We know from experience that adults repeat behaviors that are rewarded. It’s just that simple. A reward indicates that you’ve done something right, and that’s typically what people want to hear. There are situations where negativity can motivate change, but ultimately, positivity is what drives people, and rewards are the best way to do that. When you take a moment to think about what motivates you, you’ll better be able to serve your employees.
Stop Being So Negative
It happens every day. People in leadership roles see things that they don’t like. Productivity is down, quality is poor, and the numbers don’t add up just the way we’d like. Some immediately resort to negativity. They yell, they scold, they threaten. These tactics will likely have some short term effects. (No one wants to lose their job after all.) In the long run, however, these tactics don’t foster a culture of openness, respect, and productivity.
If you want to see consistent results, consider switching your strategy up and start focusing on rewards.
Focus On The Positive
Rewards resonate with everyone. There’s no single person who won’t benefit from a reward, and when they receive one, team members are going to go the extra mile to get that reward again. Leaders have two effective options when it comes to doling out rewards:
- The Emotional Paycheck. This tactic is often overlooked, but it is seriously important for teams. A pat on the back, recognition of a job well done, and some kind uplifting words will always make a difference. Too many workers don’t feel appreciated at their jobs. This affects not only the way they work, but also their willingness to continue to work for your company.
- The emotional paycheck works when you are very specific. Just saying “thanks” really isn’t enough. Tell your team member exactly what they did that you liked and explain to they why you liked it.
- Merit-Based Rewards. There is a reason that salespeople get commission. The extra financial compensation drives them to perform the same behavior—making sales. That’s what benefits the company, so the company rewards them for doing it. Merit based rewards can come in the form of a bonus check or a gas gift card. There are many different ways that you can show your appreciation for an employee’s great work financially.
Rewards Are A Powerful Tool
Children and animals aren’t the only ones who respond favorably to getting something they like. Adults do as well, and that is a fact that too many businesses completely overlook. Rewards are a powerful tool when it comes to influencing the people around you. If you catch your team members doing something you like, reward them for it, and you can bet that the behavior will be repeated. Getting your employees to continue to perform the way that you want and need them to is going to be an important component to your business’ success. Think about making the emotional paycheck and merit-based rewards a regular part of your regular strategy.