Wondering how to encourage people to recycle better at work or to change people’s habits for using single-use takeaway packaging every lunchtime? Here is a quick insight into some behaviour change principles, summed up in a simple acronym. EAST that you can use for workplace behaviour change.
So before you send another angry email about the recycling contamination or invest in thousands of reusable coffee cups, read this.
One of the most valuable insights from behavioural psychology is that that much of human behaviour is NOT governed by the rational part of our brain, and in fact our brains are driven with the more primitive drivers that sit in the reptilian and mammal parts of the brain which are hardwired by:
If you are looking to deliver behaviour change in the workplace, it is not enough to:
When tackling behaviour change in the workplace, there are a few things to consider, and we would highly recommend doing research, and taking time to get behind the factors that are influencing a behaviour in your workplace by selecting a particular person and journey mapping their day.
But, if you already have taken some steps to address a behaviour and you are wondering why it is not working, then a quick reference guide and checklist is the acronym EAST, a framework developed by the Behavioural Insights team who advise civil servants on behaviour change initiatives.
EAST stands for Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely
Here are some examples of this could be applied to office recycling and encouraging the use of reusable boxes or coffee cups at lunchtime.
As our brain looks for the easiest option, so make sure the preferred behaviour is the easiest.
Making a behaviour more attractive, means addressing the reasons it may not be desirable because people are very motivated by looking good and even cleanliness. So if a behaviour is perceived to be undesirable, messy or dirty you may well struggle with take-up.
Humans do what other people do, it’s important to work on reinforcing your desirable behaviour as the social norm.
Our brains will only comprehend and process information when it is relevant, it filters out a lot of information to avoid overload. So if you want a message to be processed they need to appear at the point that behaviour is being considered.
If you are looking to address single-use takeaway packaging in your workplace, check out our online course, 'Tackling Single-Use Plastics in the Workplace'.
If you want to go into further detail and work through behaviour change theory and practical applications, join our mailing list for the launch of our behaviour change in the workplace course, coming in early 2020.