The Best Performance Management can only be achieved through Good Behavior Management.
This is my last post in a 4 part series, as each Wednesday of this month I’ve delved deeper into specific aspects relating to Effectiveness.
For a recap we had..
Today’s question is…
What type of reinforcement most increases productivity & why? Negative or positive?
Here are some clues..
On Monday’s Positive Post I listed my own CliffsNotes inspired by Tony Hsieh of Zappos, and you’ll notice that all 25 highlights are positive reinforcement. Come on people, how can you question a strategy resulting in a billion dollar turn-over company? Hopefully you appreciated the value of the shared experiences that Tony gave us.
We have smaller & more localized examples such as RedBalloon (only to name an example) in Sydney Australia, which also have simple & practical solutions for keeping employee performance high.
It’s an old science with a new twist of revelation..
The fact is that whilst the science behind human behavior isn’t new, the study of it in the workplace & in contemporary society has really only come into the forefront as of 1998. Applause to Tony’s point that before then the science of psychology was only fixated on helping the not-so-normal reach normality. It’s amazing how we’ve never exerted as much energy to help normal people simply be happier.
Since the mid to late 90’s, we’ve been bombarded with tons of fads and short-term fixes driven by consultants exploiting the naivety that still exists today in the workplace.
As Daniel Pink nicely puts it; “there is a mismatch between what science knows & business does”. I believe that’s because most consultants themselves have only been able to muster up theory’s based on 2nd hand information, instead of standing behind at least two decades of results.
There are no quick fixes! You need to understand what people want, what people need, and then stand behind an authentic promise of change based on walking the talk.
And the golden answer is..
1. Perceived control; over their lives and productivity through a balanced usage of the right tools & empowerment mechanisms
2. Perceived progress; on a daily, weekly & monthly basis so that they can see for themselves how the fruits of their labor are directly impacting the company’s results
3. Connectedness to.. and engagement with; the Core Values, Mission & a Vision with significant meaning which helps them discover & achieve their own higher purpose in life
Providing these three fundamental positive reinforcements will guarantee Profit, Pleasure, Passion & a sense of Purpose is achieved by all.
As Aubrey Daniels rightly puts it; “even if positive & negative reinforcement got exactly the same results, it would still be better to use positive reinforcement. Why? First of all, people like positive reinforcement better. It produces a less stressful workplace. For this reason alone, positive reinforcement should be preferred. However, there is an even more completing business reason. Positive reinforcement maximizes performance, while negative reinforcement gets a level of performance that is just enough to get by“.
Remember that wonderful little quick Productivity & Effectiveness clip in last weeks post? Negative reinforcement = Survival.. and eventually.. Burn-out Zone!