Monday, January 13, 2014

Learn How to Change Destructive Habits at SeminarFest

Later this month at SeminarFest, David Natalizia, the director of safety and loss control at United Risk Services and the principal of Nuent Consulting, will present “Altering Habits to Improve Safety and Total Organizational Performance”. Attendees of this seminar will learn to recognize habits in their own organizations that may be destructive to safety, to transform negative habits to positive ones, and to create a framework for developing habits that promote safety.

“Habit change is looking at actions that have become habituated, and by definition have become involuntary in the moment,” says Natalizia, citing multitasking while driving as an example that many people have experienced. Similarly, industrial workers may have habits that involve attempting to do other things while operating machinery or performing other risky tasks.

Another category of destructive habits stems from organizational structure and management. “If people don’t have the opportunity to share concerns about what’s going on, or if there’s a rigid hierarchy when it comes to communication, those things can prevent newly identified risks from being communicated,” Natalizia says.

Habit formation is often represented by the habit loop, the idea that habits begin with a cue that triggers a routine that is performed habitually in order to attain a reward. Natalizia describes the habit loop using the example of repeatedly purchasing items from the same store. Advertisements often serve as the cue, prompting shoppers to habitually visit the same retailer to gain the reward of certain items or bargains that similar stores may not offer. “Rewards can take many forms and they are not always the obvious reward,” says Natalizia. “Using the shopping example, the reward could be the feeling of achieving something someone else couldn’t get by getting a better deal.”

Since rewards often have a significant amount of power over the individual’s decisions, and cues are often difficult to change, one way of changing habits is to introduce a new routine with a very similar reward. “It’s not always easy, but with the cue being the same, we find a more positive routine, and in the case of safety, a less risky routine, and make sure it offers similar rewards,” Natalizia explains.

To learn more about this approach and other habit change methods that can be applied to personal habits as well as organizational routines, register today for SeminarFest. The weeklong event will be held from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 in Las Vegas, NV, and will feature more than 80 seminars, giving attendees the opportunity to earn as many as 5.8 CEUs/recertification points.