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Tipping the iceberg of behaviour change


In an increasingly competitive corporate world, businesses and organisations recognise the need to create and build a common behavioural standard across their workforce. The need for a shared set of critical skills based on behavioural traits, and the ability to harness them, has never been clearer. Ideas sharpen in light of difficult and unpredictable financial times, and the value of fully integrated, responsive Learning and Development programmes becomes ever more important.

To better understand how to effect proper behaviour change, we need to look deeper. If we imagine individuals' behaviour as the tip of the iceberg, we need to imagine what's under the water line. How we feel, how we act, react and interact is all determined and defined by what's going on in the background. However, we don't all react to the need for the change, and we don't all change at the same rate. A more unified method of behaviour change may be called for.

Learning and Development providers are in the business of behaviour change, and they recognise that employees require training systems that support, encourage, motivate, and provide feedback. It is key to remember at this point, that we are not talking about changing the individual per se, but their behaviour and the impact that behaviour may have on the person's work life, and the strategic aims of the business or organisation. We also know that not everybody is comfortable with change, and this may lead to resistance.

It's likely that resistant attitudes are themselves the result of the wrong kind of behaviour, rather than anything else. It is also key to remember that when we repeat positive behaviours they become habitual. And so, the connection between attitudes and true behaviour change needs to be strengthened, and in order for that to happen, it's crucial to look at the factors that can prevent or threaten that connection. Whether an individual feels able to engage with the process can be affected by a number of factors.


Recognising the need

Individuals need to be encouraged and given the skills to enable them to recognise the moment when there is a need for a change in behaviour, an opportunity to act in a different way, or to provide a different response. This is real  'under the water line' thinking, addressing the need for behaviour change at the very moment that change is most needed.


Knowing how

If there is a disconnect between a person's attitude and the desired level of behaviour change, that may simply be down to them not understanding how to put the necessary changes into place. Training and information that is regularly delivered and easily absorbed are critical to how an individual changes their behaviour and how they put that behaviour change into their work life. It is also important for individuals to see their own behaviour change as having positive outcome, for them as an individual, for their position in the organisation, and towards the organisation's greater good and long term business strategy. In short, a sense of value will assist in their engagement, and can lead the way to further positive change, as well as provide them with the skills they need.


Barriers and obstacles

Employees may perceive that obstacles or barriers exist to them effecting and displaying genuine behaviour change, indeed, some may even invent those barriers. By creating training programmes that immerse and engage the learner, positioning them at the centre of their development, and giving them control of the learning, we can create a culture of positivity, support, encouragement and motivation. Digital learning also offers greater opportunity for feedback via access to data analytics, this improves and builds individuals' enthusiasm and in turn provides further layers of support.


Digital learning platforms such as Wranx, by design, provide the necessary support, motivation and encouragement to ease the path to change what's under the water line and bring about positive behavioural changes. In every aspect of our lives we use technology and our behaviour changes as a result of our interaction with that technology and with each other. Mobile learning makes that whole process quicker, more fluid, and more responsive by virtue of the ease of access. Adding levels and rewards via gaming technology in turn encourages competition, and builds motivation.

At each turn here, by our continued use of digital learning platforms we are developing the iceberg, under the water line, to bring about behaviour change. Making that behaviour change an ongoing, fluid part of our daily work life is crucial.