Should I Buy Pizza For My Workers?

If there is one thing common to every employer, it is that they all have to face the question of how to motivate their employees. Whether your business is just a startup with four employees or you run a multinational corporation, incentivizing employees is something you will be concerned about like a boss. The only difference is that someone in charge of a multinational corporation can outsource that thinking to the Human Resources division. As the owner of a small business, you are unlikely to afford to outsource it, and you need your employees working at their best. There are hundreds of possible ways to do this, a wage raise, paid vacation, promotion, the list could go on and on. However, if there is one thing common to most of the ways to motivate workers, it is that they are expensive. For a small business trying to establish itself, an all-expense-paid vacation for workers is unlikely to be on the table. You cannot promote employers every time you want them to work better because then, promotion would stop meaning much. The financial implications are not just good for you.

Motivating Your Workers

At this point, you are probably wondering how you will motivate your workers when most of the options are either unaffordable or may not be useful in the long run. You need not wonder too much because there are cheaper options that could achieve significant results. One of such options is buying pizza for your workers. It may seem like a simple move, but it has been extremely effective when it comes to increasing productivity. Perhaps you are still unsure whether it is a good option or not; then, you will be surprised to learn there is a scientific study that backs it up. 

In a study conducted by Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, which he later explained in his book, He selected factory workers who assemble computer chips to be his subjects. Using this particular group of workers is not an accident but a decision made based on the fact that it is easy to quantify their productivity. The group of workers was divided into four. The first group was promised pizza if their week was productive, the second group was promised an amount of about $30 as a bonus if their week was productive, and the third group would get compliments. The fourth group, the control group, was just told to work with no promises. 


At the end of the first day of work, the researcher observed that the group that was promised pizza was more productive than the group promised nothing by as much as 6.7%. As if this is not surprising enough, the simple compliments group was 6.6% more productive than the control group. The least productive of the three groups was the one promised cash bonus, which was only 4.9% better than the control group. By the end of the week, the productivity of those promised cash bonuses dropped by 6.5%.


If you are looking to motivate or appreciate your workers while staying within budget, it appears your best choice is to go for pizza laden with compliments.