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Compliments motivate workers better than extra cash

Make a choice from these for a reward of doing an excellent job at work: a compliment from your boss, a bit of extra cash or a free pizza? Surprisingly, people prefer pizza and compliment to extra cash.

Professor Dan Ariely of Duke University carried out a study at a semiconductor factory in Israel which offered workers a variety of rewards for assembling a number of chips each day. First group were promised a cash reward of $30; second, a ‘Well done’ compliment from the boss; third, a voucher of pizza and forth received no message at all. From the entire group, the third group performed with 6.7 percent increase in productivity over other groups, while the second group with ‘Well done’ compliment emerged winner. The cash group costs the company more and resulted in productivity drop of 6.5 percent.

The study shows clearly that people love praise and appreciation.

Professor Adam Grant told The Wall Street Journal : ‘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. But the sense that other people appreciate what you do stick with you.’

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