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Hawthorn Experiment

Just been listening to this intriguing podcast from the BBC’s World Service programming. It’s part of a series of radio programmes called More or Less and some of the observations are fascinating myth busters some which I’m sure you’ll have come across.

This one, the Hawthorn Experiment, covers the motivation of a workforce; researchers found that when they changed the physical circumstances of factory workers it had no real effect. If they reduced the lighting, the workers worked harder; if they increased the lighting, they worked harder. If they extended the days, the workers worked hard, if they shortened the days, they worked harder. What they concluded after some time was that motivating the workers wasn’t to do with the physical circumstances but was far more in relation to how the workers felt they were personally being treated. Being part of the experiment was more interesting than their usual work and they felt valued.

That’s also one of the big benefits of using video to communicate with employees is a great motivator; helping staff members to feel valued, recognised for their achievements and just a part of a business can make a big difference to the way they work.

Have a listen to the podcast, it’s a fascinating 10 minutes:





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