Why micro-habits are essential to achieve bigger goals

Industry experts shed light on how adopting small changes can have a huge and positive impact on the business

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They say, ‘Big journeys begin by inculcating micro-habits’. It is true that small changes make it easier to implement innovative and productive habits that give long-term benefits.

These micro-habits, which are small habits practised on a daily basis, have the power to help break bad habits too. The adjustments are natural, which come over a time and eventually end up being a normal part of the routine, whether at work or at home.

“For the company to grow, each and every department has to perform and everyone has to contribute in a big way. This can only happen when every unit performs by picking up these small or micro-habits at an individual level, to optimise every function”

Vijay Sinha, EVP-HR (Manufacturing), JSW Steel

Individual contribution: Vijay Sinha, EVP-HR (Manufacturing), JSW Steel, believes these micro-habits are based upon the principle of atomic habits. He further explains, “For the company to grow, each and every department has to perform and everyone has to contribute in a big way. This can only happen when every unit performs by picking up these small or micro-habits at an individual level, to optimise every function”.

He goes on to add ,“The HR functions have to be made robust by improving the touch points, that is, by working on talent acquisition, which will lead to the hiring of talented people, for great results”.

To achieve this goal, Sinha explains that the various units of the company, including the HR, need to organise group exercises, which are further broken down into sub-activites, for instance, communication, skills and experience. These are relevant to the growth of both the company and the individual.

Therefore, every component needs to contribute for a great result.

Adoptable and adaptable: Ranjan Pandey, CHRO, Fortis Healthcare believes, “these micro-habits can be quickly adopted, provided there is focus on communicating the right messages clearly. With repeated practise, the results are motivational and powerful.”

“Micro-habits can be quickly adopted, provided there is focus on communicating the right messages clearly. With repeated practise, the results are motivational and powerful”

Ranjan Pandey, CHRO, Fortis Healthcare

He also points out how “these micro-habits help the organisation understand the needs of both the managers and subordinates, as they are cost effective and time saving”.

Fortis Healthcare ensures these habits are correctly adopted, by running relevant two-hour micro-module sessions for the healthcare providers. These sessions are ideal for handling critical patients. The nurses are sensitised on how to behave or handle critical cases, so that the patients do not suffer. This goes a long way in helping the hospital’s overall efficiency in a big way.

Positivity and discipline: Seconding Pandey’s thoughts, Sujiv Nair, global CHRO, Re Sustainability, says, “Micro-habits are fast to adopt and easy to adapt to with a little practice”. For instance, “Our HR team meetings begin with a core value contact, i.e., talking about a behaviour that can be demonstrated or a celebration -appreciating an employee for a contribution that he or she has made at work or for any stakeholder. This helps start the day on a positive note”.

“We begin our day with a 30 minute meeting, where everyone discusses their achievements over the previous one week or the changes that need to be brought about to improve the performance. It is like a celebration, which brings positivity to the day”

Sujiv Nair, global CHRO, Re Sustainability

Strategic and sustainable change: Meanwhile, Jayesh Sampat, senior HR leader, observes that modern organisations are ever changing. It is imperative to make a strategic one-time Big Change, to bring about an organization-wide change. He rightly points out, “For change to be sustainable, it needs to be embedded in the daily action of the leaders and employees. In other words, without the new reality being ‘lived’ on a daily basis, the organisation is likely to slip back to its old ways of being”.

This is where micro-habits come into play. They serve as important tools to ensure that lasting change is nurtured in the organisation. They are small steps that not only appear doable but are non-threating in nature.

However, daily practice is fundamental to micro-habits. The key is to introduce small systems, processes and practices that will support the longevity of these small changes. When practiced over a period of time, it becomes micro-habits.

“Without the new reality being ‘lived’ on a daily basis, the organisationis likely to slip back to its old ways of being”

Jayesh Sampat, senior HR leader

Reinforcement: According to Shashwat K. Mitra, head – human resources, KPIT India ,“A constant reinforcement of the desired micro habits for the organisation helps manifest the desired culture. As these happen more often, employees inadvertently follow them as part of their daily life”.

He further adds, “A micro habit becomes the key to reassuring that the daily efforts are in the right direction. If we persevere to travel long, micro habits ensure that we walk daily in the right direction. More often than we realise, we come way closer to our objective than we ever imagine”.

“A constant reinforcement of the desired micro habits for the organisation helps manifest the desired culture”

Shashwat K. Mitra, head – human resources, KPIT India

It will not be incorrect to say that these micro- habits are like money. The more money one adds, the more it multiplies. Similarly, habits when multiplied also act as a compound.

Working on these habits does work wonders. Their impact over a period — months or years —is enormous. They lay down a clear and defined path to success, allowing people to focus on one thing at a time.

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