I recently have been reading Work Rules by Laszlo Bock, and found delight in learning about all the little and big things that Google implements in their People Management process to improve hiring and increase employee satisfaction over the years. One of the little tactics was “Nudging”, or applying a little reminder (or nudge) in the right direction to facilitate employees being more mindful of the decision on hand and making the nudged decision.
The goal, as Laszlo writes in his book, is to nudge in a direction that would make the person’s lives better, not by taking away choices but by making it easier to make good choices.
As a parent, we are concerned about our child’s overall well being from their health, emotional state and learning abilities. In all these areas, I have devised little nudges that help my two children make their way (by themselves) towards making good choices.
Eating well …
instead of restricting them from eating unhealthy food or too much candy, I give them a choice of when they would like their candy. During Sunday nursery classes or after lunch. instead of worrying my kids would eat unhealthy snacks in school, I ask them to pack a little box of healthy snacks that I have bought and bring along to school.
Sleeping well …
I’m afraid I have not done so well here with the nudges, my kids just can’t get to bed without their parents. Here’s what I have tried, but please let me know if you have alternatives.
Pick your book before we head to bed.
Pick your PJ for bed.
Let’s sleep early like your friend.
Sleep early and you can wake up for breakfast together.
Moving into the workplace, how can we use little nudges to make big impact?
Laszlo mentions many experiments at Google, and I do recommend you read the book.
Here’s my take on little nudges …
Send reading materials before hand, many times.
When I want another team member to help me with a project, I would do a primer days, weeks or even months beforehand, where I would send relevant reading materials from the industry to the team member for review. When I finally setup the meeting to ask for the help, all the little nudges with the reading material had helped seed the right mindset and thought process in the team member to facilitate the project development.
Get different people to communicate the same thing multiple times
Another example would be getting buy in, where I over the course of multiple meetings usually in 1-2 weeks, I get different people to mention the importance of the same project over and over again. With repetitions and coming from different sources, the project or decision becomes easier to digest and is seen as really important since it has been presented by so many different sources.
Text reminders via email or chat
Simple things like getting people to turn off meeting room lights, lock their computer, close the doors, would just require regular and frequent reminders in a polite but firm manner through any form of text messaging.
Any mindset or behaviour can be changed if you have sufficient persistence, the right data and good intentions.
What are you nudging for today?
#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #Leadership #Management #Entrepreneurship #Parenting
“Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.