Laurel Newman - Behavioral Science in Employee Culture and Human Resources


Manage episode 291829779 series 1646858
By Erik Johnson and Action Design Network. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

As applied behavior science has become more widespread, a need has emerged for guidance on how to build and integrate behavioral science functions within an organization. To help fill this need, our very own Zarak Khan – along with psychology professor turned applied behavioral scientist Laurel Newman – edited a book that was published in March that draws on the collective wisdom of applied behavioral scientists with cross-industry experience.

Download a free copy of “Building Behavioral Science in an Organization” at Or you can purchase a Kindle or paperback copy on Amazon, at cost.

In today’s episode, Laurel Newman joins Erik and Zarak to discuss the applications of behavioral science to HR. While there’s usually an organizational focus on leadership, Laurel makes the case for more focus on role clarity and role fit. She says that there’s often an opportunity to focus more on putting employees in positions where they feel like there’s a great match between what they’re good at and what the role means for them. Research shows that companies with more intrinsically motivated employees also have happier customers; so employee satisfaction and wellbeing directly benefit a company’s bottom line. Laurel recommends that HR departments – and organizations in general – ask more questions such as:

  • When we teach people information, how do we make it relevant and useful enough for them to have the necessary impact and result in the desired behavior change?
  • How can we avoid silos, and be more honest about investigating and identifying problems?
  • Are we focusing on behavior (dependent variable), or just assuming that the independent variable (such as training) will have the desired impact?

36 episodes