By Carolyn Brayko, M.A.
Editor, OBM Network Newsletter
In a recent article published by the Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) Network, Dr. Barbara Bucklin (Ardent Learning) discusses a common issue in the field: maintaining behavior change. When organizations undergo change, their main concern often leans toward initiating behavior change, without much planning on how to sustain it. According to the 2015 Training Industry Report, total U.S. training costs on outside products and services amounted to $8 billion, with an average worker receiving 53.8 hours of training throughout the year. Placing a heavy emphasis on training is an important first step, however, as Dr. Bucklin elaborates, there is more to getting results than training.
Rather than conducting training needs assessments, she applies performance needs analyses, which includes training, as a way to identify important gaps in the organization. These performance needs assessments, informed by Dr. Carl Binder’s Six Boxes® Model, are a more comprehensive way of determining the environmental factors that need to be in place to help maintain behavior change.
In her article, Bucklin provides a number of considerations for maintenance:
- Feedback and management support: Management and feedback add accountability to learn and implement trained practices. Guides and technology, such as performance feedback dashboard portals and electronic coach’s guides, support managers in effectively interacting with their teams.
- Performance support tools and refresher training: Bucklin advocates that training be reconsidered as an ongoing process wherein the organization provides opportunities for the employees to continuously practice and apply the trained skills. Refreshers could be anything from a short printout of important information to actual interactive activities. Supportive learning environments are important, too. Establishing a social, collaborative online learning community could be another way for people to get and share the information they need to keep their skills sharp.
- Training based on empirically validated approaches: As an expert in instructional design, Dr. Bucklin wraps up by directing the reader to consider teaching techniques with a strong body of empirical work supporting them. Not all training is created equal. Selecting programs that promote learning based on the scientific principles of behavior (for example, fluency training and scenario-based learning) also make it more likely that behavior change will occur smoothly and sustainably.
The full article by Dr. Barbara Bucklin can be found here. Check it out if you would like to read more about how to successfully assess and intervene to enhance lasting excellence in an organization!
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Carolyn Brayko, M.A. currently studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a senior doctoral student, she dedicates her academic and professional time to Organizational Behavior Management and Behavioral Systems Analysis, particularly as it pertains to prosocial behavior, medical education, and healthcare systems. Carolyn serves as the editor of the OBM Network newsletter “Network News” of which Dr. Bucklin’s article was a part. For those interested in learning more about the OBM Network or becoming a member, check out the official website: www.obmnetwork.com. For more information about “Network News,” send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.