A study that no doubt wasted money concluded employers could get employees to work harder by doing one of two things:

  1. Giving them meaningful work
  2. Convincing the employees their work is meaningful when it isn’t.

Please consider How to Get Employees To Work Harder Without Paying Them More.

A new study walks through a solution to an age-old conundrum for employers: how to make employees work harder without paying them more.

The answer is to give them meaningful work, according to research by economists Michael Kosfeld, Susanne Neckermann, and Xiaolan Yang published on the economics commentary website VoxEU. Or at least motivate staff to believe their work has meaning.

Knowing that you matter really does matter, according to the study, “which suggests that the provision of meaning can be a low-cost instrument to stimulate work effort.”

In a survey of 413 students in Hangzhou, China, academics got output to increase by telling a group of study participants that their data-input work was of great importance to a research project. Another group was told the work was just a quality check that would probably never get used. The performance of those told that their work was of great importance ranked about 15% higher in the data-entry task.

Flawed Study

Where’s the control group?

Stressing the negative to half the employees and the positives to another is hardly a valid test.

And as for giving employees more meaningful work … if companies could do that, they would have done so already.

Finally, purposely telling employees lies is going to make for really angry employees when they do discover the truth. … and they will if continually lied to.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock