Pizza motivates employees more than compliments from the boss or cash, study says

DUBAI: A study led by a renowned psychologist has shown that pizza motivates employees more than a compliment from the boss or a cash voucher.

The study, done by Dan Ariely, James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, as part of his book, “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations,” involved sending three message to a control group of workers at a factory at the start of a work week to determine which would make them get the most work done.

The first offered them a cash bonus worth $30; the second said their boss would compliment them for a job well done; and the third promised a voucher for free pizza, reported The Independent, a British online newspaper.

“After just one day, pizza proved to be the most motivating message, with productivity levels increasing by 6.7 percent ahead of a control group who received no messages,” said the report.

Compliments proved almost as motivating as pizza, the report said, increasing productivity by 6.6 percent.

An interesting finding is that cash bonus motivated workers by just 4.9 percent with those receiving money sliding down on their productivity by 13.2 percent, according to the report. “By the end of the week, Ariely noticed productivity levels had dropped for this group by 6.5 per cent drop in total,” The Independent said.

Ariely’s work has been featured in a variety of media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Business 2.0, Scientific American, Science and CNN, according to Amazon.com.

Staff Report

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