This article comes from Entrepreneur.
You are not going to easily change someone from a free-flowing creative to a detailed-oriented stickler. However, changing behaviors “around the edges” may be possible if you follow the following three steps:
Regardless of what the behavior is, the first step to changing it is to measure it. If at all possible, the measurement should be objective and quantified. Making the measure objective rather than subjective eliminates the possibility of an argument about the outcome.
As an example, let’s say that you are trying to get your employees to turn their time sheets in on time. The obvious measurement is, were the time sheets turned in on time? The answer is binary — yes or no. They either were or weren’t. So, there should be no room for debate. Objective measures are preferable.
It’s great to measure behavior, which is the first step, but by itself measurement is insufficient. If you measure results, but they go into a drawer and you don’t pay attention to them, nothing will change.
We often say that what you measure and pay attention to is what you get. If you want time sheets turned in on time, measure performance and let people know that you are paying attention to the results. Post them. Announce them at company meetings. You have to make sure that everyone in the company knows that this is important to you.
Finally, there will need to be consequences for a failure to perform. Be careful about issuing draconian public decrees such as, “I’ll fire the next person whose time sheet is late.” Suppose the next late time sheet comes from a 20-year employee who always turns in hers on time. However, on the Friday in question, she left the office early because her daughter was involved in an automobile accident, and the time sheet was forgotten.
Obviously, you’ll want to make an exception. However, you also don’t want to bend your policy. (In this case, of course, bend it.)
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