Ever go into a large restaurant or department store and see an "employee of the month" poster behind the cash register, complete with a photo of the worker? While this may seem kind of silly to a customer, since there is no cash bonus attached to this (only stockbrokers seem to get that), it turns out to be a major motivating tool for the business–something that costs them nothing but greatly increases worker productivity.

In the May 1st edition of the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Shea reports on a Swiss study in which workers were divided into two groups, both of which were give the same task. The only difference was that one group was told that they were competing for a "certificate of special thanks." The group hoping to get the piece of paper were 12% more productive.

Does this demonstrate that workers tend to be stupid and naïve? Or does it show that employers will get a lot more out of them if they remember to say "thanks" occasionally? It comes down to trust–and how big companies are going to get consumers to trust them, especially after the recent economic scandals.

Those fast-talking disclaimers at the end of TV advertisements for drug products may appear to be an accepted white noise by audiences, but new research suggests that they have a greater impact on buyer behavior than previously thought. Researcher David Allan finds that the speed at which the disclaimer is delivered can erode viewers’ trust in the brands being advertised.

Most often a list of limits on special deals, terms and conditions, or the side effects of prescription drugs, disclaimers are there as a fast–sometimes VERY fast–summary of the important information buyers need before they make a purchase. But as necessary as the information is, marketers frequently restrict them to only four of the 30 seconds of the typical commercial.

We sure do wish our many readers and listeners would say "thanks" occasionally–by SUPPORTING this website! It cost surprisingly little and you get SO MUCH from it. It’s time to get YOUR photo on the wall: Subscribe today!

And here’s the way to get a BIG reward: The chance to read Whitley Strieber’s new sequel to Communion, "Solving the Communion Enigma." He thinks it’s the best book he’s written about the Visitors since Communion and it contains everything he’s learned since then (which is a LOT!)

Once you have purchased the book, you’ll need to either forward the e-receipt or send as a jpg, screenshot (etc.) to the publisher. You will then receive an autoresponse that will include a link to a page where you can input your address. Tarcher will send a special "Communion Enigma" bookplate out to the recipients shortly before publication date. To learn more, click here.