Habits are built with the help of a predictable pattern, or loop, that leads us to adopt certain behaviors with regularity. If one of the steps is missing, habits are less likely to stick. While behavior scientists and authors choose different words and steps to describe this pattern, the power of a nudge is supported by science.
Here are some different ways the pattern is described:
- Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, describes the habit development pattern as Cue, Routine, and Reward.
- James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, identifies 4 “laws” to creating a good habit – Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy, and Make it Satisfying.
- BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits and behavioral scientist from Stanford, developed a formula for behavior change – B = MAP (Behavior = Motivation, Ability, and Prompt).
- Stephen Wendel, author of Designing for Behavior Change and applied behavior scientist, describes a readily agreed upon EAST framework to change behavior – Make it Easy, Make it Attention-Grabbing, Make it Social, and Make it Timely.
In each of these patterns, the power of a nudge is identified, albeit with a different description. Duhigg uses the term “Cue,” Clear uses “Make it Obvious,” Fogg uses “Prompt,” and Wendel uses “Attention-Grabbing.”
Regardless of the chosen word or specific pattern, the power of a nudge is evident in the development of a new habit or behavior.
Companies around the world are using the power of a nudge to effectively promote healthy changes for their employees and customers. Particularly important is the personalization of nudges to make them more effective both now and in the future. Some organizations are already doing this well and are highlighted below.
Supporting employees is a top priority for this leader in the nudge space. With both personal and professional development in mind, Humu helps “drive measurable change with personalized, science-backed nudges” and their success is demonstrable as they report sustained nudge engagement rates across customers as high as 95%.
Evive supports organizations by “changing the way companies communicate.” Designed to work alongside HR functions, it helps organizations harness the power of a nudge to communicate personalized messages to maximize available company benefits. They harness predictive analytics and behavior science to reach the “right people at the right time.”
BetterYou “nudges” you into making better decisions that align with your goals. It achieves this through an AI called BetterBot which gives you credit for how you spend time on your phone, and creates digital summaries of behavior. The summaries are then used to determine the prime time to send nudges for ‘trigger conditions’. In short, the app helps you spend your time on the things that matter most.
Each of these companies recognizes the power of a nudge and harnesses it to support and improve wellbeing and engagement. We at BetterYou would love to help your team harness the power of a nudge, so reach out to learn more about what we do and how we can help!