Pizza motivates employees to work harder than cash—study

/ 06:30 PM September 07, 2016

Hard work for slices of pizza.

A recent study found that employees who were promised free pizza vouchers  worked harder than if they were to receive cash bonuses.


Dan Ariely, a psychology professor at Duke University, writes about his findings in his newly published book entitled “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations”.

Ariely conducted his research at a factory in Israel, where employees received messages telling them that once they achieve a certain amount of work done, they will receive a special prize. One group of workers were notified that they would receive $30 upon accomplishing a certain task, while another group was promised with a free pizza voucher. The third group would receive an encouraging text from their boss, and the last group had no incentives or rewards.


According to the result, the pizza group dominated the experiment, with an astounding 6.7 percent increase in output compared with the bonus group’s 4.9 per cent productivity. After a few weeks, the “Well done!” text team finished with 6.6 percent increase, beating the fourth group, the New York Magazine reported.

Making staff feel appreciated at work is a key to better work performance. Tangible things such as pizza and cash bonuses are just a second option for the workers.

“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,” Adam Grant, a psychology professor, told The Wall Street Journal last year.

“But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you,” he added. Gianna Francesca Catolico

TOPICS: cash bonus, Pizza, Study
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.