Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behavioural Analysis is based on the principle that people are more likely to engage in repeated behaviours that are rewarded, rather than in behaviours that are not recognised or are ignored or even punished.

What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?aba-skull

Applied Behavioural Analysis is defined as the science in which principles of the analysis of observable behaviour are applied systematically to change or modify behaviour.

Behavioural analysis focuses on precisely what the behaviour is and its relationship to the environment.  By using hypothetical constructs, the analyst takes the behaviour through a scientific process to understand why the behaviour occurs and therefore what to alter if the behaviour is to change.  An increase in the frequency of a behaviour is also regarded as a behaviour change.

Applied Behavioural Analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive Reinforcement is one such principle. When a behaviour is followed by some sort of reward the behaviour is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behaviour analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviours and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.

Applied Behavioural Analysis is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behaviour.

By understanding that every behaviour we exhibit has a consequence to us and understanding the different kinds of consequences we can start to work on effective behaviour change and move towards achieving your results.

If managers can understand where habits – behaviours – come from, and understand the different consequences that come from these behaviours then they can work on effecting a sustained behaviour change.

What we are looking for is Discretionary Effort… this is the amount of performance that an employee will hold back from their employer if they are not fully engaged in their work.

Managers who understand Discretionary Effort and know how to tap into it can expect to increase the performance of their team by up to 70%.

Want to know more about ABA. Call 0845 122 7094

Where does Applied Behavioural Analysis fit into Business?

The business of business is behaviour.

What your employees spend their time DOING or SAYING is what is delivering your current results.  The tools they have are useless without somebody to operate them.

Organisations need tools to allow people to do their jobs.  They also need processes and procedures to give guidance to employees – what to do and when.  When all these things are in place, the last link is BEHAVIOUR or the WHAT to do.

ABA is knowing exactly what behaviour is most appropriate to deliver results and how to start and maintain that behaviour with each individual employee.  With clarity around the job they are expected to do, supported by  appropriate reinforcement, employees will often do more than the job they are expected.  They will give a little more – Discretionary Effort.

How has it been used?

Imagine you have been tasked with “improving levels of customer service” for your organisation.  Through some research you have found that your front line staff aren’t really ‘putting the customer first’.  You believe that there are some simple things that these people could do to help deliver your result.  Your next stop is to Google search “Customer Service Training”.  And so you have stepped onto the pathway of traditional development.

Now you need to choose a supplier, negotiate  costs with them and your manager.  Once this has been done it is a case of booking rooms and organising (‘herding cats’) people onto courses.  If you have a good training supplier they will talk about follow-up actions that will help the training to last as long as possible.

If you’re not careful, you will assume that levels of customer service have increased.  They must’ve done because everyone has been trained at great expense in cash and disruption to the business.  Right?

What if there was a better, more efficient and more effective way of doing this?

What if the staff decided what ‘putting the customer first’ looked and sounded like?  What if their local managers instigated the behaviour change (rather than a training course)?  What if the local managers knew what to do when these new behaviours did or didn’t occur?

Not only would the staff have more clarity around the new expectations of them, they would be more engaged in the behaviour change process.  Your managers would have the skills needed to implement and support the change, and – oh – these skills (setting clear goals, delivering reinforcement, providing feedback) would be transferable to other behaviours too…

How Can We Help? Call 0845 122 7094

The Results?

“Improved levels of customer service”

“A more engaged workforce who will deliver discretionary effort”

“A better equipped and focused management community, able to effectively manage performance”

Often for less cost and less organisational disruption than a ‘traditional development’ intervention.



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