Habits are perhaps the most frustrating aspects of our lives – including our worklife – whenever we start a new year. Every year, our New Year resolutions remind us that acquiring (or breaking) habits is harder than we ever imagined.
Today, whether your workplace has moved to hybrid work, or is fulltime in-person, the new normal requires everyone to develop new habits:
- new health and safety habits
- new WFH procedural habits
- new process and personnel management habits
Knowing what we know about our well-intentioned but fragile resolutions, how do we instill new good habits for the workplace?
Author Andrew Ferebee researches how habits are formed. Any habit has three parts: cue (trigger), action, and reward. Bad habits like smoking or computer solitaire have built-in rewards. Good habits – healthy eating or consistent exercise, for example – don’t have the same kind of immediate rewards.
Let’s examine a hypothetical workplace habit you want to establish. Your offices occupy several floors, connected by stairs and by elevators. You want to encourage employees to use the stairs whenever possible – it’s good for their health and it’s good for your HR-related costs. The cue-action-reward sequence would look something like this:
Cue: An employee needs to see someone or deliver something on another floor.
Action: The employee takes the stairs instead of the elevator.
Reward:The employee receives recognition and a small monetary reward at the end of the month.
If your staffers wear RFID-enabled ID badges, it’s simple to track their travel from one floor to another. And the tracking is automatic, so employees don’t have to record their movements themselves. It’s frictionless data collection – another helpful component of habit-making.
This is just one of many workplace scenarios where RFID can help change behavior. Other examples: Safety-related traffic patterns in offices and warehouses can be tracked with RFID wearables, and rewarded. Re-filing RFID-tagged documents after a WFH project can be tracked, and rewarded.
Forming good habits takes time and patience, as behavior changes incrementally. But with RFID’s simple, frictionless data collection, nudging people towards better habits is easy for you, and easy for them.
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