Overcome the knowing-doing gap with nudging

Overcome the knowing-doing gap with nudging

One of the most prominent and award-winning editions in the world covering the art and science of developing people - ATD's monthly magazine TD – has published an article written by LS-S Leadership Support’s founder and owner Guido Betz.

Guido Betz is a practitioner with 40+ years of experience in corporate training and HRD, especially in Leadership Development and Change Management. He has been a speaker at various HRD conferences held by professional institutes like ATD, CIPD, IFTDO, DGFP. He is also the creator of the Blended Leading concept, and in his latest article, he shares nsights and best practices regarding nudges and nudging as a result driving approach in the Learning and Development sphere.

Here are some of the highlights from this worth-to-read work published in the May edition of TD Magazine.

Мeasuring training and development return on investment is challenging—there is nothing to measure because learners didn’t execute anything despite everyone being quite enthusiastic. After a training session, it is always easy for participants to give some lip service, stating their good intentions to apply what they learned on the job. However, learners are human, so they need constant reminders—nudges—and need to create new rituals to help them change their behavior in a sustainable way.

But how does nudging work? In a nutshell, it is about designing and creating an environment or framework that almost automatically pushes someone into a certain direction, kind of making it a natural default that a person acts in the desired way. Nudging is not a covert, hidden, or secret act of manipulation; rather, it’s a completely transparent process. individuals are not forced but rather nudged in a certain direction. In addition, one key for nudging is to create something that you can quantify and that gives continuous feedback about learners’ followthrough.

Nudging in L&D

To apply the concept in L&D, consider the four most common nudging principles for decision making.

Information. Give more background about why someone should do something, the reasons behind an idea, and what the effects will be due to action or inaction.

Structure. Change choice defaults, what shall be taken as a given, what is the natural starting point; create an effort for not acting.

Assistance. Give reminders and facilitate commitment by constantly bringing up commitments people have made; confront them with their good intentions.

Appeal. Provide social reference points and instigate empathy; make visible the progress others have made, enabling them to benchmark and compare with peers to see where they stand.

Thanks to technology, sending nudges can be simple to execute and even automated

For example, during a leadership off-site, a global automotive company defined a set of six critical questions, such as “How is our strategic project running this week?” Every Friday, their Project Indicator tool automatically sends the leadership team the questions, and each person anonymously rates the progress on a six-point scale. It takes each leader only about 30 seconds to reply. The result: All leadership team members receive a nudge to continually focus on what they identified as their crucial issues. The nudging effect continues each Monday morning too. Kicking off the week, team members have a brief look at the outcomes of the previous Friday’s survey, discussing the fiber curve of those continuous ratings and analyzing why the curves go up or down—and what to do about them. Without such a constant element of nudging, the leaders probably would have forgotten about their good intentions from that team off-site event, and daily troubleshooting likely would have overshadowed their noted commitments.

How about turning this classic strategy digital: Companies define corporate values, create posters, and share laminated cards with employees. Instead, several companies input their principles in their digital Values indicator tool, and every week each employee receives an automated email with one or two of the corporate values and two questions about them: “How do you perceive that value in your team?” (to gauge whether they really see and feel it in practice) and “How did you actively promote that value during the past week?” The weekly reminders about the values drive workers to reflect on their own behavior and contribution to the corporate spirit. And the best result is that they can view the reactions on a values fiber curve and discuss as a team the outcomes it reflects: Why is it going up, why is it going down, and what can we do to improve our score?

Through constant nudging and measuring, companies create a sustainable process of continuous improvement.

Read the full article here: https://www.td.org/magazines/td-magazine/a-nudge-here-a-nudge-there