How the EAST framework helps you to effectively change employee behaviour

Ruben Behavioural insights

How the EAST framework helps you to effectively change employee behaviour

Developed by the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ (BIT), the EAST framework offers you four simple ways to apply behavioural insights. This blog will introduce you to the world of behavioural insights and the EAST framework, that will help you to effectively change employee behaviour.

What are behavioural insights?

Behavioural insights draw lessons from psychology, economics, social sciences and evaluation to help us understand human behaviour better. They also encourage people to make better choices for themselves and societies as a whole. The term was first coined by the BIT, when it was established in 2010.

Since that time, behavioural insights have been used across public and private services to improve desired outcomes. The whole idea behind it is that encouraging people to make better choices will be more successful if it’s based on insights from behavioural science. Behavioural insights should always be looked at in their context as unintended consequences can occur when they are misapplied.

Let’s have a look at an example of a behavioural insight in action to make it a bit more tangible for you. The government of a Costa Rican canton wanted its citizens to reduce their water consumption as they had noticed that significantly more water was being used there than elsewhere in the country.

By using social norms, the accepted standards of behavior of social groups, they were able to create effective nudges to motivate people to use less of the precious resource. They changed the water bills to include a comparison of an individual’s water consumption to the neighbourhood or city-wide average and were able to reduce consumption by 4-5%.

Individuals tend to be influenced by the behaviour of their peers which meant that the Costa Rican canton's government was able to successfully encourage people to do what was in the best interest of their community.

The EAST framework

EAST is a mnemonic to help to remember the 4 key aspects for effectively changing behavior. If you want to encourage a behaviour, you have to make it easy, attractive, social, and timely.

Easy

Let’s do a quick thinking exercise: Think back about times you set out to do something but never actually quite got around to doing it? Perhaps this might have been something small like tidying up your home, but maybe it was something bigger and more important like arranging your first job interviews or applying for university.

Small and often perceived irrelevant details can make certain tasks more challenging than they need to be and can make the difference between actually doing something or postponing it for at least some time or, in the worst case, forever.

The first principle in the framework is therefore to always make it easy for someone to do something. There’s no size-fits-all to make things easier, but the most common methods are using defaults (people have a strong tendency to stick with ‘default’ options) and simplifying messaging to reduce cognitive load.

Attractive

It is perfectly natural that we are more likely to act upon things that we are drawn or attracted to. This is the same when it comes to encouraging people to exhibit a specific behaviour. The more attractive you ‘present’ the desired behaviour, the more likely people are to follow it. Of course, there are many ways to attract an individual’s attention, but the most important and interesting ones for changing behaviour are personalisation and gamification.

Research has shown that personalised messaging, such as for example simply using someone’s name or other details, quickly draws the attention of individuals. Personalised messaging however does require more effort than generic messaging, but it will ultimately make changing behaviour a lot easier. The BIT has done several trials to show how powerful personalised messaging can be. Among one of those trials was a test to encourage people to donate a day’s salary to charity. By just only using personalised messages, they were able to increase the percentage of people that give one day’s salary to charity by 7%, compared to a control group.

Gamification on the other hand can give people an incentive to act in a certain way. Using motivational elements from games such as points, users are often engaged to achieve objectives or, in our case, to drive a desired behaviour. When combined with transparency, rewards and sanctions, you’ll reap maximum benefits from this method. That’s because the potential gain from feeling good or looking bad in front of others works as a powerful incentive.

Social

Key to changing behaviour is to make it social. We’re constantly faced with social influences and are more likely to follow a specific behaviour if we see someone else doing it, as highlighted in the example from Costa Rica earlier.

Making use of social norms is a major game-changer when it comes to driving specific behaviours. Making employees in your organisation aware that other teams are way better in, for example, using their CRM consistently, will reinforce the willingness of the ‘lagging’ team to also start behaving in that same way.

Besides social norms the power of networks shouldn’t be underestimated as well. Organisations always have an embedded network of relationships that can influence behaviour fairly easily. Someone with more power than someone else, for example a sales manager, can influence the behaviour of his sales reps by just visiting one of them and asking to, for example, more consistently use the CRM. This rep will most likely tell the others and before you know it the desired behaviour can spread throughout the whole team.

Timely

Receiving an ad for new furniture comes across very differently when you have just moved house than when you’ve been settled already for the past couple of years, for example we respond differently to things depending on when we’re faced with them so timing also really matters when it comes to changing behaviour.

Highlighting the immediate costs and benefits of the behavioural change will help drive the motivation to exert it. Organisations should also understand what situations and conditions affect the willingness to react to change, as well as making sure of relevancy. For example, sending sales reps a reminder to log meeting details soon after they’ve had a meeting will work better than providing them with an overview of the things they forgot to do at the end of the week.

Effectively changing employee behaviour

Applying behavioural insights using the EAST framework in your organisation can help you to effectively drive the behaviour that leads to better results in your organisation. The EAST framework makes weeding out bad habits in your organisation a lot easier, so remember to encourage specific behaviours by making it easy, attractive, social and timely.

Curious how salesnudge can help you drive the behaviour that leads to more sales by applying behavioural insights and nudging? Request a demo or contact us today.

