Why pizza is the key to motivating staff

by L&D01 Sep 2016
Are you looking for a cheap and easy way to motivate staff?
It might be time to dial the number of your local pizza restaurant, suggests a new study.
Dan Ariel, in his book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, talks about how he conducted research involving workers at an Intel Factory in Israel.
The employees were sent one of three messages at the beginning of the week promising them a cash bonus (of about $30), a voucher for pizza or a text message from the boss (saying “Well Done!”).
A fourth group got no message and no offer to act as a control to measure the productivity levels.
After the first day of the study, pizza ended up being the strongest motivator of employees, as productivity levels had jumped by 6.7% more than those in the control group.
The promise of compliments saw productivity increase by 6.6% and the cash bonus caused productivity to go up by 4.9%.
Interestingly, over the course of the week compliments proved to be the biggest overall motivator and the cash bonus actually made workers 6.5% less productive than the control group.
According to the New York Magazine, Ariely believes pizza would have come first if his original plan for it to be delivered to the workers’ homes had been followed through.
He said in the book: “This way […] we not only would give them a gift, but we would also make them heroes in the eyes of their families.”
Earlier this year, L&D Professional reported that the two words ‘thank you’ have a significant impact on staff motivation, engagement and loyalty.
The report by Hays, Staff Engagement: Ideas for action, found that 87% of employees would go above and beyond if they were made to feel valued by their employer.
Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, said one of the great benefits of acknowledging performance is that it costs nothing.
“Letting your staff know that their hard work and successes are valued has a huge impact on staff engagement, loyalty and morale,” he said.
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