Business > To Boost Productivity, Try Social Incentives Instead of Higher Pay

| April 15, 2015

HBR940

Harvard Business Review

In an experiment, half the university students who were hired for a tedious, repetitive job – entering bibliographic records into a database – were willing to sacrifice part of their pay to increase their employer’s donation to a charity, say Mirco Tonin and Michael Vlassopoulos of the University of Southampton in the UK. Moreover, such “social incentives” increased workers’ average productivity by 13%. Incentives of this type enhance employees’ identification with the job, the researchers say.

SOURCE: Corporate Philanthropy and Productivity: Evidence from an Online Real Effort Experiment

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