TuaPath Blog & News

The Positive Impact of Behavior Nudges and Reminders

Text, Email and Meeting Reminders to Increase Productivity on Smartphone
Author - Mark Fauth
Author - Mark Fauth

Life is busy. There always seems to be a million tasks battling for your attention these days, making it hard to stay on top of everything you need to do.

For the human services workforce this is especially true as they are dealing with an increase in workload due to staff shortages, high caseloads, and the never-ending administrative burden of enforcing compliance with a program’s rules and regulations. Finding time to help families can seem impossible some days.

For those living with the toxic stress of poverty, the toll on their executive functioning capacity is more exaggerated, making it hard to juggle well the million tasks that are battling for your attention.  Some researchers equate living in poverty to functioning without having slept the night before. Not sure about you, but my executive and cognitive functioning would be greatly compromised, making it hard to get anything accomplished.

At the end of the day, we all need nudges and reminders to help us stay on track and remember to do the things we need to do. TuaPath is a cognitive orthotics for improving executive function skills for not only participants, but also case managers in helping them to more effectively and efficiently serve their case load.

Helping Participants Better Engage

Living in the context of poverty requires a constant juggling of pressing tasks. Even with the best of intentions, it can be a challenge for participants to organize, plan, prioritize, and sustain focus to follow through on short and long-term goals. To help participants strengthen their executive function skills and individual decision making, TuaPath offers a number of different behavioral interventions in the form of nudges and reminders.

Notifications and Automated Meeting Reminders

We all use reminders to help us remember things whether it’s to pay a bill, wish a friend Happy Birthday or to show up at a doctor’s meeting. Providing participants with notifications and reminders as to their next scheduled check-in meeting is no different. Given the importance of such meetings to help families get the resources and economic support they need and to keep moving forward to employment and self-sufficiency, it’s vital that participants show up to their meetings, whether in person or virtually.

TuaPath predominately displays on the participant’s dashboard the date and time of their next meeting. Every time they login, they are reminded of the upcoming meeting and can plan and manage their time accordingly to ensure their meeting attendance.

In addition, TuaPath automatically sends out on behalf of the case manager a personalized email and/or text message either 24 or 48 hours prior to the meeting. For those individuals that have difficulty prioritizing attendance, these reminders are very effective.

Programs consistently report:

  • 50% decrease in no-show rates
  • 30% increase in the number of participants who reschedule their meeting and contact their coach directly

Reminders of Success – Celebrating Steps Achieved

When people feel they have made progress toward their goals, they are more committed to achieving those goals and sustaining the focus needed.

TuaPath prominently displays on the participant’s dashboard a notification or count of all the goals and tasks achieved. We call them Victories. Participants who have never had much reason to celebrate in their life are reminded daily of all they have accomplished, and seeing these victories provides them with the momentum to continue on their path and understand that it’s one small step at a time.

Work Activity Compliance Reminders

For cash assistance programs, documenting work activities and the hours spent accurately and getting the information turned in on-time is a key to maintaining compliance and benefits for their families.

TuaPath helps participants to stay on top of their hours by sending participants weekly a friendly reminder. By encouraging participants to enter hours as they happen and not put it off to the last minute, you are helping participants to develop good habits and strong self-regulation skills that are critical for today’s workplace.

TuaPath can also send out a series of reminders to participants at the end of the reporting period to turn in their activity logs, as well as verification documentation. The initial nudge mentions the approaching deadline to ensure they complete the process on time. For those who ignore the nudge, the subsequent reminder sent can include more punitive language outlining the consequences of no action.

These behavioral nudges and reminders not only ensure the participant is compliance with the requirement, but by entering hours regularly, the accuracy of the data is increased.

One-off Email/Text Message Communications

At any given time, there is a lot happening with human services programs and keeping track of it all for participants who have their own list of priorities can be problematic and lead to missed opportunities and non-compliance.

TuaPath makes it easy for programs (case managers and administrators) to send out personalized email and/or text message communications to …

  • advertise an upcoming job fair or workshop
  • advise of a program or policy change
  • remind of an impending compliance deadline 
  • notify when out-of-the-office
  • encourage behaviors like saving money in their savings account
  • share information on resource availability (heating assistance)

Behavioral nudges or reminders are an important aid in providing information to help people make good decisions.

Any of the email or text messages can be sent to an individual, group of participants or the entire case load, as well as scheduled to be sent in the future making it easy to plan your communication efforts.

Lessening Burden for Case Managers

When you ask case managers to how much time is spent chasing participants to turn in their work activities hours and verification documentation, they will tell you it’s a lot.  Without lifting a finger, automated reminders can be sent at the end of the reporting period to participants to encourage on-time compliance.

Those who fail to comply after receiving the first one or two friendly reminders are sent a third or subsequent reminder with a warning about the consequences of lost benefits and the need for immediate action. Time spent chasing participants to turn in their hours and verification documentation with TuaPath is now a fraction of what it was with only the few stragglers, and there will always be stragglers, needing attention.

87% of participants submit hours on-time as a result of reminders

Reminders, when sent out on behalf of a case manager and personalized with the participant’s and coaches’ name help increase participant engagement and build good will. Participants have a better outlook on the program as the nudges help them to make better decisions which positively impact their progress and improve their outcomes.

Case managers also report that meeting reminders have also saved them countless hours waiting for participants to show-up to a meeting, only to realize they are a no-show.  Most often as a result of the reminder, participant will reach out to reschedule and in doing such, are more committed to attend.

"They are reaching out to me and saying ‘Hey, I scheduled this time with you, but that time doesn't work with me. Can I reschedule for later on today or this evening.’ I'm getting that from my clients and that's because of the nudges and excitement of working in the TuaPath system."

TuaPath also provides notifications specifically for case managers to help them be more productive in their day-to-day administrative work. As is often the case, case managers are waiting on a participant to provide them with verification documentation or a signed copy of a form. Instead of managing this process via email, files can be directly uploaded to TuaPath, and notifications sent to the case manager when the task is completed.

Participants are not the only benefactors of reminders and notifications. Case managers reap the rewards as well, as these low-effort and low-cost nudges utilize far fewer resources (staff time) and can yield better results.Let us show you how with a demonstration.

To schedule, give us a call at (970)628-0220 or complete our Contact Us form.