Not Money But Pizza Boosts Employee Productivity

How would you react if you knew that your boss has arranged a large cheesy pizza with your favorite toppings waiting for you? You would jump with excitement, obviously! But what if there was a condition to eat this pizza? That is, you only get to devour the delicious piece of junk after wrapping up that much-awaited assignment. Certainly, you would start working super fast to get the assignment done and land that yummy pizza in.

BURP! Don’t worry, we totally understand. So does the Science. It has been discovered that compliments and pizzas are more likely to boost motivation in employees than cash. Science says pizza boosts employee productivity more than small incentive does. Forget about the credits already! By all means, everything ends at cheese and delicious toppings – literally! A trending research says Pizza is one of the most effective ways to motivate employees. No pun indeed! We, among a majority, would apparently end up choosing the REAL mouth-smacking cheese over some cash. Pizza for productivity is the new cool.

Pizza Boosts Employee Productivity – Get Me My Pepperoni Slice Already!

We need to thank Dan Ariely, a Psychology Professor at Duke University, for ending our deadline motivation woes. In his book, he has mentioned the research he carried out on Israel’s Intel factory employees for a couple of days. Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, his new book challenges the stereotypical norms of employee motivation by offering some fresh perspective on ways to motivate employees.

The research was quite simple. Cash, pizza, or compliments were offered as bonuses to employees who amassed a specific amount of computer chips one day. The good professor also made a group that was not notified of any such activity. That group served as the main “control”. On the assigned day, pizza became the main motivator, hiking the employee productivity by 6.7 percent up more than “control” group. Compliments ended up at 6.6 percent, which is quite close, while the approx. $30 cash bonus trailed behind at 4.9 percent. On the other hand, the individuals who were promised money as bonus apparently ended up performing 13.3 percent worse than “control” group.

As a result, compliments and pizza were named as the greatest motivators for employees – over cash. But it’s also important to realize that as the experiment arrived at an end, compliments won. However, the professor firmly believes that had the pizzas been delivered to the doors of winners instead, it could’ve won the competition. This is because sending pizzas at home would not only serve as a gift alone, instead, it’ll make the employees feel like heroes in their families’ eyes. In other words, everyone loves being appreciated at the workplace as well as home.

Pizza or Cash?

Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton believes that extrinsic motivators do not last for long. They lose their meaning as the time passes by. Your pay raise may feel a huge issue when it’s due, but once it’s done the value won’t remain the same. Following that, you’ll start looking for other motivators like higher job role, etc. However, motivators like compliments, stick with you for throughout your life. You may not remember your first pay hike, but you’ll always remember the first compliment your boss gave to you.

Certainly, some might say, “Thanks, but we’re fine with the cash.” Well, sure, but trying pizza as motivation instead of cash someday is a great thought, nonetheless! Money cannot boost your productivity always. Try to go beyond the old norms. We need to feel happy and appreciated in order to work harder. No matter how old we are, at some point or the other, we all keep fishing for compliments. Don’t we? So a small pizza party or a compliment may seem special sometimes over the cash bonus. Long story short, pizza boosts employee productivity. In case you’re an employer, you must schedule something like this every week. It’ll not only get a job done faster but also perfect. And, do not forget to offer compliments. It’ll make you feel good.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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