Leadership

Lunchtime Links: Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad, Too

By / Mar 7, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Why monetary motivation causes productivity deviation. Also: one inventive expert’s insight into road bumps that impede innovation.

Offering a bonus can make employees more dedicated to a project, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

So says The Build Network’s Adam Vaccaro, referencing the results of a psychological study from Radboud University in the Netherlands. It found that participants whose brains normally had a high level of dopamine—the chemical that stimulates reward-seeking behavior—proved less skilled at accomplishing a designated analytical task when they were promised a bigger reward than did those who were offered a smaller one.

While Vaccaro says the research exposes a noteworthy characteristic, he points out that the study wasn’t conducted in a work environment.

“[E]ven if it was in a business atmosphere, and even if you knew all your employees had high dopamine levels, the task itself was still the sort of deadline-driven work that required a very specific solution,” he writes. “So the findings might not be applicable to more collaborative, open-ended, left-brain sort of work.”

Still, Vaccaro says, the study makes an intriguing finding on how rewards don’t always equal a greater work performance.

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Is creativity really that hard to harness? Writer and speaker Gregg Fraley offers up eight politically incorrect statements frequently made about innovation:

Other good reads today

Keep the creative juices flowing. Inc.com suggests establishing “hot groups” made up of employees equally enthusiastic about the same bright ideas.

Trying to win folks over on social media? Cvent has some tips on how to break through the “social media circle of trust.”

Creating a strategic plan for your nonprofit is one thing. Implementing it across various departments is another, Meredith Low writes.

As baby boomers pass the baton to millennials, you need to hold onto their knowledge. XYZ University shares some ways to do it.

Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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