Using Reinforcement With Your Staff
People all over the world have learned the principle of reinforcement. When you use this skill right, you come out with better workers that complete projects on time the way you want them to be completed. So learn a bit about this phenomenon of reinforcement to use it with your employees.
1. Jackpots- When workers are doing particularly well, reward them in an unusually great way. A spontaneous picnic or party is a fun way to unwind and it shows that you reward success. When people feel successful, they work harder.
2. Punishment- Punishment only shows you what you are doing wrong instead of what you are doing right. You can be spanked for yelling again and again without understanding that you should be quiet if you are not told to practice that exact alternative. Often there are many bad practices to choose from, and punishment does not make clear the good ones.
3. Be Quick And Clear- Reinforce right away. When an employee does something well, tell him or her right away instead of waiting for a more convenient time to do so. When people are rewarded, they learn to continue the act previous to the reward. So if I hug you right away for a compliment, you will continue to compliment me (assuming that my hug is reinforcement for you). But if I wait until you have complimented me and then said something mean about another person, you may think that my praise if for gossiping. This works on a conscious and subconscious level, so be careful about the timing of your reinforcement.
4. Keep It Up- It may seem a chore to keep up on the reinforcement, but do it anyway. Incentives keep employees working hard. If it helps, schedule out your reinforcement. Every couple of days, complement a certain employee. Variable schedules work better with rewards, though. This is why casinos do so well. When we do not know when we will get a reward, we keep expecting it; so we keep coming back for it. Here are ideas to show signs of appreciation.
What are some of the best ways to reinforce?
The points system has been found to work well. One company set up a system so that every transaction you make, you get a reward point. When you meet the requirements for the deal, you get an extra point. If you fail miserably, you get no points. This is taking away the reward when someone does not earn it, which is a good practice to implement.
The company also rewarded points during busy times when employees worked longer than their shift or came in when called. This set up a way to be efficient with wages. People were not scheduled for usually slow times, but when a busy season came, workers flocked to their desk for a few extra points. These points translated into gifts. Gifts were listed in a “treasure box” on the company website. It was easy to view possible gifts on work breaks. This kept the incentive always visible and the workers trying their best.
A research study used tokens, much like points, to get people to stop smoking. Subjects were put in the controlled environment of a therapeutic facility for a few months. They were rewarded with tokens every day they did not smoke. With these tokens they could buy free time to roam the facility or candy, even. It was found that this easy-to-understand incentive worked very well, even with adults.
The same was tried with mental patients and children, and in every case, small tokens that could be traded in for other items worked. This is why cheap box tops coerce children and mothers into buying certain brands of cereal. Visible incentives are effective!
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