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What motivates staff – money, pizza or compliments?

CultureSeptember 28, 2016

What motivates staff – money, pizza or compliments? (Last Updated On: September 28, 2016)

A recent study conducted by Dan Ariel in his book Payoff: the hidden logic which shapes our motivations used four groups of employees to try and determine the key for motivating staff. The results of his study were surprising, to say the least.

Ariel wanted to discover what motivates employees to do their best work. Would it be a compliment from their manager, a free pizza or was the promise of a cash bonus enough to boost productivity?

He conducted his study on four groups of workers at an Intel Factory in Israel. The first group of employees were sent a message at the beginning of the week promising them a cash bonus of $30. The second group was promised a voucher for pizza, and the third group were told they would receive a direct message from their boss with compliments.

The fourth group of workers received no message, in order to act as a control group.

After the first day of work, the incentive of a free pizza was the most motivating factor, with employee productivity levels increasing by 6.7%. The promise of compliments from the boss saw a 6.6% productivity increase, whereas the cash bonus only saw productivity increase by 4.9%

However, over the course of the week, the group who were promised compliments from their boss continued to become more and more productive, whereas the group of employees who were offered a cash bonus actually became 6.5% less productive.

The results of Ariel’s study also fit with a report released earlier in the year by Hays, Staff Engagement: Ideas for action which found that 87% of staff will go above and beyond if they felt appreciated and valued by their employer. This report also noted that 62% of employees stated they would search for another job if they did not feel valued in their workplace.

Workplace culture is certainly a key factor when engaging and retaining staff. Letting your staff know they are a valued member of the team can go a long way, and has a large impact on engagement, loyalty and staff overall moral.

As Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist we can assist with your employment relations or health and safety concerns. Call us today on 1300 651 415 for more information.

Sourced from Learning & Development Professional

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