Fighting Procrastination in the Workplace: An Experiment

47 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2011  

Ximena Cadena

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Antoinette Schoar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alexandra Cristea

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Heber M. Delgado-Medrano

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 2011

Abstract

In this paper we test whether procrastination and planning problems affect the performance, compensation and work satisfaction among employees. We conducted a randomized controlled experiment with a bank in Colombia to change the frequency and intensity with which employees received reminders about goal achievements. We also provided small in-kind prizes every week to remind employees of their goal achievement. Loan officers in the treatment group showed strong improvements in their goal achievements, better work load distribution, and higher monthly compensation (not including the value of the small prizes). The intervention also improved worker satisfaction and reduced stress levels, without affecting the quality of the loan officers' portfolios. We show that including branch managers (the supervisors of the loan officers) in the intervention was central in achieving these results, since they played a key role in reinforcing the reminders and helping employees with planning problems.

Suggested Citation

Cadena, Ximena and Schoar, Antoinette and Cristea, Alexandra and Delgado-Medrano, Heber M., Fighting Procrastination in the Workplace: An Experiment (April 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16944. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1806117

Ximena Cadena (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Antoinette Schoar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

50 Memorial Drive, E52-447
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-3763 (Phone)
617-258-6855 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alexandra Cristea

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Heber M. Delgado-Medrano

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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