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How the EAST framework helps you to effectively change employee behaviour

Developed by the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ (BIT), the EAST framework offers you four simple ways to apply behavioural insights. This blog will introduce you to the world of behavioural insights and the EAST framework, that will help you to effectively change employee behaviour.

What are behavioural insights?

Behavioural insights draw lessons from psychology, economics, social sciences and evaluation to help us understand human behaviour better. They also encourage people to make better choices for themselves and societies as a whole. The term was first coined by the BIT, when it was established in 2010.

Since that time, behavioural insights have been used across public and private services to improve desired outcomes. The whole idea behind it is that encouraging people to make better choices will be more successful if it’s based on insights from behavioural science. Behavioural insights should always be looked at in their context as unintended consequences can occur when they are misapplied.

Let’s have a look at an example of a behavioural insight in action to make it a bit more tangible for you. The government of a Costa Rican canton wanted its citizens to reduce their water consumption as they had noticed that significantly more water was being used there than elsewhere in the country.

By using social norms, the accepted standards of behavior of social groups, they were able to create effective nudges to motivate people to use less of the precious resource. They changed the water bills to include a comparison of an individual’s water consumption to the neighbourhood or city-wide average and were able to reduce consumption by 4-5%.

Individuals tend to be influenced by the behaviour of their peers which meant that the Costa Rican canton's government was able to successfully encourage people to do what was in the best interest of their community.

The EAST framework

EAST is a mnemonic to help to remember the 4 key aspects for effectively changing behavior. If you want to encourage a behaviour, you have to make it easy, attractive, social and timely.

Easy

Let’s do a quick thinking exercise: Think back about times you set out to do something but never actually quite got around to doing it? Perhaps this might have been something small like tidying up your home, but maybe it was something bigger and more important like arranging your first job interviews or applying for university.

Small and often perceived irrelevant details can make certain tasks more challenging than they need to be and can make the difference between actually doing something or postponing it for at least some time or, in the worst case, forever.

The first principle in the framework is therefore to always make it easy for someone to do something. There’s no size-fits-all to make things easier, but the most common methods are using defaults (people have a strong tendency to stick with ‘default’ options) and simplifying messaging to reduce cognitive load.

Attractive

It is perfectly natural that we are more likely to act upon things that we are drawn or attracted to. This is the same when it comes to encouraging people to exhibit a specific behaviour. The more attractive you ‘present’ the desired behaviour, the more likely people are to follow it. Of course, there are many ways to attract an individual’s attention, but the most important and interesting ones for changing behaviour are personalisation and gamification.

Research has shown that personalised messaging, such as for example simply using someone’s name or other details, quickly draws the attention of individuals. Personalised messaging however does require more effort than generic messaging, but it will ultimately make changing behaviour a lot easier. The BIT has done several trials to show how powerful personalised messaging can be. Among one of those trials was a test to encourage people to donate a day’s salary to charity. By just only using personalised messages, they were able to increase the percentage of people that give one day’s salary to charity by 7%, compared to a control group.

Gamification on the other hand can give people an incentive to act in a certain way. Using motivational elements from games such as points, users are often engaged to achieve objectives or, in our case, to drive a desired behaviour. When combined with transparency, rewards and sanctions, you’ll reap maximum benefits from this method. That’s because the potential gain from feeling good or looking bad in front of others works as a powerful incentive.

Social

Key to changing behaviour is to make it social. We’re constantly faced with social influences and are more likely to follow a specific behaviour if we see someone else doing it, as highlighted in the example from Costa Rica earlier.

Making use of social norms is a major game changer when it comes to driving specific behaviours. Making employees in your organisation aware that other teams are way better in, for example, using their CRM consistently, will reinforce the willingness of the ‘lagging’ team to also start behaving in that same way.

Besides social norms the power of networks shouldn’t be underestimated as well. Organisations always have an embedded network of relationships that can influence behaviour fairly easily. Someone with more power than someone else, for example a sales manager, can influence the behaviour of his sales reps by just visiting one of them and asking to, for example, more consistently use the CRM. This rep will most likely tell the others and before you know it the desired behaviour can spread throughout the whole team.

Timely

Receiving an ad for new furniture comes across very differently when you have just moved house than when you’ve been settled already for the past couple of years, for example we respond differently to things depending on when we’re faced with them so timing also really matters when it comes to changing behaviour.

Highlighting the immediate costs and benefits of the behavioural change will help drive the motivation to exert it. Organisations should also understand what situations and conditions affect the willingness to react to change, as well as making sure of relevancy. For example, sending sales reps a reminder to log meeting details soon after they’ve had a meeting will work better than providing them with an overview of the things they forgot to do at the end of the week.

Effectively changing employee behaviour

Applying behavioural insights using the EAST framework in your organisation can help you to effectively drive the behaviour that leads to better results in your organisation. The EAST framework makes weeding out bad habits in your organisation a lot easier, so remember to encourage specific behaviours by making it easy, attractive, social and timely.

Curious how salesnudge can help you drive the behaviour that leads to more sales by applying behavioural insights and nudging? Request a demo or contact us today.

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