Nudge theory

Nudge theory is an idea that uses psychological concepts to explain why people behave in certain ways.

According to Nudge theory, it takes only small environmental changes, reinforcement or using individual’s inertia to affect people’s behavior. One example, related to eating behavior, is the attempt to encourage healthy eating. Supermarkets simply placed arrows on the floor pointing to the fruit and vegetables, which had the effect of increasing sales of healthy food.

This theory also has a variety of applications to the workplace.

For example, the UK government wanted its citizens to enrol in pensions. Thus, it created an ‘opt out’ system, in which it did not force people to enrol, but obliged people to contact the government if they wanted not to enrol in a pension saving plan. Only 10% of people did.

Another strategy for ‘nudging employees’ is creating new spaces in the workplace, as employees may find it difficult to change their behaviour in a familiar setting. Thus, if you do not want your employees to congregate next to the water cooler, you can change the environment around the cooler, e.g. make it smaller, and thus this behaviour may no longer be desirable. You do not have to force your employees to behave in a certain way, but can subtly ‘nudge’ them in a way that will make your employees more effective, and your business more successful.  

Nudge theory was originally suggested by Thaler and Sunstein in their book Nudge. You can find out more about both academics and many more behavior science experts by visiting the “Behaviour Explorers” scorecard on rise.

If you want to find out more about how Nudge theory can help your business, see the infographic below created by PsySci.

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This is a guest post by Marcus Clarke of PsySci. Thanks Marcus!

7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”

Blogging

“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”

Meetups

“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”

Moonlighting

“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

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Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at www.gamified.uk.