If you want your employees to be more productive, tell them their jobs are on the line.
That sounds cold, but according to researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research, it works.
An article in The Atlantic notes that
when the U.S. economy took a dive in 2008, productivity spiked. This could have been because when companies laid off their least productive workers only
the most productive employees remained. But the theory researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research support is that the increasing layoffs inspired
people to work harder so they wouldn’t join the ranks of the unemployed.
In their study, the researchers found that in states where jobs were harder to come by, employees worked harder because they were afraid of losing their
jobs and not being able to find new ones.
Threatening your workers with unemployment isn’t the only way to increase employee efficiency. You could try putting your workers on camera.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brigham Young University, and Washington University in St. Louis found that, when employees at
a restaurant were videotaped to ensure they didn’t steal, thefts not only decreased—productivity and sales increased.
Knowing their supervisors could see their every move, employees probably cut down on procrastination and worked to sell more.
What do you think about these studies?
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