Ariely et al., 2005 If a task was purely mechanical, rewards worked as expected, “But once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill a larger reward led to poorer performance.” “In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led to worse performance.”
Irlenbusch & Ruchala, 2009 London School of Economics Examined 56 companies with financial incentive programs “We find that financial incentives …. can result in a negative impact on overall performance.”
Alfie Kohn, 1993, 1999 “Punished by Rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise and other bribes.”
Four Kinds of Motivation Positive Negative Extrinsic Intrinsic “Do this report and get a bonus.” “I really want to do this report.” “Do this report or you’re fired.” “I really don’t want to do this report but I’ll feel awful if I don’t.” After Alexander Kjerulf, 2006
"If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.“ Abraham Maslow
"The more evolved and psychologically healthy people get, the more will enlightened management policy be necessary in order to survive in competition, and the more handicapped will be an enterprise with an authoritarian policy.“ Abraham Maslow
“On days when workers have the sense that they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are the most positive and their drive to succeed is at it’s peak.” Amabile & Kramer, 2010
“[Making even incremental progress in one’s work] … is more frequently associated with positive emotions and high motivation than any other workday event.” Amabile & Kramer, 2010
“On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are the lowest.” Amabile & Kramer, 2010
'Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.' (Plant Manager, Delco Corporation)
'No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them.' (R&D supervisor, 3M Corp)
Quote from the Boss: 'Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.' (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)
'We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.' (Supervisor, AT&T, Long Lines Division)
Incentives, Motivation And Workplace Performance: Research & Best Practices R E S E A R C H S P O N S O R E D B Y: The International Society for Performance Improvement R E S E A R C H F U N D E D B Y: S P R I N G 2 0 0 2 www.TheIRF.orgwww.ispi.org
Significant meta-analysis and survey findings reveal: Properly selected and administered tangible incentives (cash and awards) can dramatically increase work performance. Carefully selected, implemented, and monitored tangible incentives increase incentivized work performance an average of 22%. Tangible incentives can significantly increase one’s intrinsic interest in incentivized work tasks. Previous claims that tangible incentives often cause unintentional decreases in the intrinsic (personal) value for work tasks are not supported by current research.
Tangible incentives (T.I.) work to different degrees according to the purpose of the incentive: To encourage something never done before: T.I. yielded an average 15% increase in performance (the lowest performance goal). To focus on and persist in working toward a goal: T.I. increase performance by 27%. To encourage “thinking smarter”: T.I. increased performance an average of 26%. To incentivize quality versus quantity goals: T.I. had an equal effect on both quantity goals and quality goals.
Some necessary conditions for incentives to work: Utility: The incentivized task is worth the effort. Control: The employee has the ability to earn the award if he/she chooses. Goals: The goals are both specific and challenging.
It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine-to-five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.” Malcolm Gladwell, “Outliers”, 2008