Turning down noise, upping employee productivity with a nudge engine

  • Now on Now
  • Solutions
  • Claudiu Branzan
  • 2022
October 18, 2022

Employee productivity: female worker smiling at her laptop

Employees are constantly bombarded with pings, bells, and dings announcing texts, chats, and emails—even at night and on weekends. Originally designed to help us, these notifications have become a distracting barrage that's hurting our ears, thought processes, and collective productivity.

Delivering a better employee experience offers a competitive advantage. The time is right for a more effective, AI-driven, human-sensitive smart assistant that boosts employee productivity: a nudge engine.

A spiraling problem

Many employees are reacting to message overload by putting their phones and computers on Do Not Disturb just to give themselves a chance to think. As a result, reminders are ignored or neglected, which can lead to uncompleted trainings, missed deadlines, reduced productivity, and increased company risk.

Some missed deadlines can have serious consequences. If I miss a mandatory training, I might lose access to crucial tools or networks until I complete that course, thus disrupting my work. Or I might miss the window to take advantage of my company’s employee stock purchase program.

There are always distractions, if you allow them. - Tony La Russa, Former Major League Baseball Manager


Making notifications manageable

To improve employees’ quality of life, increase efficiency, and preserve our collective sanity, the ServiceNow emerging technologies team is developing the Smart Nudge Engine. It’s an AI-enabled solution that intelligently determines when an intervention—or a nudge—is most helpful.

The Smart Nudge Engine aggregates and prioritizes notifications for employees based on their past behavior, calendar availability, and personal preferences, among other factors.

The engine’s purpose is to consolidate email, chat, and text messages into a less intrusive, more helpful cadence. Instead of 10 notifications across five channels, for example, a single combined notification will appear in an employee’s preferred channel when they’re most likely to read and respond to it—with specific analytics to incentivize them to do so.

The Smart Nudge Engine:

  1. Creates task reminders that can be system-driven or arranged by individuals or leaders
  2. Generates gentle nudges to enhance training, productivity, and efficiency

  3. Compiles and prioritizes messages and reminders, sending them at just the right time

Messages can be enterprisewide, such as “Mandatory compliance training must be completed by the end of the month.” Or they can be team-specific, such as “Don’t forget to review the presentation before Friday’s meeting.” We’re also looking into introducing gaming and competition elements and rewarding those who complete their tasks on time.

We’re reimagining how notifications are delivered and received to dramatically improve the global employee experience. With a frictionless, consumer-like experience, the Smart Nudge Engine will literally help the world work more efficiently. - Rajeev Sethi, VP, Emerging Technologies Group, ServiceNow


Decluttering employees’ workdays

The Smart Nudge Engine provides a positive way to encourage employees to do something they might otherwise delay or forget about. It’s designed to help employees:

  • Increase on-time task completion

  • Remember important upcoming tasks and deadlines

  • Declutter their inboxes and digital lives

Targeted for release in 2023, the engine is expected to increase employee productivity and keep workers better informed about what’s expected of them. We also forecast decreased company risk and better training compliance.

Being built on the Now Platform, the Smart Nudge Engine will be fully integrated with our overarching employee experience strategy. Having everything on a single platform enables the engine to aggregate data from multiple back-end systems and present it to employees in a helpful, decluttered way. Marie Kondo would be proud.

Find out more about how we use our products internally.

© 2022 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

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