Want to make communications more effective – use behavioral science
Over the past few years, we have seen a shift in how organizations value their internal communications. In the past, employee focused communications were often an afterthought. Companies would spend significant time, effort and money on developing out their incentive plans, making sure they were designed to drive the right behaviors and performance, only to communicate it to the field in an e-mail with a 30-page, single-spaced legal contract attached.
Thankfully, this is starting to change.
Today, organizations realize that they need to invest time and resources into their internal communications to optimize their value and impact. As companies make this investment we are seeing a significant improvement in the design and visual appeal of internal communications – from incentive compensation to benefits to operations; the production value of employee communications has risen.
However, merely making a communication look pretty and appealing isn’t sufficient in today’s hyper-competitive world. Organizations need their communications not just to inform, but also to spur new behavior and actions.
When companies communicate about programs that require employee action, they often only see a small change in employee behaviors (or no change at all) – even when these actions have clear benefits for the employee (i.e., increasing their contribution to their 401K plan, using a flexible health care spending account, or changing their selling behavior to align with the new incentive plan to maximize their own earnings).
This is where behavioral science comes in.
Behavioral sciences such as psychology, sociology, and behavioral economics help improve organizational communication and drive both action and behavior change. These cutting edge scientific concepts are currently being used heavily in consumer marketing with positive results – and now they are being implemented by many companies as part of their internal employee communications to achieve similar results inside the company.
Read further to make sure that you’re not being left behind.