24 March 2021

Behavioural economics – part three

Behavioural economics – part three

Technique #3: Framing using outcome-based communications

Framing is the cognitive bias in which the brain makes decisions depending on how information is presented.

Therefore, the language used, design and placement of information within communications greatly impacts the actions employees or pension members may take as a result.

Outcome-based communications frame benefits or pension information to relate to employees’ values and life goals. Designing communications this way limits the jargon and ‘extra noise’ that can confuse employees. Reorganising the available information into easy-to-understand, value-lead categories increases cognitive ease (another behavioural economic term you can have for free) and enables employees to align benefits with their values and goals.

For example, you might find that you fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • I want to protect my family;
  • I want to make my money go further;
  • I want to get fitter;
  • I want to look after my health; and
  • I want a comfortable retirement.

Individual benefits on offer may help achieve one or more of the goals above. But linking benefits to goals can encourage employees to select all the benefits within a category and ‘complete the list’ to achieve their goal.

Apple use this with their ‘Today’ section on the App Store. Every day, Apple feature a short guide entitled, ‘How to [insert any objective here].’ There you will find a list of apps designed to help you achieve the objective. By simply downloading these apps from the instructional guide, users feel empowered knowing they are taking positive steps towards achieving an important goal.

Apple implement this technique to give their customers a sense of achievement and pride. Employers can help their employees and members feel the same way.

In summary

Implementing behavioural economics into your communications is both easy and effective. This article has focused on three of the most common techniques that you can implement, on any scale, immediately.

You’ve had the idea. You’ve launched a new project. Now you must engage your employees.