The Power of Habit – Learning from Febreze
What do Febreze and Maximo have in common?
Charles Duhigg, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Power of Habit, spoke at the Airport Council International’s 2014 general session this week. In discussing his cue-habit-reward system, he brought up several points that could benefit us in the asset management community. In particular, one that stood out was a case study of Procter and Gamble’s Febreze odor eliminator.
Procter and Gamble once considered Febreze to be its greatest failure of all time. After extensive research, they found the problem: their best potential customers didn’t even realize they needed Febreze. In one case, the research team visited a woman who owned 32 cats. The odor was so strong that the researchers were gagging. When asked whether she tried to use Febreze for the cat odor, she explained that her cats were so good and clean that she didn’t need to!
The researchers also noticed that most people, including the cat owner mentioned above, enjoyed the rewards associated with cleaning. They liked to be able to step back and admire their work and their clean space. Febreze eliminated odors – it didn’t add anything to contribute toward that feeling of cleanliness. Realizing this, the team reworked the entire product to create a reward for its users – a clean smell. Even though it was completely unnecessary to the function of the product, by adding fragrance and pitching the ‘clean smell,’ P&G took Febreze from its least successful product to one if its leaders.
Duhigg then applied this concept to airports. Creating “rewarding” situations for customers doesn’t have to be extravagant – it can be simple as humorous signage to relieve a potentially stressful situation. Duhigg provided several examples of how airports have done this, such as the restroom signage illustrated below.
If you’re responsible for maintenance or asset management, there are many ways to reward your employees for their contribution. Recognition programs provide great incentive, but small measures go a long way, too. Sometimes, all it takes is the instant gratification of seeing real-time maintenance stats improve. By setting up dashboards showing how much work is in queue, how much has been resolved, how much (or how little) emergency downtime has occurred, your team can see instant results. Just as we like that clean smell of a freshly cleaned room or the straight lines from carefully maneuvering the vacuum cleaner, you may be surprised how many of your staff are motivated simply by seeing the quantifiable results of their direct efforts.
Contact us for practical solutions and real-time measures to support your Maximo system. It may be simpler than you expect!