your team develop thought-provoking insights, redefine problems, and produce ideas according to your research.
  • Encourage many different perspectives and check your assumptions.

In implementing this process, there are four crucial factors that will determine your success:

  • Leadership – It’s up to you as the leader to connect design thinking activities to strategic goals. Offer resources, direction, and commitment.
  • People – Encourage your team to take the initiative during changes through lighthouse projects. Develop a design thinking environment that shares best practices.
  • Process – Adapt the general design thinking process to suit your company’s goals.
  • Environment – Set up collaborative workspaces for your employees. Use them to innovate with partners and customers.

Make Your Business Thrive

As you can see, design thinking can help polish your business operations in many ways. Primarily, it enables you to define crucial problems and develop apt solutions to those problems, increasing your chances for success.

Best of all, you don’t have to take on this process on your own. Reach out to Learnsure and you’ll receive optimized learning solutions for your company. We can help your team embrace design thinking and be ready for future innovations.

Don’t settle for average performance. Choose your Learnsure solution and we’ll help your company blossom!

Design Thinking – Unleash Teams’ Creative Potential

Design Thinking in Corporate Learning

What’s the biggest enemy of innovation?

Fear of failure.

One of the main problems lies in individual biases and learned behaviors. People get in their own way and stymy their creativity. They pre-judge themselves and think that ideas are unworthy. And that results in teams that struggle to apply new ideas.

Jeanne Liedtka published an article Why Design Thinking Works as featured in the Harvard Business Review a few years ago. In it, she talks about how design thinking works to “help the innovators themselves.” It’s a holistic approach to solution-finding that assists both clientsclient and team membersmember.

Implementing design thinking in corporate learning and development can unleash a torrent of creativity for your teams. But before you learn how, let’s talk about what design thinking means…

What Is Design Thinking?

Most companies look for employees who are great problem-solvers. They want employees who think outside the box. But design thinking goes a step beyond those coveted soft skills.

It’s a non-linear way to come up with solutions to challenging problems. It is methodical and focuses on “we-solutions” using collaborative methods.

Design thinking frameworks can vary from three to six steps. Generally, most training programs adhere to the five-stage model. The model was initially proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

These stages include:

Empathize

This stage is often labeled as the “understand” stage. It’s where team members learn about the people who have a particular challenge. You can think of it as an “identify” stage. You’re looking at the “who” of a particular scenario.

This is where empathy comes in.

It’s important to feel what it’s like to be them with this challenge, if possible. Empathy helps employees create more effective solutions because they feel personally invested.

Define

Once you do the research and feel empathy for the people involved, it helps you define the real problem. You’re able to do a deep dive past obvious solutions because you can look at it from different angles.

Ideate

Ideate or ideation is when you start creating possible solutions. Teams throw out ideas without worries of judgment or restrictions. More ideas generated means more potential solutions to the challenge.

Prototype

The hands-on exploration of a preliminary solution, this stage could mean anything from a series of sketches to a cardboard prototype. If the solution is an idea, you may even see teams use storyboards. It all depends on the industry and solution.

Test

The final stage is all about seeing if the prototype works. Teams may need to refine prototypes depending on a test response. Or, they may need to create an entirely new solution. But this is all part of the process.

In the design thinking process, each stage happens in a non-linear fashion. Some team members may work concurrently on more than one stage at a time. At the same time, teams may double back to other stages when they receive new information. Each stage is a different mode, but they don’t necessarily work sequentially.

Design thinking is applicable in an array of situations. Check out some examples of design thinking at work in the world today:

IDEO.org’s Clean Team in Ghana

Ghana had a major problem. Millions of Ghanaians didn’t have in-home toilets. They also had few options for sanitation. This was a very tough problem that needed a creative solution.

As such, Unilever and WSUP (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor) got together with IDEO.org. Together they developed Clean Team, which works as a sanitation subscription service. They deliver and maintain toilets and Ghana has a new sanitation option.

Airbnb

A little over a decade ago, Airbnb was a failing startup. The company reached an earnings plateau of $200 per week. The three founders knew that something had to change or they weren’t going to survive.

They had to dig down deep and let go of the belief that everything they did “had to be scalable.”

Instead, they pivoted and gave themselves permission to dive into their creativity well. It was only after they embraced design thinking that they started seeing real changes.

How Do We Implement Design Thinking in Our Workplace?

In the job description, you can always request candidates who are familiar with design thinking. But it’s much more efficient to work with the talent that you have through learning and development or L&D.

With the rise in corporate training, L&D sectors are growing. More companies recognize the importance of reskilling or upskilling their employees. In 2019, a LinkedIn Report revealed that learning opportunities directly influenced employee retention. As many as 94% of employees said that they would stay longer if companies invested in their training.

So, it all comes down to your corporate training program.

You can implement design thinking into your workplace as a new business strategy. But it may be more advantageous to use design thinking in corporate training.

Generally, people learn about design thinking by attending workshops that address specific problems to give them real-world applications. That avenue may work for your company.

However, you can also incorporate design thinking strategies into corporate learning.

Here’s how it would work:

Imagine employees entering a sales training or insurance training program. In the training, they’re presented with a problem unique to the department. Rather than working individually, they’re encouraged to work within teams using design thinking steps.

In doing so, they rewrite old behavioral learning habits. Ideally, teams will learn to trust their own creativity. They let go of methods and ideologies that don’t work and embrace a new way of creating solutions.

The Biggest Challenges for Implementing Design Thinking in Corporate Training

Which skills do companies care about the most?

According to the 2020 LinkedIn Learning report, the answer is soft skills. Creative problem-solving & design thinking skills come in at 42% for many companies.

Despite the high demand, reskill or upskill learning has its challenges:

1. Getting Managers to Make Learning a Priority

Managers believe in learning soft skills for themselves. According to LinkedIn Learning data, they spend 30% more time learning these skills. Yet, it can be difficult to get managers on board with promoting a learning environment.

Without manager support, employees may hesitate to engage in training programs. They may question its legitimacy.

The problem isn’t entirely with managers, though.

As many as 83% of executives support employee learning, according to LinkedIn. However, that number drops to 27% for CEOs. The lack of support from the top can severely limit engagement and legitimacy.

2. Increasing Learner Engagement

Staying current with learning trends like micro-learning and gamification helps keep learners engaged. Micro-learning divides big subjects into bite-sized, manageable chunks. And since researchers found that people are more likely to engage and learn through mobile games, many learning platforms incorporated gamification.

You can also find companies like Learnsure that create customized learning programs with micro-learning and gamification principles.

In addition, the available enterprise training options also help increase learner engagement. It encourages self-directed learning with access to lessons at any time or place.

The training program also encourages engagement with other team members. It allows for an environment of shared learning and accountability. Both of those characteristics can help increase engagement in the long run.

Discover a New Solution with Design Thinking in Learning

You have a phenomenal team of star performers, but they aren’t performing as they should. They’re boxed in by old ways of problem-solving that works for them at the expense of innovation.

But you can take steps to change that way of thinking. For a start, try introducing a new solution-orientated model in their corporate training program. This subtle introduction can help ease employees into design thinking.

It’s a win-win.

Your team has a new way of finding solutions for clients. And clients will love the innovative solutions developed by your team.

Are you ready to unleash your teams’ potential? Contact Learnsure to book a demo.