Positive Reinforcement Part 2: Is Your Strategy Working?

b loehr - positiveDo you want highly engaged employees who help drive the company’s profitability? Of course, you do! A company’s greatest asset is its workforce. And one of the best ways to build a phenomenal team and motivate them to assist you in striving for success is to reward and acknowledge their individual and team accomplishments.

It’s a safe bet that you have high expectations of your employees. You want, need and expect them to do their best, to be at the top of their game. Your acknowledgment of their past, present and future successes is crucial to creating the employer/employee bonds that will drive the business forward and propel the entire team toward future success.

Failure to acknowledge, reward and celebrate individual and team accomplishments will not get you where you want to go. Not even close.

Bill Sims Jr., president of the Bill Sims Co., a leadership consulting firm, cautions against “Leave Alone/Zap” management. “Simply put, it means that we leave employees alone and say nothing when they do something right, but we are quick to ‘zap’ or to punish them when they make a mistake.”

Gauge your prowess at doling out positive reinforcement with these tips:
1. Sincerity must set the stage. Show appreciation for achievements with genuine actions. Don’t forget the importance of tone of voice, word choice, body language.
2. Be specific. While a generic “Great job!” is better than nothing, go a step further and give the employee concrete, specific information about what he/she did right.
3. Be realistic. Absolute perfection is a tall order that will discourage some workers from even trying. Make expectations clear and reasonable.
4. Acknowledge both effort and improvement. Not all “best efforts” result in stunning results, but consistent, top-notch effort will pay off in the long run.
5. Don’t wait for monumental achievements before recognition is made. Celebrate the small as well as the large victories.
6. Immediate reinforcement is much more effective than the vague, “Hey, that thing you did last month? Yeah, it was good.” Instead, try “Hey, Bob, Great job on the presentation yesterday. You certainly started our project on the right foot. I appreciate the difference you are making in this company.” It will make a significant and lasting impact.

When the situation warrants an actual award, do some behind-the-scenes work to come up with truly motivating rewards. A gas card for the best sales record will do little for the guy who takes the train to work. A family membership to the zoo or the Y won’t be much of a motivator to the singles in the office. Gift cards for the steak house downtown will be shrugged off by the vegans in marketing. You get the picture. Think outside the box to come up with rewards that will truly incentivize.

Boost your employees’ self-confidence with positive reinforcement and watch their eagerness to learn new techniques, take additional training, and accept more responsibility soar.

B. Loehr Staffing’s employees are the highest caliber workers to be found anywhere. Our pool of excellent candidates can quickly meet all of your temporary long and short-term, temp-to-hire, and direct hire needs. Contact our Staffing Specialists today and you’ll find it easy to engage in positive reinforcement because your workers will be the best.

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