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Workplace Nudging: a tiny push, a big change

April 16, 2018 4:13 pm | Door Ahrend

Do you take the stairs instead of the elevator because your colleague does so? And do you buy a salad for lunch when a sign above it says ‘Choose healthy’? There is a big chance you do! These situations are simple examples of behavioral influencing based on nudging: tempting people positively to make them behave differently. Read along to learn about this principle and discover how you can use workplace nudging in your own office!

A tiny push into the right direction

On a daily base, we make a countless number of decisions. From very big ones about important business deals to smaller ones, like which desk is ours for the day and whether you are going to take another coffee or not. If you would make each one of these decisions consciously and deliberately, you would hardly get a thing done. Therefore, we usually take the easiest way that our brain chooses automatically and intuitively. And that is exactly the thing nudging responds to. A choice is formulated in such a way that we would all choose for the most predictable option. Not because we are obliged to do so, but simply because this is the road of the least resistance.

De bekendste nudge: de pianotrap

A nudge always has a positive character. Governments and marketing agencies have been using this theory of behavioral economist Richard Thaler for years. But nudges do not only steer customers into the right direction: it also is a convenient method to stimulate behavioral changes with employees!

Tips for the perfect nudge

All offices have to deal with change every now and then. For example because you want to stimulate a healthier lifestyle or productivity by using flexible workplaces. By implementing Workplace Nudging, you stimulate employees to develop behavioral patterns that fit their (new) corporate culture better. It is a good working alternative for processes of change that require an intensive participation. Due to nudges, employees get a quick and concrete temptation to work differently. Although we are all unique and respond different to certain messages, the base of a good Workplace Nudge is always the same: positive, appealing and natural.

Nudges thank their effectivity to that natural character. By engaging employees in thinking of a solution for the problem, they have a say in the process of change. This causes a decrease of resistance and an increase of employee commitment. Do you want to use nudges in your office environment? Keep the following points in mind:

  • Your nudge is easy to understand
    Nobody can misinterpret the message: ‘Lift you health, take the stairs!’
  • Your nudge is specific
    By using a personalized message, the change of people accepting your nudge is even larger
  • Your nudge is educational
    Teach your colleagues something interesting using nudges
  • Your nudge has a clear Call-to-Action
    A sign on your parking lot saying ‘Park your car a little bit further and enjoy your walk!’ has a clear goal
  • Your nudge is interactive
    Tip: make a competition out of your nduge. An app that keeps track of how many hours each colleague stands behind their desk can be a good motivation to work standing just another half an hour

 Workplace nudging does not need any complicated technologies: a sign, poster, email or note can perform a miracle!

Do you want to know more about how you can use nudging in your office? During our workshop with the workplace experts of Workwire we will tell you everything about Workplace Nudging. Simone Leenders explains us about the method, after which we will actively create our own nudges. Sign up for our event on the 15th of May!

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