U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Menu

Does Donating Bonus Money Make Folks Happy?

Study also suggests that giving boosts team performance.

Does Donating Bonus Money Make Folks Happy?

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Offering workers a bonus that they can give to charities or their co-workers may increase job satisfaction and team sales, according to a new study.

In one experiment, some employees at a bank were given a $25 or $50 voucher to donate to the charity of their choice on behalf of the company. Those who donated the larger amount reported higher levels of happiness and job satisfaction than those who donated the smaller amount or did not donate.

In other experiments, the researchers measured the performance of 11 sports teams in Canada and 14 drug-sales teams in Belgium after a third of the people on each team were given $20 to spend either on themselves or on their teammates.

When participants spent their bonuses on teammates, the whole team performed much better than when participants spent their bonuses on themselves, according to Lalin Anik, of the School of Business at Duke University, and colleagues.

The researchers said the boost in team performance might increase earnings as a whole. For example, every $10 given to a person on a drug-sales team to spend on their colleagues led to a $52 increase in sales.

The study was published Sept. 18 in the journal PLoS One.

Although the study found associations between giving away bonus money and increased worker satisfaction or better team performance, it did not establish cause-and-effect relationships.

"[The findings] suggest that a minor adjustment to employee bonuses -- shifting the focus from the self to others -- can create a more altruistic, satisfying and productive workplace," Anik said in a journal news release.

More information

HRVoice.org outlines ways to increase employee satisfaction.  

SOURCE: PLoS One, news release, Sept. 18, 2013

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay.  All rights reserved.

HealthDayNews articles are derived from various sources and do not reflect federal policy. healthfinder.gov does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in news stories. For more information on health topics in the news, visit Health News on healthfinder.gov.

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®.