(Credit: Monkey Business Images/iStockphoto)

Laszlo Bock, Google's former human resource executive, has kept a tight lid on the workings of his new company, Humu. In a blog post yesterday, Bock pulled back the curtain on Humu's latest project.

Humu's newest product, the Nudge Engine app, is designed to motivate and increase productivity in the workplace. Bock said the app combines "research, technology, and humanity" to increase employee happiness, productivity, and retention.

The app uses machine learning, behavioral science, and company-specific information like employee commute times to pinpoint a business's drivers.

"Humu's algorithm runs thousands of iterations of proprietary statistical models to determine the unique areas of action that will drive happiness, productivity, and retention for every team at your company. That means every single person in your organization can focus on the change that matters when it matters most," Bock said.

SEE: Google's new 'Work Insights' shows if employees are using Docs and other Google apps

Nudge Engine takes all of this information and generates customized prompts to workers throughout the workday. "Nudges" can encourage basic communication that might get overlooked in the daily grind, like thanking a coworker or asking the opinion of a coworker who usually remains quiet during a meeting.

"Humu's Nudge Engine deploys thousands of customized nudges -- small, personal steps -- throughout the organization to empower every employee, manager, team, and leader as a change agent," Bock said.

Bock developed the app after Professor Richard Thaler's Nobel Prize-winning "nudge theory." The theory proved that small prompts can have a big impact on people's behavior.

Humu's nudges learn over time, improving on timing, messaging, and motivational techniques to inspire individual employees. Bock said the science is transparency in leadership and its direct correlation to employee commitment, effectiveness, and trust in the leader.

"The end result with Humu is a win-win: companies benefit from higher productivity and dramatically lower attrition rates; employees benefit from increased happiness as measured by a sense of meaning in their work, a feeling of being empowered by their leadership, and trust in the organization they serve," Bock said.

Nudge Engine is part of a growing trend of companies using AI to streamline workdays.

Companies interested in trying out Nudge Engine can request a demo through the Humu website.

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[h2] Takeaways

  1. After operating in stealth mode, former Google exec's company Humu developed the Nudge Engine productivity app.
  2. The app sends "nudges" to employees throughout the day which motivates them to stay in communication with each other. Ultimately the app seeks to build better relationships and trust in the company's leadership.

[h2] Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.