Norfolk County Council: Designed toolkits for small businesses to encourage preventative behaviours

Identified key businesses, workers and residents to target with preventative messages.


This is part of a series of case-studies published on 22 February 2021.

  • Partnership approach empowered local businesses with easily accessible, downloadable tools which were informed by behavioural science principles.
  • Designed toolkits applying concepts from the COM-B behavioural science framework for employees and customers.
  • Provided translations of the toolkits into a range of languages to target the hard to reach groups.
  • Toolkit viewed by over 18,000 businesses.

Challenge: During Covid-19, small businesses have been stretched resource wise and often represent a high risk in terms of virus transmission. They need accessible materials and support tailored to their needs, employees and customers to prevent the spread. 
 
Approach: Norfolk County Council with partners in other sectors including district, borough and city councils, health and police, used their knowledge of local businesses and the demographics of workers and residents to identify key business types and workers to target with prevention messages.

They designed toolkits applying concepts from the COM-B behavioural science framework: ensuring that both employees and customers have:

  • the capability
  • the motivation
  • opportunity to engage in preventive behaviours (washing hands, social distancing, wearing masks, keeping surfaces clean). 

The partnership provided translations of the toolkits into a range of languages to target the hardest to reach groups. They also provided content targeting some of the key risk behaviours in transmission. For example, for transient EU workers lift and car sharing was identified as a high risk behaviour.
 
Outcome: This partnership approach empowered local businesses with easily accessible, downloadable tools which were informed by behavioural science principles.

The council has also converted the toolkit into a printable checklist, making the steps easy to access and use. Overall, the toolkit was viewed by over 18,000 businesses, suggesting it responded to a real need.

Key Learning: The COM-B framework is a useful tool to analyse behavioural barriers and develop solutions that go beyond communications. It can also be used to empower others, in this case businesses, to apply behaviourally informed solutions within their local context.

Contact: Dr Angela Fletton
C.Psychol, Prevention & Policy Manager, Public Health
angela.fletton@norfolk.gov.uk