I had a short conversation with a friend this morning on the best way to change behavior. It was sparked by the information in a study CVS released yesterday. The study highlights the results of experiments CVS conducted to see what worked best to get people to quit smoking. The study showed greater behavior change when the subject was “penalized” by forfeiting money in addition to earning awards vs. simply earning a reward. The article: “CVS Health Research Institute Study Finds Smoking Cessation Programs with Financial Incentives Increase Rates of Quitting and Staying Smoke-free” is pretty specific when it says:
“Across all of the incentive-based programs, participants were eligible for up to $800 for successfully quitting smoking but the programs differed in how incentives were accrued and disbursed. Two of the programs required participants to pay an upfront deposit of $150, which was reimbursed if participants successfully quit smoking. Overall, study participants who enrolled in any of the four incentive-based programs were nearly three times more likely to quit smoking than those who received usual care alone. In addition, although participants assigned to the groups requiring an upfront deposit were more likely to decline participation than those in the pure incentive-based programs, deposit programs led to nearly twice the rate of abstinence from smoking at six months among people who would have accepted either type of program.”
The net-net is:
- Incentives work
- Incentives with penalty work better
Read the whole post over at Symbolist (an FOT contributor blog).
Paul Hebert is Senior Account Executive at WorkStride, Inc, and a writer, speaker and consultant. Paul focuses on helping connect best-in-class incentive technology platform to behaviors you need drive business results through employees, channel partners and consumers.
Using proven motivational theory, behavioral economics and social psychology he has driven extraordinary company performance for his clients. Paul is widely considered an expert on motivation, incentives, and engagement.
Other notable activities:
- Interviewed by the BBC on executive motivation and pay
- Quoted three times in USATODAY as an expert in incentives and channel travel programs
- Published in Loyalty360 magazine
- Writer and founding member of the editorial advisory board at the HRExaminer website
- Contributing author of “Enterprise Engagement: The Textbook: A Roadmap to Achieving Organizational Results Through People”
- Contributing author of 3 books on social media “The Age of Conversation #1, #2, and #3”