learning at work

Bypassing the Busy Trap: Can Behavioural Science Unlock More Effective Workplace Learning?

In almost every interaction we have with people in organisations, they tell us that one of the barriers (to almost anything!) is being too busy. Certainly, it has been said that people are too busy to engage in behavioural science in workplace learning. So, are organisations hiring lots more people to reduce the workload? Not that we’ve seen.

Do people still need to learn new things? Or is it more important for them to just get on with their day jobs?

In our experience, the integration of behavioural science in workplace learning proves to be a key factor. When a company asks us for a programme or a workshop, we like to understand what outcome they’re looking for. Learning in the workplace may not be the only way to achieve that result, but incorporating behavioural science can significantly enhance the effectiveness of workplace learning.

A key distinction that needs to be made

  • Do they need to be aware of something consciously?
  • Do they need just to do something differently?

Far too frequently, we try to teach people things that could be nudged with behavioural change strategies. Internal comms can pump out messages, L&D can put people through training, and HR can even reprimand people for not ‘learning’ the lessons…when a different way forward is possible.

When you need behavioural change, let’s use the most appropriate science. The benefits of applying behavioural science in workplace learning are clear:

  • More effective change
  • Quicker implementation
  • Less cognitive load (freeing brains up for critical thinking)

Conversely, when people need to be aware of something and training is the best option, you can still build lots of hacks using behavioural science to make the learning chunks shorter and more digestible.

Takeaway: Are you using behavioural science to aid learning and change in your organisation?


Synaptic Potential offers science-based solutions and strategies that support, shape and align your people development initiatives, workspace design and organisational policies. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you unlock the Whole Brain Potential™ of your leaders or managers and teams, then please get in touch to start a conversation.

Choose a Topic

Recent Posts

You May Also Like…

The 7 Illusions of Knowing

The 7 Illusions of Knowing

Can you trust what you know? It might seem like a strange question, but what I mean is, do you think you have a clear...