7. The importance of positive reinforcement
It is well-documented that positive reinforcement is an essential tool for shaping behavior. Whether we are training an animal or teaching a child, positive reinforcement is key to encouraging the desired behavior. And yet, in the workplace, this basic principle is often forgotten.
Managers often rely on negative reinforcement, such as reprimands or threatening behavior, to get employees to toe the line. But this approach is not only ineffective, it can also lead to a hostile work environment. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, has been shown to be much more effective in shaping employee behavior.
So what is positive reinforcement? Essentially, it is any kind of behavior that rewards employees for meeting or exceeding expectations. This could include verbal praise, bonus programs, or simply saying “thank you” for a job well done.