To ensure that you have a better and happier working environment. All you need to do as an employer is to provide a simple, low-cost way that will help your employees to make healthy choices. There is no need to make extensive arrangements or think that there is rocket science in it.
All you have to do is have a strategic plan and stock your office with the best snacks that will not only assure better health for your employees but will also provide them easy and fast access to healthy food. Simply follow the footsteps of business giants such as Google and others who have hundreds and thousands of employees in each of their offices at different locations.
The reports and results
The study reports on the effects of poor health and obesity on companies show that billions of dollars are lost every year in the US alone. The Centers for Disease Control has corroborated this fact and have also suggested that this number is fast rising. This has led to the initiative of different organizations worldwide to take start wellness programs.
- Reports also show that these employer-sponsored wellness programs have provided high yields even though the employee wellness industry has struggled to prove the value of it on the whole. There are a few reasons for it.
- In most of the times, it is seen that wellness initiatives fail often because these are all designed relying on all outdated methods of engagement.
- In addition to that, companies place too much emphasis on providing information.
Apart from that, it is an established fact of behavioral economics. That information hardly succeeds in changing the behavior of the user. Or helps in building new habits for food choices and fitness. As behavior diverges from intentions most of the times, telling people how to and it is needed to improve their health fails to elicit behavioral changes. This is seen especially in food choices because self-control is always taxed by any sort of depletion including hunger.
The situation is even more complex when it is required to make a food decision a number of times in a day. You will not be able to devote much processing power when you make each choice and therefore the eating behaviors eventually tend to be driven by habit or instinct.
It is therefore required that you have a clearer understanding regarding the influences on choice for example on context and impulsivity. It is only after you have such an understanding you will be able to design environments that will reinforce healthy choices in your employees, limit any potential lapses, and at the same time help you save on the health care costs.
The Google study
Google did not make the changes in their snacks for work overnight or all of a sudden without any rhyme or reason. The Google team has jointly studied customer insights with the Yale Center on how behavioral economics can improve the health choices of employees. They have run numerous field experiments just to understand how small twists can push behavior towards a desirable outcome and at the same time yield enormous benefits.
To help you to understand and guide you through these interventions. You must first know the refined scattered findings from behavioral science to put it into a simple framework. Ideally, there are four Ps of behavior change:
- Possibilities and
When you know these you will be able to know the framework and structure a portfolio of useful. Strategies to help your employees in making healthier choices easier. It will be more enticing to make healthy food choices. Because the strategic framework will make unhealthy choices harder and far less tempting.
Point of interventions
With brief explanations and a few examples will help you to understand each point of intervention in a better way.
The process is one of the major contributors of behavioral economics to understanding the behavior change. It involves small changes made in the “choice architecture” which is ideally the presentation of all available options. These small changes in choice context can help the employees to make a healthier choice with direct attention toward the options that are easier to choose. It will help in:
- Order: When sequencing matters, the honored position in a visual set of a buffet line. Or menu is the first item in a pair or the middle item when there is a set of three. However, the privileged positionin any auditory set of daily specials is either the first or the last item or both.
- Defaults: There is a bias toward the status quo and since making a decision is not easy. Defaults play a vital role in exerting a strong pull on the available choices.
- Accessibility: In most of the times it is seen that people tend to eat that food and drink tea that is easy to see or reach.
Persuasioninterventions are also helpful to make healthy choices more appealing than unhealthy options. It needs a fine-tuning of message delivery, communicating the right message the right way. Proper framing and timing, leveraging of social norms, select the right time, to make it most receptive. The three essential factors for this are:
- Vividness with imagery grabs with intuitive triggering delight to make the best choice.
- Comparisons of items to send the right message to frame relevant trade-offs. Or to quantify the effects of each item due to the behavior.
- Moments of Truth which is the time and place where one will be most receptive. To persuasive to achieve the goal.
Possibilities refer to the set of choices offered to lever changes. With the following process to convey negative reactions against perceived paternalism. Try changing:
- Assortment as this is the most powerful stimulant of consumption where more options typicallymean more consumption.
- Bundling and strategic pairing will encourage healthy behavior using healthy and less healthy options.
- Quantitywhen tweaked can influence consumption as well.
Lastly, the goals, habits and pre-commitment will also influence the choice of snacks of your employees. To boost and reduce the health-related costs of the company.