Piper Orange is the New Black

What Small Change can you Make to Promote Employee Productivity

In many businesses a key economic driver is employee productivity.  Obviously if you are able to get the same amount of people to produce more, your business will be more profitable.


Traditional mechanisms for productivity revolve around financial or tangible rewards – gifts or similar.  Although these types of incentives have the potential to be really effective, they also share some downsides.  Financial rewards can set a new expectation for the future, if an employee doesn’t get rewarded similarly might in actual fact be demotivated.


Adam Grant a professor at the Wharton Business School believed that employees often failed to live up to their potential due to one simple fact; they’ve lost track of the significance and meaning of their job.


Grant tested this theory in the call centre of the university tasked with persuading alumni to make donations to the University’s scholarship fund.


Call centre employees were divided randomly into 3 groups:


Personal Impact – The first group were read stories written by other employees detailing the personal benefits of the role.  Salary and opportunities for skills and career development were typically spoken about.


Task Significance – The second group were read stories written by students this time detailing the enormous impact the scholarship had provided them and how it allowed them to achieve cherished goals.


Control – The third group was the control group and no stories of any kind were provided to them.


When Grant assessed the outcomes of the three groups he found the following:


Control and Personal Impact groups had no significant difference in the results delivered.  However the Task Significance group vastly outperformed the other two groups.  Here are the results.


The Task Significance group achieved twice the amount of pledges.

The Task Significance group raised twice the weekly funds as the other two groups.


So in your business when you are looking to maximise productivity of your staff, remind your people of the significance of the role they perform.


* Orange is the New Black Manufacturing Image: http://www.melty.com/orange-is-the-new-black-season-3-episode-7-recap-norma-the-good-witch-or-bad-witch-galerie-2688-2851.html

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