Want to motivate people? Give them pizza

Pizza and compliments are the best for of motivation, apparently

(Image credit: MATT BARON/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock)

Pizza and compliments are the best for of motivation, apparently

Forget ‘Let them eat cake’ – if you really want to get your colleagues onside, the best thing to do is feed them pizza apparently.

We know, it sounds ridiculous. But when it comes to the power of persuasion, a recent study has found that there really is nothing more motivational than pizza. Not even money.

Yep, according to psychology Professor Dan Ariely of Duke University, a slice of gooey cheese and tomato goodness really is the best form of encouragement.

The research took place in a semiconductor factory in Israel, where employees were divided into four groups and each sent a message. One group was told they’d get pizza, the second was sent a compliment, the third group was told they’d get a cash bonus and the fourth received no message in order to act as a control group.

The results clearly showed that offering employees pizza was the best way to incentivise employees, with productivity within the pizza group rising 6.7%. This was closely followed by the compliment group, in which productivity levels also increased by a close 6.6%.


Surprisingly though, the worst motivator was the cash bonus which only increased productivity by 4.9% compared to the control group.

In fact, cash was such a poor motivator that on the second day of work, the group that had been incentivised with money actually performed 1.32% worse than the control group that had had no incentive at all.

Sure, this evened out over the next few days, but the week as a whole the cash bonus ended up costing the company money AND resulted in a 6.5% drop in productivity.

Proof then that when it comes down to it, food really is better than money. Amen to that.

So if you really do want to motivate your employees, order them a pizza and shower them with praise. Then sit back and wait for the ‘World’s Best Boss’ mug to appear on your desk the next day. You’re welcome.

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