How Service Design and Nudging can drive change in the workplace

The ISS Business Forum – Service Design Thinking: the next frontier of a great workplace experience has successfully concluded. Here’re our key takeaways.

We live in exciting – but also turbulent times. The technological development is accelerating; the competitive forces are changing and customer expectations are growing.

We’re no longer scared of disruption. Today, we are concerned with how to best disrupt disruption.

To stay competitive in a world of continuous transformation, business and facility managers must thoroughly consider, how the workplace can be used as a strategic tool to drive the behavioral and cultural change needed to succeed in the modern competitive landscape.

This can only be done by providing workplace experiences that enforce desired employee behavior, be it collaboration or creativity while at the same time reduce the presence of productivity killers such as noise and unreliable technologies.

Our workplace must be people-centric

The ability of using the workplace as a tool to drive behavioral and cultural change requires that we change our methodologies of working with service and space.

Within our industry, we have traditionally been structuring our services according to internal procedures – also known as process maps.

To compete in the experience economy – we must switch focus from process to users. With its end-user centricity – Service Design can secure just that.

Service design helps us put our end-users at the heart of our work, understand their needs, identify opportunity gaps and focus our efforts in places where our services can provide the highest emotional value.

Doing so does not only secure a better control over costs (as we only spend, where spent is needed) – it also makes sure that we can create a workplace that better supports the needs and behaviors of our employees.

Nudging in a Service Delivery Context

Besides improving the workplace experience through space and service as such, nudging can be an efficient method to drive desired behavioral change, that can support the desired business outcomes.

In theory, nudging builds on the fact that people rarely make rational and informed choices and the fact that most choices we as human beings make are intuitive. Intuitive and impulsive behavior is hard to change by control, enforcement, rules and arguments.

By focusing on human psychology, nudging persuades employees to change behavior through small and effective changes, but does not force a choice.

It is for example a well-known fact that people eat less when plates in the canteen are smaller. Consequently, if an organization wants to improve the health of its employees, shrinking the size of the plates can be an effective method to reduce the energy intake without employees noticing it.

Introducing stand-up meetings to improve meeting efficiency could be another way to drive behavioral change through nudging. Studies have proven that stand-up meetings cut meeting time with 25% without influencing the quality of decisions.

It can be hard to predict how employees will respond to nudges. To avoid resistance among employees, service nudging should involve a thorough test phase and incremental implementation.

Are you keen on learning more about Service Design and Nudging in a Service Context? Learn more about the methodologies and concepts in this video.