Managers want to help their employees perform at their best for their good, and the company’s good. However, sometimes small behaviors get in the way. This can be frustrating to both employees and managers who want the employee to progress, but don’t know how to change the behavior.

Here is a three step process to help employees change problem behaviors:

Measure the Behavior

Measuring the behavior allows you to check if your employee is progressing or digressing. This can make it easy to track progress and to see what needs to be improved. The best ways to measure are quantitatively and objectively. All behaviors can be evaluated in at least one of these ways. Once the behavior is measured, that helps you to determine the appropriate severity of consequences and puts into fact the behavior you’ve been seeing.  

Explain the Impact

You know this particular behavior is important to you, but do your employees know that? Try to bring up the behavior frequently. Use positive and negative reinforcement to support your beliefs. If your employees know this behavior is important to you, they are more likely to pay attention to it. They might see it in themselves and work to change and improve.

Enforce Consequences

Once you’ve established the consequences for a certain behavior, stay true to it. That said, try to avoid severe consequences that may be subject to exceptions. The most beneficial way to get the behavior to stop is to meet with the employee in question, privately. Addressing the problem face-to-face helps the employee to better understand what you are expecting of them. It also allows you to show your employee that you are tracking the behavior and to give consequences without it becoming a public display.

Following this three step process will help employees to feel more fulfilled in their work, and will help your whole company to progress.