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Solving the human problem behind every business problem

November 27, 2023 | Operational Excellence

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At a Glance

  • Human behaviour is a critical factor in organisational success, and understanding it is essential for a productive working environment.
  • Organisations can improve workplace communication, decision-making, and employee engagement by addressing people issues.
  • Effective strategies for managing people issues include raising awareness, involving employees in the development process, applying appropriate leadership styles, focusing on people-centric results, and celebrating milestones.

The average workplace is a complex web of human interactions, personalities, and behaviours. The way employees behave in their professional environment can have a profound impact on the performance of their colleagues, and therefore the overall success of the organisation, and vice versa. This circular influence of human behaviour and organisational structures is a significant factor in the smooth functioning of any workplace. 

Understanding human behaviour in diverse group settings is, therefore, essential. Each individual brings unique qualities, skills, experiences, and perspectives to the table. Ignoring the principles of organisational behaviour in the workplace can have serious consequences. That’s why it’s important to understand and address the human issues behind every business problem. 

To stay competitive, companies often invest heavily in cutting-edge technology and top talent. However, sustainable success usually goes beyond that. The people within the organisation, their attitudes, and behaviours, play a significant role in determining its success or failure. 

An employee may perform well in their role, but if the team or department they are part of does not function effectively, the organisation as a whole can suffer. This discrepancy underlines the importance of taking a holistic view of success and addressing human factors at all levels of the organisation. 

Barriers to change in the workplace: the human problem 

Organisations often struggle to achieve their goals, not because of a lack of technology or resources, but because of human factors. For example, many employees feel unheard and unappreciated, leading to frustration and retention problems.  

The use of new technologies remains one of the main causes of employee disengagement and difficulties in moving forward. These problems often stem from a lack of understanding of how technology can benefit them and the organisation. 

Importance of prioritising human behaviour in the workplace 

Understanding human behaviour enables employers to prioritise improving communication in the workplace. It can help managers and leaders understand the needs and motivations of their teams and adapt their communication style to ensure their message is understood and accepted. 

Understanding human behaviour can also have a positive impact on decision-making and contributions to the organisation. When employees feel understood and valued, they are more likely to contribute their ideas and opinions, which can lead to better decisions and improved outcomes for the organisation. 

Strategies for managing people issues 

For organisations struggling with people-related challenges in the workplace, the key question is: how can we foster an employee mindset that goes beyond mere compliance and embraces proactive engagement?   

Here’s what organisations can do to change the mindset of their workforce:  

1. Create awareness

The first step in solving human problems in the workplace is to acknowledge their existence and create a safe space for open communication. Encourage employees to actively participate in identifying and defining the problems they face. This empowerment not only provides valuable insight into the root causes of workplace challenges. By encouraging open dialogue, organisations can lay the groundwork for tackling problems head-on and creating a more transparent and communicative workplace culture.

2. Involve people in the development process

The success of any solution depends on the active participation and buy-in of those affected. Involve employees in the development process by seeking their input and feedback. This approach allows the organisation to tap into the collective wisdom of its workforce and generate a diverse range of ideas and approaches. This collaborative approach not only improves the quality of solutions but also promotes a sense of shared ownership among employees, increasing their commitment to implementing and sustaining the agreed changes.

3. Apply appropriate leadership styles

Effective leadership is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is about understanding the different needs and motivations of each employee. It is, therefore, important to use appropriate leadership styles. Situational leadership, for example, provides a framework for leaders to adapt their approach based on the specific needs of the situation and the people involved. By adapting leadership styles to the nature of human problems, organisations can create an environment conducive to positive change.

4. Focus on people-centric results

At the heart of human problems in the workplace is not just the implementation of new policies or procedures. It is essential to recognise that results are achieved through people. Implement changes that not only address the issues identified, but also allow people to feel the tangible benefits of these changes.

5. Celebrate milestones

Just as it is important to acknowledge challenges, it is equally important to celebrate successes, both large and small. Recognising and applauding the achievements of employees, both individually and collectively, reinforces the positive impact of addressing people issues in the workplace.

The key to convincing employees to accept solutions or new initiatives is to actively involve them at every stage, empowering them to develop and implement these solutions independently, while providing the necessary guidance.

Change management for changing human behaviour

Addressing the human element of business problems is paramount. It affects not only the success of the organisation, but also the job satisfaction and well-being of its employees. The symbiotic relationship between employees’ organisational behaviour and professional success cannot be ignored.

Through a nuanced understanding and proactive approach to people issues, organisations can cultivate a more productive working environment, paving the way for improved results and sustainable success.

At Renoir, our proven implementation approach focuses on driving behavioural change at scale. Our unique proposition lies in our ability to change behaviour using techniques such as securing buy-in, ensuring change compliance, and redesigning management culture.

With over 25 years’ experience in transformation, implementation and change management, we will work with you and your team to develop a practical programme to deliver improved business results.

Accelerate excellence in your operations through change management.

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