Authors and Editors: Junofy Rozarina, Mahima Kumar, Monish Khanderia and Upasana Sridhar
At the root of business level disruptions and the successful response to it lies the role of behaviour. In the post-pandemic workplace with changing employee expectations and evolving rules and regulations, employee behaviour remains disrupted. Imagine you’re leading a team of 30, how do you inspire a new normal in your team without their resistance? How do you support a hybrid workplace environment when 80% of your work is conducted on-site? How do you ensure a smooth functioning and keep employees motivated with better work output efficiency?
About the Client
These are the questions Beyond Nudge Consulting was recently approached
with by a leading experience design house for life sciences museums, branding and design solutions, gaming and virtual reality experiences. Executive leaders of the organisation were keen on navigating the changes in the workplace and employee management through the lens of behavioural science.
The Behavioural Problem
With the onset of the pandemic, the client realised the need to bring about
systematic changes to ensure smooth operation of all their functions. After an interactive deep-dive with the client into the current mechanisms and opportunities, the Beyond Nudge team highlighted these challenges that needed to be addressed:
- Transition to a hybrid-working model,
- Standardisation of onboarding structures and overall employee experience,
- Leadership-employee communication and engagement,
- Accountability controls and
- Pre-pandemic operational efficiency
Beyond Nudge Approach
Our team of consultants, analysts and volunteers followed a step-by-step approach to delivering a recommendation strategy to the client.
Define: Firstly, our consultants clearly defined the intended behavioural outcome that the client wanted to achieve. Essential information regarding the team, management style, working arrangements, reporting structures and other HR processes was then collected from the client. This was followed by additional correspondence with the client to understand the key problem areas.
Audit: Then, the friction points that needed to be addressed as part of the solution were clearly identified.
Ideate: Next, our consultants combined industry expertise with a detailed understanding of behavioural science application in the workplace based on a comprehensive literature review and internal discussions. This included identifying successful strategies implemented in the industry that address the challenges.
Consult: With this knowledge and refined understanding of the solution, we conducted an hour long consulting session with the client to discuss the findings and recommendations.
Recommend: Based on the discussion of the solution with the client, Beyond Nudge Consultants presented a strategic action plan to guide the implementation of the recommendations.
Behavioural Challenges and Solutions
Beyond Nudge Consulting’s approach was to recommend actionable, impactful and relevant strategies to assist the executives in creating a motivated, efficient and appreciated working environment.
An essential part of the solution was the identification of the behavioural challenges:
Self-serving bias: The problem emerges from employees’ tendency to pass on accountability of errors to team members or circumstances. Increased accountability can lead to better project planning and implementation, an essential component for a business relying on on-ground support teams.
|Accountability Reports: One of the key recommendations that formed part of the report included the adoption of accountability reports that will be built using behavioural design principles to improve accountability within teams. People are more likely to accept responsibility and improve their behaviour if they confront the situation or the errors themselves rather than being told about their mistakes. It was suggested that employees themselves complete a brief accountability report in case of any negative outcome on the project. The results can help identify recurring or new issues, bring honest and responsible behaviour in members of the organisation and lead to fundamental increase in efficiency.
Ambiguity Aversion: Uncertainty about expectations for the self from the organisation can negatively affect new hires during their initial period in the organisation and they can feel less motivated to engage with their peers and managers due to lack of clarity.
New onboarding structures, project management and tracking systems were also recommended as part of the action plan. Defining values and cultures, documenting standard operating procedures, and employee benefits will remove ambiguity about the acceptable workplace behaviour. A well-defined onboarding structure will reduce the frictions between old and new employees, facilitate ease of future business expansion and increase the overall efficiency.
Lack of trust: When employees do not trust their management, they are less likely to feel engaged in the work they are doing, resulting in a lack of motivation and a decrease in productivity. Furthermore, if employees lack trust in leadership to make informed and fair decisions, they are less likely to fully adopt new policy changes leading to resistance, confusion, and even pushback from employees.
|Reciprocity: Involving employees in policy discussions and changes, and collection and communication of feedback gives them a sense of control. This establishes a reciprocal relationship between employees and management such that employees respond to the management’s efforts to include them by being more receptive to changes, and engaging more in the workplace. This leads to improved trust, increased adoption of new policies, and a more inclusive workplace.
“The solutions offered were implementable. The consulting session allowed for an open discussion to put problems across, additionally, the suggestions were relevant and practical.”
Client Satisfaction Rating:
Additionally, the client reflected a high willingness to refer Beyond Nudge Consulting to their industry peers.
1 Client Satisfaction Rating reflects the client’s rating for the overall consulting experience and the consultants.