Study Says Pizza Motivates Employees To Work Harder

This researcher found that pizza - not cash - motivates you to work harder.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Happy employees work harder. But money isn't the only way to motivate people in the workplace. It seems that the real secret to inspiring us at work is pizza.

Dan Ariely shares this groundbreaking (and delicious) research in his book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, per NY Mag. In it, he describes an experiment held with employees at an Intel factory in Israel. 

Free pizza was the top motivator and increased productivity by 6.7 percent for employees, versus a group that had to eat their own boring food. Another key factor in inspiring workers was a simple nice word. Compliments increased productivity by 6.6 percent. Interestingly, the worst motivator was cold, hard cash. A cash bonus only increased productivity by 4.9 percent.

So why do pizza and compliments work so well? Wharton professor Adam Grant has explained that the motivational power of money and prestige, which most employers rely on, fades while appreciation lasts. “Extrinsic motivators can stop having much meaning — your raise in pay feels like your just due, your bonus gets spent, your new title doesn’t sound so important once you have it,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you.” 

So, the next time your boss offers you a pay raise, ask for extra cheese and a kind word instead.

[Photo: Getty Images]



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