Leveraging behaviour science to achieve better productivity within your organisation


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In order to create a productive workforce, managers need to understand the three essential elements that drive human action. These three elements are ability, prompts, and motivation. While most managers focus mainly on motivation, it is important to focus on ability and prompts to create a consistent flow of action within an organisation. This article will discuss how leveraging ability by making things easier for your employees, and how creating consistent prompts within your organisation can help increase motivation. It will also highlight the importance of using software in this equation to help you to achieve success.

The motivation fallacy.

Many managers are strong advocates for motivation when it comes to getting things done. The carrot and the stick mentality is still very much alive in management today within organisations. The problem is that true motivation is fickle. It can ebb and flow with the tides of our teams emotions. When they are feeling good, they’re more likely to be motivated. When they’re scared of consequences, they will also be more motivated. High motivation prompts a short term spike in energy that makes it very easy to do difficult tasks. But inevitably, that feeling fades. The problem is that when it does, our teams will struggle with those same tasks. So relying on motivation as a management strategy within your company is a surefire way to suffer failure and inconsistency within your ranks.

The consistent metrics of human motivation.

Why is it easier to complete some tasks consistency rather than others? We can extract the answer from modern software design philosophy. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat take advantage of the two most easily utilised factors when it comes to creating consistent behaviours in their users, that do not rely on motivation. These two metrics are ability, and prompt. But how do they do this, how can we use the same principles within our organisation?

How good software design creates consistent action.


If you have ever used a social media platform, you will know that the most successful ones are simple. They have an interface that is easy to use, and they make it very easy to complete the actions that they want their users to take. For example, Facebook’s interface is designed so that users can easily scroll through their newsfeed, like posts, and leave comments. The process of completing these tasks is easy, requiring very little effort. This is intentional. The easier it is to do something, the more likely we are to undertake those actions. How many people would be actively sharing photos and videos of their lives if it wasn’t as easy as opening an app, hitting snap, and clicking post? Not many. The consistent use of these platforms is driven by their ability to simplify tasks for their users.


Notifications. These little buzzes on our phones, or red dots on our apps, are designed to do one thing- get us to open the app and take action. And they’re incredibly effective. In fact, many people check their phones compulsively throughout the day just to see if they’ve missed a notification. This is because we have been conditioned to respond to these prompts. They create a sense of urgency and importance, which encourages us to take action. These prompts are also predictable in location and context- they always happen on our phones, and they often come from the same places we are used to them coming from. Because of this, the habit of responding to those prompts becomes ingrained into our subconscious.

Social media apps leverage human behaviour by making tasks easy and using consistent prompts. Motivation is the last factor in the equation, because it is the least consistent and predictable metric. This philosophy has led to lasting success in building habits of consistent action within their user base.

How can companies today use ability and prompt to promote productivity?

Making things easy for employees.

There are many ways to make things easier for employees. One way is to ensure that processes are streamlined and simple. This can be done by using software that automates tasks and provides clear instructions on how to complete tasks. If a process has multiple complex steps, employees will likely make mistakes and become frustrated. This is the main factor to try to avoid. By breaking down a task into its smallest pieces and automating what you can for your employees, you make it easier and less labour-intensive to complete. You increase the likelihood that the task will be carried out in the first place, consistently.

Creating consistent prompts.

Another way to ensure that tasks are completed consistently is to create effective prompts. This can be done in several ways. The principles that make effective prompts are that they are timely, specific, and actionable. For example, if you want employees to complete a task by the end of the day, sending a prompt at the beginning of the day is more effective than sending one at the end of the day.

It also helps to deliver this prompt through a consistent channel- either by using internal management software or via email request to a work-only email. By placing all prompts in one accessible place, employees are much less likely to be overwhelmed. This allows for effective habit-building and will make completing tasks much easier for employees.

Another issue many in the modern world run into is prompt overload. Sometimes we have so many requests, notifications and incoming information that it’s impossible to absorb all of it and prioritise the order of tasks. The best way to limit this is by narrowing not only the focus of required tasks, but the information that is visible and accessible. When we limit the flow of information and tasks to only what is needed by that individual, we can create systems where task prompts are actionable and manageable.

How Totum Compliance can help you to achieve this.

Using software to achieve better task management is an essential element in the recipe for your organisational success. Totum Compliance is the perfect example of how this can be done. Totum streamlines and simplifies complex compliance processes by breaking them down into manageable and actionable tasks. It also provides timely reminders and notifications to ensure that employees complete these tasks in a timely manner.

Totum Compliance can be configured to your organisation’s specific compliance requirements and can be accessed by employees from anywhere in the world. This makes it easy for employees to complete tasks and helps to promote a culture of compliance within your organisation.

By using software like Totum Compliance, organisations can make things easier for their employees and create consistent prompting mechanisms to ensure that tasks are carried out consistently. This is the best way to promote productivity and compliance within your organisation.

If you would like to learn more about how Totum Compliance can help your organisation, please reach out! We would be happy to offer you a demo of our software and how it works.

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