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2 min read

Does Positive Reinforcement in the Workplace Work?

If you have noticed that revenue, productivity, and customer satisfaction have plummeted, your company’s team might need some reassurance. Without your team, where would you be? Leadership styles vary from company-to-company, but the most important thing is that the leader is doing his or her job correctly. As a leader, you need to be nurturing your workforce constantly. From praising them for achieving a target to rewarding them with incentives, even the smallest thing can brighten up a person’s day.

The happier your team is when performing everyday tasks in the workplace, the more productive they will be when working alone or as part of a group. On that note, let’s take a moment to learn about positive reinforcement and how it could benefit your company as a whole.

Understanding Positive Reinforcement

The goal of positive reinforcement is to boost overall performance through rewarding employees and motivating them. Job commitment generally grows when a leader successfully reinforces, whether it is by creating a fun environment to prevent job dissatisfaction or by praising members of your team for any new ideas they can come up with. A good example of positive reinforcement is when a company offers a bonus at the end of every month for whoever has outdone themselves.

When and How to Critique your Staff

Although you want to show your employees that you are a motivational leader, you don’t want to lose their respect by constantly praising them when credit is not due. It is imperative that you know when to critique your staff as a way of leveraging the power of positive reinforcement.

Here are a few examples of times when your team may require a little bit of encouragement:

  • Employee(s) Under-Performing – Passion drives workers to perform to the best of their ability, so if the fire is burning out, reinforce their love for their job.
  • Addressing a Problem – In the event that you have noticed a member of your team is unproductive or having difficulties with something, sit down with them one-on-one. Evoke emotion and connect with them on a personal level to successfully enforce change, and rectify any existing problems.
  • Team Accomplishments – Try not to favor one employee over another when dishing out the positive feedback. Also, you should avoid making the mistake of telling someone how good they are at their job too often; it will lose its significance.

So long as the following basic guidelines are taken into account, the process of positive reinforcement will have a better outcome:

  • Be realistic with your goals.
  • Act in a sincere and genuine manner.
  • Clarify what your employee did correctly, so you can encourage similar behavior in future.
  • Immediately respond to changes in behavior and/or productivity.
  • Remain unpredictable and surprise your team with reinforcements.

After implementing certain tactics, you will be surprised at the profound effect it will have on your team.

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