by Michael Mortimer
Often, businesses managers offer monetary incentives to motivate their employees and keep them engaged at work. Annual bonuses, for example, are used to encourage staff to perform well and meet their set goals for the year.
However, while this may seem like a great strategy to ensure that the company’s objectives are met, recent studies show that financial rewards are becoming less and less effective. For one, employees need to wait for a full year before they can get the incentive, so there’s no immediate pat-on-the-back for a job well done. Also, these bonuses usually have minimal impact on individual employees as these are merely transferred into their pay instead of being presented to them.
When it comes to really motivating employees to love their work and meet their set individual goals, it is important for managers to make them feel valued and appreciated. Being praised in front of the whole team is a great way to make employees feel valued by their superior. In terms of rewards, these need not be expensive, actually. Something as simple as pizza can be very effective in driving a team to perform and meet their objectives.
A psychology professor at Duke University, Dan Ariely, conducted an experiment to prove this point. The experiment involved four groups of workers at a semiconductor factory in Israel who were instructed to assemble a specific number of chips each day for a whole week. At the beginning of the week, Ariely sent out different messages to three out of the four groups, saying that there will be a reward for the team or teams who are able to consistently meet the required number of assembled chips every day. One group was promised a “Well Done!” text message from the boss by the end of the week. Another group would be given a monetary bonus of about $30. And the third group was told that they would be given a voucher for a free pizza. The fourth group was not sent any message or offer.
During the start of the week-long experiment, the group promised with free pizza came out first, showing a 6.7% increase in their productivity over the rest of the other groups. The team promised with the boss’ “Well Done!” yielded a 6.6% increase, while the group promised with a $30 incentive only produced 4.9%. At the end of the week, the group promised with a “Well Done!” text came out as the ultimate winner, with the group promised with free pizza came in second, and the group promised with $30 was third.
This study is proof that people value praise and appreciation more than monetary rewards, something that managers might want to take note of for their next incentive program. And instead of a voucher, another great way to motivate with food is by serving their food at work for everyone to see.
This is a great form of recognition for performing teams. And thanks to online outlets, ordering food for the entire team is now more convenient than ever. This could be in the form of pizza, a bucket of chicken and chips, or even simple snacks like corn fritters to give to everyone while in a long meeting or training class.
There are a lot of ways to encourage loyalty and performance within one’s team. Valuing employees and showing them that they matter in the organization they are part of through the right incentives will motivate them to do their job well, meet their goals, and stay in the company. These incentives need not be expensive or large amounts of money but should make them feel that their presence in the company is appreciated.
Do you think that pizza is a better inventive than bonuses Tell us why or why not in the comments below!
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