Behavior Matters!

Has COVID-19 Permanently Changed “How We Work?”

Woman sitting down with two other people looking concerned
Companies need to be cognizant of the complex emotional factors impacting =the new normal

Welcome to the new working world.

Your team is split – some people are coming into the office, some are staying virtual, and even more are taking a hybrid approach. 

You have new silos in the organization – not around job functions, but around political beliefs. 

Employees are demanding to have a better work-life balance – they don’t want to work 50+ hours and miss their kid’s soccer game or their workout routine. They are burnt out from the pandemic. Many realize that they like some of the benefits of working from home, yet they miss the camaraderie and connections they get by being in person. Expectations have shifted and they expect you to be able to provide them with the best of both worlds or they probably won’t stick around. 

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Back to In-person Work Requires a New Type of Leadership

Cover page of the leading human playbook and workbook. Woman looking forward and smiling with graphics and text
The Leading Human Package is Today’s Essential Guide to Help Leaders Navigate the Next Year

At the time of this writing we’re hovering around a 50% vaccination rate for adults in the US. 

As the progress continues, companies are looking forward to the time when they can start bringing more of their employees back into the office.  This forward-thinking has focused a lot on the physical building design and safety protocols but is often missing a key aspect of the return to work: their employees’ emotional wellbeing.  

While many companies have started to bring people back slowly, there has not been a rush except for aside from essential businesses where it has been required. The new normal will probably look nothing like the old normal.   

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Returning to Work is More Emotional Than We Might Think

Distressed employee looking at his computer with his head in his hand
Companies that fail to address return to work concerns will see large rates of employee attrition

We are in a unique time right now in the US.

With vaccines readily available and cases of COVID-19 falling, companies are looking to bring people back into the office or install a hybrid model of work that allows flexibility. 

This shift brings with it a lot of opportunity but also exposes some larger potential downsides.

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Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy With Behavioral Science

Smiling woman getting a vaccine form a  nurse
Behavioral Science Principles That can Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

According to recent polls, the number of Americans who are unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine has recently dropped to around 1 in 5 Americans (Monmouth University Poll, 4/14/21). This is significantly down from prior polls but still has a large segment of our population resisting a way to end this pandemic, save lives, and get our economy rolling again. 

So where is the hesitancy coming from?

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Experience Matters: Helping Companies Communicate More Effectively

Girl with glasses sitting at her desk looking board with her chin on her hand
Good Communication is Key to Engagement

Numerous companies have a difficult time building engagement and trust with their employees. 

The problem doesn’t always have to do with their processes or procedures or even management behaviors –in many cases it has to do with how they communicate to their employees. In over 20 years of helping companies solve these issues, we’ve found that companies often don’t communicate with their employees in a way that helps them understand and buy-in to the very programs that are designed to engage them.  

While some companies have significantly improved their ability to create professional-looking presentations and graphically appealing brochures, they still have not fully embraced bringing a behavioral science approach to their internal communications to communicate in a more human way.

This is where we help. 

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Once is Not Enough – Incentive Communications Need a Campaign

words an numbers over a group of people working at a table
Four Steps to Communicating Incentives

There is an old adage in advertising that says, “people need to see an ad seven times before they are influenced by it.” What does this mean for your incentive programs?

While advertisers may argue about the exact right number (I’ve seen some say that it takes 20 times – really, that seems overkill?), the concept that multiple views of information drives behavior has been shown to be true.  This is called “effective frequency” in the advertising world. 

In our internal communication world, we call it a communication campaign and organizations don’t use campaigns as often as they should. In the world of incentives, a full campaign can be a fantastic tool to add to your toolbelt.  

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12 Magic Words to Unlock Sales Performance

person at a desk form above with a quote
The Power of Word Choice

Prevail, accomplish, compete, strive, thrive, triumphed, achieve, mastered, win, success, gain, attain.

What do these words have in common?

When used appropriately they have the power to increase performance by 15% (or more!).

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Engage your reps with stories, anticipation, and graphic recall

Presentation on a laptop on a table with hands and text
Whiteboard videos can provide up to 15% greater retention of information

Telling your “incentive story” with video creates greater engagement, higher recall, and an overall increase in IC plan knowledge.  

If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning movie, Schindler’s List, at the mention of the girl in the red coat, you can probably recall the specific scene I’m referring to vividly. This singular scene often stands out as the most revered and remembered scene in the movie. If you have not seen the movie, it is a black and white film yet in this specific scene there is a little girl walking through a crowded ghetto in a red coat.  

Little girl stands out in a red coat amongst a crowd of black and white soldiers
“The Girl in the Red Coat” is a fantastic example of vivid visual storytelling

Her red coat stands out vividly in comparison to the black and white coloring of the rest of the film. It captures our attention and draws our eyes to focus our attention on her. We follow her among the throngs of people and watch as she comes in and out of our view.  

So what does this have to do with incentives?

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A Home Run for IC Directors

Man sitting back in office chair with his hands behind his head looking satisfied
Create a Great IC Program AND Make Sure it is Understood

Incentive compensation professionals work hard at developing incentive plans that drive employee motivation while also meeting their company’s strategic objectives.

In the past, this has been achieved by using rules of thumb and stringent financial analysis. Yet, hard work is not enough in today’s turbulent times.  

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Are poor IC communications holding your sales teams back?

Boring pile of legal binders
Good Communication is Key to Engagement

Several years ago, we worked with a large Fortune 500 company whose IC Director was frustrated with low performance.

The metrics were there, the incentives were good, but the understanding was low… and sales were short.  How could a well-designed plan that they had spent months developing not be working?

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Behavior Matters!