Driving Performance using Neuroscience and Behavioral economics: The worxogo Story

In the 1970s, two psychologists- Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky made an important discovery on cognitive biases that proved that people constantly make choices that defy clear logic. Kahneman went on to talk about the same findings in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ capturing the imaginations of many. His contemporary, Richard Thaler, won the Nobel for Behavioural economics in 2017.

The applications of these theories in the real world have largely been in a Business to Customer (B2C) or Government to Citizen (G2C) context, and quite successfully so.

In 2014, we realized that the same problems exist in enterprises. Enterprises today spend a lot of time, money and effort in trying to improve performance – and a large amount of effort is spent on improving their processes, using technology to make access to information easier etc. However, the singular assumption is that the employees who are expected to “implement” the process are all alike. Consequently, driving behaviour is one of the most important elements of a successful transformation initiative.

This realization led to the formation of worxogo. Improving performance is a direct derivative of how effectively leadership can engage employees and motivate them to perform better. We spent time with Baba Shiv, a professor at the Stanford Business School with expertise in the area of neuroeconomics and on the role of neural structures related to emotion and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences.

In 2014, after spending close to a year fine-tuning the concept into a workable product, worxogo was officially born. We aimed to build an AI engine that uses neuroeconomics and behaviour science to improve employee performance and deliver real, measurable business impact – in other words – provide predictive, personalized performance @ scale.

The result is Mia, a personal digital coach that helps employees become better versions of themselves. It assesses employee performance constantly across each of their KPIs, and using behaviour science and predictive analytics, nudges them to improve. All this with no data entry by the employee!

Mia is now deployed across 40+ corporations across 6 countries. We are proud to count some of India’s largest and global corporations that use it to drive performance across their teams. It helps companies drive a wide variety of initiatives including
• Helping a large retail organization drive sales through their distribution and retail channels
• A leading bank improving the productivity of their frontline sales and customer service teams
• A global corporation improving CSAT and NPS performance of their customer servicing team
• A global conglomerate trying to build a successful innovation program across three countries
• And many more…

As we move ahead, we realize that we have only scratched the surface, and there is a lot to do to make Mia better and how it understands employee performance and coaches them i.e. how to use AI to augment and not replace employees at the workplace. We look eagerly at making it part of every employee’s performance journey for many more forward-looking organizations.

Behavior Labs

Author Behavior Labs

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