The Listen Up! Show: Corporate Citizenship Nudges Towards Sustained Pro-Social Behavior in the Workplace

The Listen Up! Show: Corporate Citizenship Nudges Towards Sustained Pro-Social Behavior in the Workplace

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: The Listen Up! Show

CONTENT: Article

Nudge The Good Unit: Formally applying behavioral insights to the practice of employee giving and volunteering.

The Challenge

Low volunteer participation has been a stubborn problem. Despite concerted efforts, for most companies, employee participation rates have been stuck at around 30% for the past five years. As a result, an estimated $4-$7 Billion in matching employee giving and volunteering funds go unclaimed each year. However, over 70% of people say their employer’s culture of giving or volunteerism is important to them, indicating a clear gap between what people say they think is important and what they do. Behavioral science insights offer concrete solutions to close this gap and increase employee volunteerism rates.

The Solution

Employee volunteering involves many decisions and behaviors, from initial sign-up to sustained, long-term participation. Behavioral science – the study of how humans make decisions and behave in practice – can point towards evidence-based approaches to influence these decisions and behaviors, leading to higher participation and creating, ultimately, more impactful and fulfilling volunteering experiences.

Join this episode of the Listen Up! Show on October 13th at 11:30am ET to hear insights from four Nudge the Good Unit members:

  • Kostapanos Miliaresis, Nudge the Good Unit Director, RWI
  • Lindsey Buss, Senior External Affairs Officer, Community Outreach at The World Bank
  • Sarah Welch, Vice President, ideas42
  • Chris Jarvis, Executive Director, RWI



More about Nudge the Good

Project Scope

The Nudge the Good initiative is based on methodologies and research from a variety of disciplines such as neuroscience, behavioral sciences, and transformative learning theory. The initial scope of the project will be to ’nudge’:

  • Employees who do not typically participate in citizenship actions to try it for the first time
  • Employees who take one or two actions per year to consider going further

The current plan is to partner with a recognized global leader to conduct a series of randomized controlled trials (RCT's are the gold standard of rigorous evaluation) to test a series of interventions grounded in the strongest and most up-to-date academic evidence designed to take the partner context and constraints into account.

The project will:

  • Apply an evidence-based approach to demonstrate the use of corporate citizenship as experiential learning (on topics and issues seen as a priority for the organization, such as diversity, inclusion, and equity)
  • Develop a measurement framework to show developmental progress in both the program effectiveness and the employee’s perspective
  • Nudge employees towards prosocial behaviors in the workplace (and beyond) so that employees experience a "perspective transformation" in three dimensions: psychological (changes in understanding of the self), convictional (revision of belief systems), and behavioral (changes in lifestyle)
  • Track changes in the human brain over a 4-year period (as observed in fMRI scans with a select number of subjects)
  • Explore innovative sets of citizenship behavior to track, measure, and report against.