3 secrets for ensuring behavior change

With only 15% of L&D professionals noticing positive changes in staff behavior, to what extent is learning having an impact?

Written by Emerald Works
Published 28 March 2019
3 secrets for ensuring behavior change

The very nature of the L&D role is to instill new knowledge and behaviors into learners so they can do their jobs more efficient and effectively. But at present this is lacking. So, how do we ensure the behavior of our learners change and learning is applied in practice?

This question is not new, but using data from our independent 2018 Health Check and qualitative insight gathered from Raytheon’s 2018 symposium, we can help provide you with evidence-based actions that can help improve the effectiveness of your formal learning.  

In order to give you the best advice, we need to get to the root of the issue. We know that the best way to achieve behavioural change is through applying learning content into the workplace. But that in itself is no easy thing to achieve, as I am sure many of you know. The only way to improve the application of learning is to have a clear strategy to support learning transfer across your organization.  

Here we want to share with you 3 secrets we have uncovered that can help you create behaviour change by enhancing your ability to support the transfer of learning through:

1. The manager  

According to 50 L&D practitioners that took part in the Raytheon symposium in London and Munich, managers play a central role in improving the transfer of learning in a continuous manner within their organisations. These people professionals argued that for them, it was important to establish a learning environment that allows and encourages practice through the support of managers and mentors. 

Their experience is also backed up by our data that showed the managers playing a vital role in creating engagement. In organizations that are improving the effectiveness of their formal learning, and changing learner behaviour, managers are 2x more likely to facilitate conversations with their learners to discuss desired goals and outcomes of learning. As such, it is clear that managers play a vital role in establishing a learning culture that encourages engagement with content and the application of learning in the workplace.  

2. The structure  

Next to this, the L&D professionals from the symposium argued that they found success through incorporating learning into their daily business after the classroom course has taken place, e.g. providing learners with action plans, feedback, regular reminders, etc. It is clear from our research that having a clear supportive structure embedded into the very fabric of the organization, plays a large role in creating behavioural change.

Companies who are increasing the effectiveness of their formal learning are 26% more likely to embed activities within their learning structure that help support individuals to practice desired outcomes. They are also 3x more likely to be encouraging learning transfer by using performance support practices after formal learning has ended. 

3. The technology  

Technology provides the perfect tool to facilitate and support the transfer of learning into the workplace- which aids in shaping behavioural change. In particular, organisations that are improving the transfer of learning are more likely to embrace continuous learning platforms and electronic performance support systems.

These technologies, embedded in the learning structure, provide additional information to learners at the point of need, which helps the individual apply the content in practice and alter their behaviour.  

Moving forward 

It is clear there needs to be a larger focus on the transfer of learning if you are to be successful in creating behavioural change across your organization. Now is the time to stop and re-evaluate your approach, ensure there is range of support available to your learners to improve the application of learning into practice. We need to adapt our approach to learning if we are to remain successful! 

About the author

Emerald Works

Emerald Works

At Emerald Works, we’re committed to helping individuals and organizations around the world realize their full potential by using evidence-led learning solutions that work.

We work together to build learning cultures that empower people to bring about real change for real impact.

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