Praise as Good as Cash: Feed Their Need for Psychic Income recently published an article on research out of the Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences that showed “paying people a compliment appears to activate the same reward center in the brain as paying them cash.”

As we’ve promoted at Globoforce since our founding, simply saying thank you can go a long way in motivating people to achieve more than even they thought possible. A quick “thank you” costs nothing buts pays innumerable dividends. We call this feeding an employee’s need for Psychic Income™ -- social acceptance, increased self-esteem, and self realization – that can never be achieved through compensation. This backs up additional research from a 2004 University of Chicago study that found non-cash incentives were more powerful at boosting performance than cash incentives

So what does this mean in today’s workplace? Employees at all levels – senior leaders, managers, staff – need to actively look for behaviors, actions and attitudes in their colleagues, superiors, and subordinates that are deserving of acknowledgment – even a simple thank you. When expressed frequently, in a meaningful way, saying thank you can transform a company’s culture into a culture of appreciation – a topic I’ve written about in the white paper: Designing Your Company's Social Architecture: Five Steps to Build a Culture of Appreciation across Borders.

Does you company have a culture of appreciation? Do you hear “thank you” frequently for your efforts? Do you thank others on a regular basis for their efforts? Have you seen the impact of this on your workplace?

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