In the last couple of years, learning and development (L&D) leaders have taken more subtle approaches to enhance employee engagement and motivation to promote healthy workplace culture. According to the 2022 Workplace Learning Report | LinkedIn, 62% of learning leaders agree that L&D is focused on rebuilding and reshaping their organization in 2022. L&D leaders are focused on developing a learning culture throughout the workflow. This led to recognizing an essential aspect of behavioral science known as nudge theory or nudge learning.

Nudge theory in practice subtly influences the behavior and decision-making of the learners. It may be done by using strategically placed prompts to encourage specific behaviors. Nudge theory pushes learners to revise the concept with the help of notifications, questions, and examples at different time intervals.

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Nudge Theory and Its Relevance In the Corporate L&D

A nudge is a gentle reminder that urges an individual to make a specific decision. According to Wikipedia, nudge theory is a concept in political theory, behavioral economics, and sciences that promotes positive reinforcement and indirect techniques or recommendations that affect the behavior and decision-making of people. It enables learners to learn and act appropriately.

Nudges can be delivered via text, email, or other social media broadcast mediums. The on-the-job microlearning modules on emails are one of the best nudge theory examples of positive learning transformation popularly known as ‘Google Whispers.’ The “whisper course” is a series of emails that give managers small, actionable tips to implement in one-on-one and group discussions with their employees.

Nudge theory is imperative to overcome the following common learning and training challenges at the workplace:

  • Most learners forget what they are learning in less than an hour. The forgetting curve of Ebbinghaus characterizes this phenomenon as a gradual decline in the brain’s capacity to remember information. A constant nudging to learners can strengthen knowledge retention and learning outcomes.
  • Millennials, Gen Z, and Baby boomers make most of the workforce today, and they want to get trained in their preferred time and terms. Training them through nudges is an excellent way to make learners be in charge of their training.

Strategies for Nudge Theory Implementation To Make Corporate Learning A Success

Corporate training and learning programs should encompass the following nudge strategy characteristics to make their training impactful and enhance learning outcomes.

  • Make it simple yet attractive for learners to understand and grasp. Using simple format, flow, structure, colors, and user experience (UX) for the training content will appeal to learners and will be easy for them to retain the knowledge.
  • Real-life scenarios make the training enjoyable, and learners connect with such training content easily. In addition, taking real-world examples in nudge theory will make training fun, engaging, and effective.
  • Smaller bits of information should be used for smarter learning absorption. Microlearning and mobile learning facilitate crisp, bite-sized learning and help transfer and knowledge assimilation quickly.
  • With personalization and visually intuitive modules, learners will have no dull learning experience. Adding visual and instructional design (ID) capabilities will create a high chance of success.
  • Several studies show that socializing can affect a person’s decision-making skills. After completing a training module, positive learner feedback will influence other individuals to opt for training.
  • When the timing is right, everything will follow through. When provided in the flow of work and at periodic intervals, an adequately planned nudge will have more impact than an untimely one.


Nudge theory can be a potential tool for gently encouraging people to keep learning and growing when used wisely. Organizations can easily apply nudge theory to their training programs with the strategies.

Do you have any suggestions or techniques for successful nudge theory implementation? Do share them in the comment box below.

We at Infopro Learning have developed and effectively deployed nudge learning solutions for several organizations. And if you wish to know more about it, connect with our eLearning development experts today.

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