Definition of nudge

Nudge is a concept derived from behavioral economics and marketing, and aims to subtly influence an individual's choices and behaviors, using gentle persuasion techniques. The term "nudge" can be translated into French as "coup de pouce". It is based on the idea that small incentives or encouragements can have a significant impact on the decisions made by individuals. The key is to make these nudges sufficiently visible without being intrusive. The right balance has to be found.

The principles of nudge

Nudge is based on the theory of behavioral economics developed by researchers Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, who summarized their studies in the Nobel Prize-winning book "Nudge". The theory is based on the recognition of biases in human behavior, such as loss aversion, procrastination or preference for the status quo. By understanding these biases, nudge aims to design interventions that steer individuals towards more beneficial choices, both for themselves and for society.

Nudge in action

Nudges can take many forms. For example, polling ashtrays help to reduce cigarette waste, by encouraging users to dispose of their cigarette butts in one of two garbage cans symbolizing a choice from a question posed just above. Another example is the basketball hoop-shaped litter garbage cans in Le Havre, France. These garbage cans were installed for their playfulness and appeal to families, while at the same time keeping the city cleaner.

A survey ashtray

Companies also use nudges in marketing, both online and in-store, to influence customer choices. For example, displaying similar products next to a selected item can encourage consumers to make additional purchases, thereby increasing the value of their basket.

Nudge and the return to the office

Nudges are used in every field, from politics to mass consumption and the environment. But the technique of "nudges" is also used in the corporate world, particularly with the aim of getting employees back to the office. Indeed, these incentive mechanisms can be put in place by work environment and human resources departments in support of hybrid working policies. Good communication is needed to ensure that as many employees as possible become aware of the nudge as soon as possible.

You can organize a breakfast on the first Friday of each month, for example, which can influence your employees' decision to come to the office on the days when they are less busy!

Ethics and impact

It is essential to design nudges with transparency and respect for the safety and freedom of choice of individuals. In addition, it is crucial to carefully assess their impact on society and the environment.

To sum up

Nudge is an approach aimed at influencing people's behavior in subtle ways, using measured incentives. It is based on an understanding of human behavioral biases, and can be used in a variety of areas, including returning to the office, to make employees want to go to work again.

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