Over the last two decades, behavioural science has become an increasingly popular topic within businesses and organisations aiming to change behaviour and improve experiences – both for colleagues and customers.
Its guiding principles originate in psychology and economics, while its terms of reference have become increasingly familiar, with well-known behavioural interventions like the ‘nudge’ being used to positively influence people’s behaviour without restricting their options.
Behavioural science examines how humans think, introducing small and low-cost changes to overcome unconscious biases that determine our day-to-day behaviour and decision making. It’s a powerful approach which helps us to significantly improve our understanding of the needs of our customers and employees, while enhancing the design of our services and processes.
At Maximus, we’ve employed behavioural science principles to improve outcomes in our public health and employability programmes.
By streamlining and amending communications for our participants to help avoid cognitive overload, we’ve increased engagement for thousands of participants on our programmes like the Restart Scheme and the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service.
Behavioural science also forms the foundations of our public health interventions.
BeeZee Bodies, a specialist provider of public health services who joined Maximus in 2022, helps people move towards long-lasting changes that lead to healthier lives, through the embedding of behavioural science principles in their healthy lifestyle programmes.
By applying the Marginal Gain theory as part of their group-based weight management interventions, small and consistent changes were implemented to increase participant interaction and encourage positive decisions. This approach succeeded in improving engagement and retention for participants, facilitating positive weight management outcomes.
Dr Nick Zygouris, Director of Mental Health at Maximus, said:
“With an established body of rigorous academic and industry-based research, behavioural science offers a unique opportunity for businesses seeking innovative ways to improve their services and working environments. Maximus has a growing expertise in this field, and we’re already seeing tangible improvements in our services to users, customers and clients.”