Deanna Paulin, Nous
Deanna Paulin, Nous

Employers can use four practical interventions to shift social norms in the workplace during culture change projects, according to a transformation specialist.

The concept of social norms is essentially, "what others do influences what we do", Nous principal Deanna Paulin tells an HR Daily Premium webcast.

"It has a powerful influence on us and therefore we need to be thinking explicitly about the strategies and interventions that we use to understand and to change social norms," she says.

Nous recently supported the integration of two major government departments, focusing particularly on culture and leadership development, and shifting social norms "was the guiding principle for the project", she notes.

"It was defining the espoused values and helping people embed that into their habits and their behaviours so that people saw others acting in that way and therefore were more likely to do that themselves.

"And when you're talking about a workforce of over 14,000 people... leveraging social norms has an incredible impact."

The below excerpt outlines practical strategies for changing social norms at work, and the full webcast shares more detail on using two other behavioural insights for culture change. Upgrade here if you're not already a Premium member.