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Want to Change Your Employees’ Behavior? Just Hack Their Brains

By Will Yakowicz

To affect your staffers’ actions in positive ways, all you need to do is try this trick from the fields of psychology and marketing.


When it comes to influencing employee behavior, there’s no need for evil head-shrinking black magic.

Simple things like getting your employees to put money into a 401(k) program can be accomplished with a simple brain hack. If you make the program opt-in, few employees would utilize it. But make the plan opt-out, as many companies have done, and more employees will stick with it.

This is an example of a method of influencing behavior that harnesses the power of sloth, or laziness.

When it comes down to it, influencing people to take a certain action is simple. “If we want to influence other people’s behavior, we must make desirable behaviors easy and undesirable behaviors hard,” Art Markman, a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas and author of Smart Thinking, writes in Harvard Business Review.

Markman says this school of thought is based on Richard Thaler’s and Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge. “The human cognitive system aims to get the best possible outcome for the least possible energy cost,” he explains.

Read More on Inc.

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