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Beyond the To-Do List: How changing behaviours improves workload management

man sleeping at his desk

Employee behaviour drives the success or failure of any business. Strategy creates the desired framework and goals of an organisation, but it is the culture, or everyday acts and attitudes of employees, that carries the heaviest weight.

Workload management training will be a part of a smart company’s business strategy, but training without altering employee habits is ineffectual. Instruction that does not seek shifts in employee behaviours wastes time and money and is demoralising for the people who create and attend the training.

Training solutions that result in measurable, positive outcomes focus on learning models that transform worker attitudes and routines. Here is a step-by-step guide to inspire behavioural changes that will result in better workload management.

1. Identify Behaviours

Clearly define the behaviours relating to workload management that need improvement. Frequently, this will include time management, proactive communication, goal setting, prioritisation and task delegation. You can rely on employee surveys and data analysis to drill down on the workload management areas requiring focus.

2. Understand Motivations

It’s not enough to identify habits that need changing; you must understand the underlying motivations. What incentives or barriers influence the behaviour?

For example, a team that is not communicating effectively may have an inadequate understanding of the productivity-boosting tools of messaging and email applications. Or, an employee falling behind on some tasks may actually be completing more work than others, but is having difficulty prioritising.

3. Tailored Training

Roll out a training initiative that meets your workload management objectives and equips employees with the skills and knowledge to facilitate behaviour change. Workshops, seminars, coaching, or online courses are all helpful, but the key is tailoring instruction for the participants. A canned approach is not going to elicit the development of the perspective and habits that you seek.

Pro Tip: Begin with the why. Communicate the need for improvements and why they are beneficial not just for the organisation, but for employees. When employees understand this, they are far more likely to embrace change.

4. Provide Ongoing Support and Encourage Ownership

Training should not be a one-and-done deal. It takes a concerted effort over a period of time to develop a new habit.

Offer support so employees can navigate the change process, which can be daunting. Remember, a lot of people feel uncomfortable with change. Be understanding of their hesitation, while standing firm in leading the way towards improved workload management outcomes.

Show employees you are committed to their change journey by offering mentoring, coaching, access to resources, or creating a supportive work environment. Also, encourage employees to take ownership of their habits. Involve them in decision-making, solicit their input and feedback, and encourage active participation in change initiatives.

Pro Tip: Lead by example. A great leader models behaviours they want to see in others. Demonstrate your personal dedication to positive change by getting involved with training and being transparent about behaviours you are trying to improve.

5. Offer Feedback and Adjust Rewards

The cherry on the behaviour change sundae is providing feedback on progress and celebrating success. No matter how small the gains are, recognise them to reinforce positive behaviours and motivate continued effort. Be strategic about your recognition methods. Whether a formal system or informal praise, be sure to align incentives and rewards with desired behaviours.

Forming Habits for Lasting Improvements in Workload Management

A robust, well-defined training system can shift worker behaviour for improved workload management. Considerable know-how and time are required to establish and execute such a plan. This is where a training partner can make all of the difference.

PRODUCTIVITY SUGGESTIONS for this week: (DISCLAIMER: Please note our suggestions are not sponsored.)


About us > Priority Management is a worldwide training company with 55 offices in 15 countries. We have successfully trained more than two million graduates in Priority workshops. Our programs help companies and people be more effective and manage their workflow in and out of the office by providing tools, processes and discipline. Simply put - A Better Way To Work! Clients range from Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium businesses and government/military employees. Click Here to view all our courses.

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