An alternative approach to sustainable behavioural change in the workplace.

If you’re tired of big transformation projects amidst already overloaded operations, with limited results, then micro-actions might be something for you.

1. Framing: As the organizations in our network shift towards decentralized leadership and agile teams, everyone must adapt and enhance their workplace behaviors accordingly.

 

2. Proposal: With our micro-action approach, created together with companies in our network, we introduce a minimally invasive intervention over a period of maximum six weeks that guides managers and employees on embracing new rituals, tools, values, and/or systems in the workplace.

 

3. Results: We have discovered that this pragmatic, on-the-job approach to change is easily embraced by the workforce, resulting in a return on investment that is simply astonishing.

What are micro-actions? 

  • – Implement simple, low-cost, and non-intrusive interventions
  • – Ensure minimal disruption with efforts that offer high and measurable impact
  • – Operate within short, six-week sprints to maintain focus and efficiency
  • – Not eating additional mental or attentional space (“on the job”)
  • – Tailor interventions to specific contexts, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • – Suitable for application in both small team settings and across large populations.

 

Case: Ownership at Materné Verzekert

Step 1: Define a central theme 

Boosting a sense of ownership in the workplace to minimize victimhood behavior.

Step 2: Define influenceable behavioral characteristics
  1. I prioritize personal contact over email or messaging
  2. I avoid procrastination at all times
  3. A decision is a commitment
  4. I always come well prepared
Step 3: Sprint & retrospect
  1. Each employee defined two small actions per week linked to the company’s ownership characteristics.
  2. Each employee participated in weekly cross-functional team retrospectives.

 

After three weeks, the overall results were remarkable:

 

Direct results
  1. 90% of participants reported experiencing less procrastination, both personally and with their colleagues.
  2. More than half noted a significant increase in ownership, both in themselves and their colleagues.
  3. Over half observed that the team provided more open feedback.
Nuanced results and new insights
  • Employees found the space to express their need for more positive reinforcement from their managers.
  • The group felt more recognized for their efforts.
  • They felt safer to take initiative.
  • Micro-actions had positive effects not only in the workplace but also in their private lives.

An eye-opener on personal and collective growth, showcasing how even the most change-resistant employees can play a pivotal role in strenghting our organization.

Oliver Swolfs, ceo Materné Verzekert

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