Creating optimal incentive structures for employees

We’re working with GrowBot to design and test incentive structures that increase employee satisfaction and performance. Should feedback be public or private? Should rewards be given to top performing employees to reward or low performing employees to increase motivation? Our research with GrowBot will be articulate when and how managers should be providing feedback to their employees!

Irrational Labs has helped us define and implement a reward structure that employees and managers love. Our product is now infused with insights on human behavior that drive our customer satisfaction.Justin Vandehey, CEO of GrowBot


Increased enrollment for health savings plans

Kiwi is a fintechsavings platform that enables users access to personalized prepayment health savings plans. Kiwi’s platform integrates with health clinics to provide financially at-risk patients access to a planning service that provides financial guidance and a tangible savings method for needed medical procedures. During Kiwi’s initial pilot only 1 person out of 40 people actually started the plan post clinic appointment and meeting with Kiwi.

Why is this?

Once a patient leaves the clinic the decision making process becomes complex. Behavioral research suggests that the more complex the decision, the less well equipped people are to deal with it. 6 For a complex decision like this, the patient will have a tendency to avoid making any decision. They will go with the default option, which in this case was deferring the choice all together.

What can Kiwi do?

At StartupOnomics summit with Irrational Labs in 2014, we helped Kiwi design a plan that changed the default. Kiwi made a down payment necessary to the platform by requiring that users to put at least 100 pesos (roughly $8) immediately into their savings account in order to receive a membership card. They could always take the money back if they decided not to follow through, but now the default behavior is to activate the plan vs the default of avoiding the decision and doing nothing.


Increased conversion for two lending platforms

By applying behavioral science and testing rigour to the online marketplace lending space, we increased conversion to apply for a loan and ultimately the number of people who took out a loan. We did this on two different U.S. based lending platforms (Names withheld for privacy).


International: Increased adoption of small dollar insurance in Kenya and Tanzania

MicroEnsure is a microinsurance company that designs, implements, and manages products that address a range of risks faced by low-and-middle income consumers in emerging markets, including risks related to life, health, agriculture, assets, accidents, and political violence. Our team ran a one week design sprint in Johannesburg, Kenya, with the aim to:

  • Design interventions that increase the adoption of their microinsurance product
  • Design the incentive scheme for a health lending product for distribution in low income clinics

Throughout the week we trained their corporate and field team on social science insights, designed a randomized controlled experiment for their call center to increase adoption of health insurance, provided a literature review on relevant psychological barriers to insurance, and created 3 quantitative surveys to further their research on the health lending product.

Based on our recommendations, MicroEnsure ran the quantitative studies, subsequently changed their SMS communication strategy and modified features of their insurance/lending product, which is now in the market.