BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGE: Get employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator
Choosing the stairs instead of the elevator more often would do most of us good, both physically and mentally. But it is difficult to change behavior. What mainly happens is that we go on autopilot and continue to do what we always do. To change behavior, we must learn to break the autopilot. It is easier said than done. However, with the help of a clear reminder at just the right time, we have a greater chance to succeed.
Vehicle wholesaler KG Knutsson in Sollentuna saw these conditions in the workplace and wanted help to improve the health of employees by encouraging the use of stairs as opposed to elevators.
SMART NUDGE: Encourage taking the stairway by communicative entrance mat
We gave KG Knutsson a communicative entrance mat. With its design, the entrance mat reminded employees and visitors of the options right before the decision situation occurred, which enabled people to break out of their autopilot mode. The entrance mat was designed with two hearts and two arrows. The first heart was happy with a stair-shaped arrow pointing at the stairs. The second heart was tired and had a straight arrow pointing at the elevator. The two hearts had a supplementing text at the bottom of the mat. The text read: "Your heart needs exercise - here's your chance!".
In addition to this effort, we hung up three soft hearts on different floors in the stairwell. Each soft heart got a speech bubble that read: "High five for stepping up your health!". With the soft hearts, we wanted to encourage the employees' competitive instinct that was already strong at KG Knutsson. The soft hearts also functioned as a tool for positive reinforcement of the desired behavior.
RESULTS: 33% increase in employees movement in the stairwell
We measured the number of passages through the front door to the stairwell for four weeks before the nudge and during three weeks when the nudge was in place. We saw that the employees opened the door 33% more times after the nudge had been set up, compared to before: from an average of 43 openings/day to 57 openings/day. It was a strong indication that more people used the stairwell after the carpet and hearts were in place.
To strengthen the credibility of the results, all employees had to answer a questionnaire. Respondents reported how they got between the floors before and after the nudge was set up. The responses showed that the nudge led to an increase of 8.3 percentage points of people mainly using the stairs. In summary, it seems that this clear reminder situated directly in the entrance, where the decision of taking the stairs or the elevator takes place, leads to more people choosing the stairs.
“With the soft hearts, we wanted to encourage the employees' competitive instinct. The soft hearts also functioned as a tool for positive reinforcement of the desired behavior. ”
We saw that the employees opened the door to the stairwell 33% more times after the nudge had been set up.
We would like to thank KG Knutsson for your willingness to test nudging to help your employees make sustainable and healthy choices in everyday life.