Article | PLoS ONE | September 18, 2013

Prosocial Bonuses Increase Employee Satisfaction and Team Performance

by Lalin Anik, Lara B. Aknin, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Michael I. Norton and Jordi Quoidbach

Abstract

In three field studies, we explore the impact of providing employees and teammates with prosocial bonuses, a novel type of bonus spent on others rather than on oneself. In Experiment 1, we show that prosocial bonuses in the form of donations to charity lead to happier and more satisfied employees at an Australian bank. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we show that prosocial bonuses in the form of expenditures on teammates lead to better performance in both sports teams in Canada and pharmaceutical sales teams in Belgium. These results suggest that a minor adjustment to employee bonuses—shifting the focus from the self to others—can produce measurable benefits for employees and organizations.

Keywords: Satisfaction; Groups and Teams; Performance; Compensation and Benefits; Giving and Philanthropy; Banking Industry; Sports Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; Canada; Belgium; Australia;

Citation:

Anik, Lalin, Lara B. Aknin, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Michael I. Norton, and Jordi Quoidbach. "Prosocial Bonuses Increase Employee Satisfaction and Team Performance." PLoS ONE 8, no. 9 (September 2013): 1–8.