NYMAG – In his upcoming book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, Ariely recounts an experiment involving employees at a semiconductor factory at Intel in Israel, which unfolded pretty much exactly like the scenario described above. Workers got one of those three messages at the start of their workweek, though about a quarter of them got no message and no promise of a bonus, thus serving as Ariely’s control group. This factory turned out to be an ideal venue in which to conduct a study like this one, because the employees’ output was tangible — they were to assemble a certain number of computer chips per day — and thus, measurable.
After the first day, pizza proved to be the top motivator, increasing productivity by 6.7 percent over the control group, thereby just barely edging out the promise of a compliment (in the form of a text message from the boss that said “Well done!”). Those in the compliment condition increased their productivity by 6.6 percent as compared to the control group. But the worst motivator, much to the company’s surprise, was the cash bonus, which increased productivity by just 4.9 percent as compared to the control group.
This is example 950 why I want to be a researcher. “Hmm I bet if we give these employees pizza they will be more motivated to work.” No shit, science man. There is literally nothing that can’t be done with the reward of pizza. People wonder how the ancient Egyptians were able to build the architectural wonders that are the pyramids. Some people say that they had advances knowledge of simple machines and a workforce comprised entirely slave labor that were treated as disposable workers. I don’t think that was the case. I think Pharaoh picked up his phone, called up the boys, and said, “Hey, you guys want to come over and help me build my enormous, completely unnecessary tomb? I’ll order pizza!” and the workers came running.
There’s nothing that can’t be done with pizza. They need to fire up a couple of zas and get the Israelis and Palestine to have a sit down. Guarantee that conflict is resolved inside of an hour.