workplace habits

CEOs are constantly paying psychologists and consultants to find new ways to make their workforces more efficient. One major factor in workplace success is creating positive habits. Do your employees show up on time, do they do the little things like CC in pertinent co-workers, and abide by workplace protocol? Creating lasting, meaningful habits for employees has the power to turn a mediocre company into one that’s head and heels better than its competition. Creating a natural rhythm that employees follow on a daily basis is no easy endeavour. Follow these tips and tricks to make your company even more efficient that it already is.

What’s the Routine?

If you were expecting a cure-all routine that can fix all your problems in a few easy steps, you’d be reading this article in vain. Despite the amount of work put in by leading researchers, a one size fix all formula has yet to be discovered. Routines are created by triggering a cue, completing a subsequent action, and being rewarded for the action. To understand habits, you’ll have to examine the triggers, actions, and rewards that make up the habit that you’re trying to quell or encourage.

An example of habit diagnosis in action can be used in identifying why most employees check Facebook when they first arrive to work. The action is checking Facebook, but what is the cue and reward? For myself, the cue is turning on my computer and the reward is a little bit of dopamine. It feels good to be connected to other people first thing in the morning. So how do I go about fixing this issue?

Experiment with Rewards

Let’s say you notice that most of your employees don’t get much work done during the morning and the action taking them away from work is checking social media. To change this habit, you’ll need to find a routine that provides a reward that’s just as strong as the one your employees get from checking in with the twittersphere. Denying access to social media or only enabling your online management software for the first thirty minutes of work aren’t efficient ways to end a habit.

If you need to find a substitute for the habit in question you’ll have to find an action that offers a reward. Perhaps instead of checking social media employees are called to a brief 15-minute meeting where they go over the objectives for the day and are allowed to chat with each other before going about their day. This human interaction should mitigate the urge to check social media by providing the same reward that using social media does.