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Nudges: A Paradigm for HR to Influence Employee Behavior

Use nudges to shape employee behavior in a way that benefits both individuals and the organization.

  • Every decision we make is informed by biases and heuristics, but they are a double-edged sword. They enable people to make quick and intuitive decisions but also lead to rash and misinformed choices.
  • Biases and heuristics are of particular concern in an organizational context since misinformed or suboptimal decisions made by employees can have a significant impact on organizational outcomes.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Nudges are not new: HR professionals have been applying the concept in practice for decades without having a formal name for it. But by taking an informed, measurable approach, HR can stop guessing and start reporting on the effectiveness of their nudge interventions.

Impact and Result

  • HR can use nudges to improve employee decision making: nudges are a behavioral science tool to alter the environment and context that decisions are made in to encourage better decision making.
  • Map out the decision-making process of employees’ suboptimal behaviors to determine any pressures or bottlenecks that are inhibiting employees from making better decisions.
  • Develop ethical nudges that address the pressures and bottlenecks faced by employees.

Nudges: A Paradigm for HR to Influence Employee Behavior Research & Tools

2. Ethical Concerns

Highlights three ethical principles to guide nudge interventions.

3. Nudging Framework

Outlines a process to develop nudge interventions in an organization.

4. Nudges Applied in HR

Presents tangible examples of nudges being used in all HR functional areas.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

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  • Jordan Birnbaum, VP and Chief Behavioral Economist, ADP
  • Antoine Ferrere, Global Head of Behavioral Science, Novartis
  • Cathy Hawley, Chief People Officer, CPO to Go
  • Jan Hills, Partner, Head Heart + Brain
  • Geoff Ho, Director, Research & Advisory, Organization Development, Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Sille Krukow, Founder and Behavioral Design Director, Krukow Behavioral Design
  • Jakob Rusinek, Organizational Effectiveness Specialist, World Bank Group
  • Dhushan Thevarajah, Chief Operating Officer, BEworks
  • Michael Vodianoi, Director, ScienceForWork
  • Petar Vujosevic, Chief Strategy Officer, GapJumpers
  • Matt Wallaert, Chief Behavioral Officer, Clover Health
  • Aaron Windfield, Partner and Data Scientist, Elevator9