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Pizza and Productivity

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Imagine this. You’ve just dragged yourself to work on a Monday morning. Among the mist of planning and your second or third cup of coffee comes one of three emails, all of which promise a different reward if you get everything done at the end of the day. One promises a cash bonus. Another says your boss will give you a compliment. The last one says you’ll receive a voucher for free pizza. This is just what happened in a study led by Dan Ariely. So which one was the most motivating for the workers?

The Study

This experiment involved workers from a semiconductor factory at Intel in Israel. Workers got one of these messages at the start of the workweek and one quarter did not receive any message (the control group). At this factory, the employees’ output was tangible as they were to assemble a certain number of computer chips a day.

The Results

Compared to the control group, the number of computer chips produced by the pizza group increased by 6.7% on the first day. This just edged out the promise of a compliment, whose productivity increased by 6.6%. The worst motivator was the cash bonus, whose productivity increased by 4.9%. This continued on through the week. Surprisingly, on the second day, the cash bonus group performed 13.2% worse than the control group. Their productivity leveled out but overall the cash bonus ended up costing the company more and resulted in a 6.5% drop in productivity.

Pizza and Compliments

It may have been surprising to the company that these two performed the best, but it is not a surprise to us. These results indicate that people are not motivated to work with money alone. In fact, people tend to work harder if they feel appreciated. Over time, extrinsic motivators, like a raise in pay, can stop having meaning. Intrinsic motivators, like a positive experience or a compliment, will stick with people better because it is a sense that yourself, or other people, appreciate what you are doing.

Increase Productivity. Order Pizza

Don’t drop another box of filing on your employees’ desks. Order a pizza! At Pie-O-Mine/Greens, our brick oven pizzas have a unique flavor and presentation that can cause any foodie to wish that they owned a brick oven of their own. Have some health-conscious employees? Don’t worry. We also make customizable salads! Everyone can get what they want! With two great locations in East Amherst and Orchard Park, you can order online and have your pizza or salad ready for pick up by lunchtime!