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Behavior change: How do you achieve it?

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When people understand the vision and the value of a process they are much more likely to adopt the change. 

In our last article, we shared our thoughts on the intended consequences of technology with the theme being that for technology to be successful it must result in human behavior changes. For anyone that has ever dieted, made a New Year's resolution, or any type of goal you know how difficult this really can be. 

Technology is often seen as a new shiny toy that eventually begins to collect dust if it is underutilized. First, the responsibility falls on the technology company to provide a product that creates real value. It is the responsibility of the end user to react to the information provided by the technology to make an impact on value creation. If technology isn't used as intended and given enough time to demonstrate value lost opportunity occurs under the cover of ambiguity.

There are times when technology doesn't create value for the end-user but for a production system it creates tremendous value. These types of technologies are harder to implement in a system than a technology that provides value to both the end user and the production system.

If you are faced with the challenge of implementing something new, not just technology, here are a few tips:

  • Set clear expectations from the beginning: Is the expectation that they do the new process for a trial period or is this the new standard? Is this a daily process or an as-needed process? Who is responsible for making sure the process is done correctly?
  • Provide training: Any time a new process is introduced there should be a lot of training opportunities and in a number of different formats. Everyone learns at different speeds and in different ways. Having written instructions, as well as videos, can add tremendous value. Even simple processes can seem overwhelming when there are multiple steps, but when those steps are spread out over a long period of time, like they can be in wean-to-market production, it is important to train and then provide retraining opportunities that users can access on their own.
  • Share the vision and value: When people understand the vision and the value of a process they are much more likely to adopt the change. Share first with them the value that it can create for them and then share the value created for the production system. 
  • Hold others accountable to those expectations: If you set expectations and then don't hold people accountable to those expectations little change happens. It can be difficult to hold others accountable especially today when there is a lot of concern about the increasing labor shortage. However, if we don't hold team members accountable, those that are doing what is asked of them become discouraged and will often leave the organization.
  • Reinforce the positives: Continue to have conversations about the positives, both from a behavior standpoint and from a value standpoint. Share success stories with users that are hesitant and encourage them to visit with each other about how they are using the tools provided. If someone was reluctant to implement the new process but does, make sure you let them know that you noticed and appreciate them.

Change is difficult. We are creatures of habit and yet the world is changing all around us each day. Helping team members embrace change is something that not only provides value in the workplace but also in their personal lives which comes back to providing even more value in the workplace.

Summit SmartFarms is devoted to creating irresistible places to work in agriculture by simplifying the complex by equipping people to optimize performance through technology. If you would like to learn more about how Summit SmartFarms can help your organization, you can email Jon Hoek.

Source: Jon Hoek, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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