In our December post, Wrap Up the Year Right: Regift Your Team’s 2014 Success, we talked about utilizing positive reinforcement to keep your team motivated all the way through the holiday slump right into 2015. With January well underway, we wanted to get you prepared to make this year a legendary one for employee recognition. But with so many methods and ideologies floating around on how to improve employee performance, retention and motivation, it’s hard to know where to start. We believe simple is better, and positive reinforcement is simply the best beginning you can make. So let’s start the year off right and dive deeper into what positive reinforcement is and how it can inspire your team.
Positive Reinforcement in a Nutshell
According to Forensic Magazine, positive reinforcement is “the practice of rewarding desirable employee behaviour in order to strengthen that behaviour”. This simple approach has serious and far-reaching benefits; it influences a marked increase in said behaviour and enhances an employee’s self-image. That sounds like a win-win to us! But before you start stressing about your rewards budget, remember, positive reinforcement doesn’t have to cost a thing. A well-thought-out message of recognition is one of the most effective “rewards” you can give an employee’s behaviour. Recognition and positive reinforcement go hand in hand and play a supportive role for each other. With a little practice, anyone in your office can master it.
Your Golden Ticket to Effective Recognition Starts With a Positive Perspective
Let’s get you equipped to recognize better using some tried and true positive reinforcement strategies. In his article Positive Reinforcement: Misunderstood and Misused, Dr. Aubrey Daniels outlines five considerations for efficient and effective delivery of positive reinforcement. Here’s a recap of what he has to say:
- Make it personal – Identify what is significant and meaningful to the individual you are recognizing.
- Make it immediate – The sooner you reinforce the desired behaviour, the more impactful it will be.
- Make it frequent – As long as you’re sending appropriately, sending it often is great.
- Make it earned – People respect leaders who deliver reinforcement contingent on some accomplishment.
- Make it social – Amplify your recognition by sharing it and encouraging your team to share in others’ successes.
These five elements of positive reinforcement align perfectly with our ideal framework for giving employee recognition that both engages and motivates. These steps are so important, we developed an infographic on giving recognition to help you implement them!
Bring Out the Best in Your Team by Amping Up Your Employee Recognition Strategy
To realize the benefits of positive reinforcement as outlined by Dr. Daniels, you’ll need your managers to lead the charge. If they’re setting a great example, other employees will follow, and you’ll create a culture of positive reinforcement and recognition naturally. To help you and your managers out, here is what Dr. Daniels says sets the culture game changers apart from the status quo:
Strategies of Traditional Leaders v. Today's Changing Leaders
Knowing how to champion the implementation of positive reinforcement into your company culture will facilitate the idea being adopted by everyone. Try getting your management team together to brainstorm some of the ways their teams are winning and put forth an execution plan to get recognizing. Remember, it’s not only results that should be celebrated, but also the courage to innovate and problem solve!
Make 2015 the Year of Employee Recognition
With these tips and tricks on positive reinforcement and recognition best practices, you’ll be ready to motivate and encourage your team to conquer 2015 with ease. Starting 2015 off right really does come from having strong strategies in place to make the positive changes you’re after. Now that you’re versed in the ins-and-outs of positive reinforcement, let Kudos be your secret weapon to a strong positive reinforcement initiative. The tools to give meaningful employee recognition, share feedback or collaborate via wall messages, announcements and Custom Pages are all at the click of a button. Recognition matters, so start spreading positivity at your office with Kudos!