- Prod someone gently in order to draw their attention to something.
Nudge. You’ve likely nudged, and if you’ve ever been a kid who was slow to get out of bed for school, for instance, you’ve probably been nudged too. While the concept of nudging is not new, a joint venture between the UK government and Nesta, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), to teach organizations how to “nudge” their customers into changing their behavior or taking action is relatively new. The BIT team has a unique government focus on behavioral sciences. The whole concept revolves around human behavior and employing strategies that are congruent with those behaviors to provide more cost-effective and easy-to-use public services.
Naturally this was a perfect fit for the Peak Academy. In 2015, the BIT team traveled across the pond to train the Peak Academy in behavioral insights. They also left us some swag – EAST cards. EAST is the BIT crew’s basic framework for applying behavioral insights. They are a pack of playing card-sized strategies sorted into four categories – Easy, Attractive, Social, and Timely. The deck encourages and empowers brainstorming sessions when solving for problems. Trust me – the Peak Team are huge fans. So much so that we created a training module dedicated to behavioral insights and nudging.
Not only have we taught several city agencies how to nudge to do anything from increase taxpayers’ timely payments to X, we have used it in our work training city employees. One of the Peak Academy’s KPI’s for 2018 is to significantly increase our certified Black Belts and their engagement with us. Currently, 35% of Black Belts submit an innovation and become certified after attending training. The Peak Team is driving to drive that number up – but how?
You guessed it! Nu-nu-nu-nudge.
We threw out a deck of EAST cards, put up an “If we…/Then we…” prompt on the board and started brainstorming. We developed two theories to communicate with Black Belts post-training. We drafted two separate emails, one employed Commitment Contract and Deadline theories and the other Priming and Personalization theories. We took a small subset of trainees (nine Green Belt grads) and followed-up post training with our sample emails. The Commitment Contract/Deadline email encouraged the group to complete their innovations by 4/30/18 and asked if they could commit to submitting by the due date. If they submitted by the due date they would receive a group lunch and recognition for submitting. The Priming/Personalization email contained a screen shot of our internal tracking system with their record, specifically the section for training that shows they are not certified.
The group who received the Priming and Personalization email, (also known as the shame email), responded almost immediately and self-assigned a due date. Since the email was sent, one of the five have submitted an innovation and the others have self-assigned due dates of 4/30/18. The group that received Commitment Contract/Deadline email has yet to respond – whomp, whomp.
Because the Priming/Personalization email was so successful it has now been used to target larger scale Black Belt training participants and so far, has created a culture of excitement and determination to submit an innovation. In true Peak fashion, we are tracking the data to see ultimately if this theory is successful overall in moving our KPI’s.
Stay tuned for the results!