Academic Research in Action


workplace motivation
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Addressing High Churn in the Hospitality Sector

The IRF partnered with researchers at the University of South Carolina and Hong Kong Polytechnic University to conduct a series of experiments studying the relationship between employee satisfaction and engagement and turnover in the hospitality industry.

workplace motivation
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: The Role of Incentives, Rewards and Recognition in Addressing Quiet Quitting

Today’s workforce seems to desire more from work than in the past, including better conditions, better leadership, more flexibility, and greater purpose. Incentives professionals should work with leaders across the organization to identify barriers to full engagement and productivity, then use rewards to address them.

recognition
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Recognition: The Hard Science Behind Rewards & Behaviors 

We discuss the neurochemical activity that takes place when a reward taps emotion and becomes memorable. We also look at how these neurochemicals can lead to changes that alter long-term habits and behaviors.

incentive program design
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Can You Recession-Proof Your Incentives?

The September 2022 report from the Labor Department’s inflation report predicts additional interest hikes to come; hikes that may very well depress spending and demand sufficiently to spark a recession. No matter the industry, firms should maintain their efforts to create a better employee experience – including more flexibility, balance, purposeful work, DE&I initiatives, and…

recognition
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Recognition: The Problem and the Remedy – Active Constructive Responding

A recent IRF survey revealed that recognition was not considered an effective motivator by many respondents. Allan Schweyer, IRF’s Chief Academic Advisor, took a deep dive into the research to gain a better understanding of this surprising data. What he found was that recognition needs to be meaningful to have the intended motivational impact.

workplace motivation
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Extrinsic Rewards Can Spark Intrinsic Motivation 

When confronted with the myth that extrinsic rewards crowd out intrinsic motivation, reference academic research, motivational theory, and empirical evidence to set the record straight.   In a recent interview with an industry veteran about motivating the remote workforce, we got to talking about the widespread assumption that extrinsic rewards ‘crowd out’ natural motivation among workers.…

program design
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Non-Cash Rewards in a Period of High Inflation

Non-Cash Rewards in a Period of High Inflation: Scope Sensitivity and General Evaluability Theory Firms should review and optimize their incentives and rewards programs to address the unique workforce challenges they face in 2022. Inflation in the United States has reached an annual rate of 8.5%, heights not seen since the early 1980s.[i] Though wages…

program design
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Loss Aversion and Incentive Design

Of the few dozen business books critiqued in Academic Research in Action thus far in 2022, The Voltage Effect by University of Chicago economist John A. List counts among the most insightful. List comes from the hard-nosed “Chicago School,” that includes Milton Friedman. Friedman’s free market theories underpinned economic policy under Ronald Reagan and Margaret…

Recruiting
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Signaling Theory and the Role of Incentives and Rewards in Attracting Talent

March 2022 The Covid-19 pandemic initially drove mass layoffs, vaulting the US unemployment rate to almost 15% at its peak in April 2020, the highest in more than 70 years.[1] In Covid’s continuing wake, however, the jobless rate has dropped precipitously, to just over 2% for degreed workers and 4% overall.[2] This and unprecedented churn…

workplace motivation
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Social Reinforcement and Peer Recognition Networks

February 2022 After two years of pandemic-driven disruption, many of us have become amateur students of epidemiology. The manner in which contagions diffuse – or do not – should concern leaders across every industry, but not just to combat Covid-19. The spread of social contagions will play a critical role in late-stage and post-pandemic recovery.…

mental accounting theory
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Mental Accounting Theory and the Efficacy of Non-Cash Rewards

January 2022 In 1999, behavioral economist Richard Thaler published his groundbreaking mental accounting theory. In it, Thaler describes how people tend to code and organize their money and expenses, in effect, putting different value on the same amounts of money depending on how they classify it (e.g, ‘fun’ money versus money to pay the bills).…

workplace motivation
Academic Research In Action

Academic Research in Action: Incentives & Rewards in Remote and Hybrid Workforce Management

Throughout their 2020 book, Lessons from the Titans, Wall Street veterans Scott Davis, Rob Wertheimer, and Carter Copeland cite incentives as one of three prime managerial levers that signal what’s important, shape employee actions and behaviors, and build the culture: “Where the top of the organization influences culture is on actions and incentive” How much…