Increase Employee Productivity by Over 50% Without Additional Incentives

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Mr. Zhang is a senior manager at a large telecom company based in China. This company has become a large MNO with significance presence in all major economies. They have even built a large R&D, sales, and manufacturing center in in the Silicon Valley California. To motivate employees in North America, Mr. Zhang has been offering them significant bonuses and salary increases, as it had been doing in China. Is the best strategy?

Fortunately, a simpler and cheaper solution exists for Mr. Zhang. Giving employees with individualistic mindsets (for example, Americans) minor choices, such as choosing the model of their office computer, choosing their work timings, and choosing when to work on different tasks, makes Americans work on difficult tasks 59% longer.

The story is quite different for employees with collectivistic mindsets (like Asians). Instead of giving employees minor choices or just assigning them something by default, they should be told that their boss made a personal choice for them. So the boss should personally choose the model of the office computer for the employee or choose the work timings that would be most suitable for them, along with providing a clear rationale for these choices. Asians work on difficult tasks 58% longer when managers choose a task for subordinates.

So to maximize employee motivation, Mr. Zhang can use different strategies in different countries, both of which will cost Mr. Zhang much less than giving employees additional incentives.


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