ORGANISATIONS grappling with poor performance might only require a pinch of culture change in their workforce to unleash their full potential.
Culture change closes the gap between the employer and employees making the latter to work with more enthusiasm since they feel they are part and parcel of the organisation, say marketing experts Jonathan Warner and Chris Harrison who are partners at Brand Inside.
Brand Inside specialises in shaping staff behaviour. It has presence in Kenya, London, Norway and Switzerland.
To achieve culture change, they say, a form of introductory training is needed particularly because most employees stop using their academic knowledge once they are entrenched in the cultural norms of the organisation.
“After 30 days of joining an organisation, 90 per cent of classroom learning tends to disappear from the employee,” Warner who is the Brand Inside managing director in London says.
“There is always a big gap between theory and practice and it seems difficult for people to apply classroom learning in an organisational setting.”
This, he says, occurs because only about 10 per cent of academic theory in most schools worldwide is practically usable in an organisation adding most employees learn 70 per cent on the job and 20 per cent from colleagues.
He says they have found an innovative and sustainable way to help organisations address these problems.
“We have built a way of doing training and development which addresses the 90 per cent by making people do things differently in an organisation. This is a web based behaviour change tool called 'boostr'.”
Boostr, he says, works by comparing the habits of high, good and poor performers in an organisation which it puts in a training programme.
The application then uses the reactions of the high performers to trigger habit change among the whole group which results in personal development and business gain.
“This is a new way of doing training and people are completely open to it in London. I think it is a fantastic idea to bring this tool in Kenya because people here are always eager to learn,” says Warner.
Harrison, who has worked in Kenya for the past 25 years, says 'boostr' could be effective in Kenya where the reality of the job market does not match the outdated academic knowledge taught in schools.
“For example the advertising agencies here are full of young people who have had a variety of different preparations to get into advertising. But they aren't knitted together into an effective team because there are certain behaviours they don't share,” he says.
He says any organisation that wants its people to learn a variety of different skills on the “boostr' programme only need to pay a licence fee to gain access.
Harrison says the application prepares an induction programme customised for each organisation that signs up.
“Basically this application reduces the training budgets and the time that organisations spend to align new employees with their style of doing things. You will find that the application is guiding users on things like how to behave and the basic skills used in their organisation,” he says.
Warner calls it “learning in the speed of change” the reason being it is quick for the organisation to upload the customised training programmes and identify the behaviours to be emulated by its people.
“As long as an organisation has the content we can put up its training materials in two weeks because this is not like the conventional online training courses that take up to nine months to prepare,” he says.
He says the primary targets for 'boostr' are service based businesses such as the advertising agencies.
These, he says, are fast moving businesses which easily get separated from where the clients are if they do not keep up the pace.
The application, he adds, can help people in these sectors to know how to relate to clients, understand products in the market and master the target market.
According to Harrison, the rise of the social media is evidence that people enjoy doing things as a group which makes it more effective to teach people together in a group.
“What appeals to me about this programme is that people who enroll are able to go on the learning journey together and at the end they come out changed for the better. This is what we mean by saying we are giving people the bridge between academic learning and commercial success,” he says.