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Carrot works better than stick in motivating workers

A new study has found that workers respond better to rewards than penalties, challenging previous research that said threats are more effective in boosting worker productivity and effort.

Researchers conducted an experiment in which participants played the roles of supervisor and employee with some employees subjected to a bonus program and others subjected to a penalty program.

Employees under the bonus program were found to exhibit more effort and researchers attributed this to greater “trust” in the supervisor.

“What this means for companies is that employees who receive bonuses for their efforts will work even harder, increasing productivity and potentially bolstering profits,” associate professor of accounting Karen Sedatole said.

Read more at Michigan State University

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