Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

Work and life experiences tend to create patterns and habits that are often hard to break. While they are not impossible to break, at times they can be difficult. So what happens when you have an “old dog” on your team and it’s time for change?

Here are a few ways you can help to break the negative patterns in your team members:

  • Ask for their input. Most managers make the mistake of not including their team members in decisions and change, which leaves the individuals to resist the new changes even more. Be sure to include your team members and staff, ask for their input, and really listen. They just might have some great suggestions that could save or make you more money!
  • Go slow. Don’t expect change to happen overnight, let the change take time and allow it to process for the individual. Be patient with people and offer support along the way. Change isn’t easy for the majority of people – especially in the workplace.
  • Be consistent. If you want your employees to change, be an example and be consistent. If you consistently implement new ideas and systems but don’t follow through your people will soon realize that the change is temporary and they can go back to their old ways in just a few weeks.
  • Reward change. It’s critical that you don’t negatively reinforce the behaviors that you don’t want and instead reward those individuals that do change. Set up a reward system, publicly acknowledge, or monetarily reward those that do implement the new changes.