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Opting In vs. Opting Out

Posted on Jul 2nd 2019

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Opting In vs. Opting Out

You’ve likely heard of decision fatigue: “the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.”

It’s also likely that many employees at mid or higher levels have succumb to this issue at one point or another.

For companies looking to improve employee job satisfaction, reducing decision fatigue can be an enormous benefit. Luckily, there’s one simple way to support that process:

Turn your opt-in programs into opt-out programs.

Consider employee training programs, and even the retirement planning benefits you might offer. What is your adoption rate? Do you struggle to get people involved, and does that often lead to other consequences, such as lack of ongoing awareness, inconsistencies in processes, or overall disengagement?

If employees are bogged down by the number of decisions they have to make in any given day, requesting participation in programs or trainings that require thinking through many options and alternatives is likely to not only add to their burden, but decrease their participation as well.

Opt-in programs are easy to tune out. Attention spans, hours, and intellectual energy are limited. It’s an easy thing for employees to choose to spend it elsewhere.

Opt-out programs, however, are harder to ignore. Employees are already enrolled and participating, so the decision to opt-out becomes the easier factor to set aside.

If employees benefit from opt-out programs, but aren’t required to expend the same time and energy evaluating whether or not they care to participate, you’ve found a compelling win-win that can lead to increased satisfaction and engagement, and decreased decision fatigue.