Treats, candy, ice cream, pats on the back, and compliments. These rewards probably bring a puppy or child to mind, which are the audiences most commonly affected by positive reinforcement. Not as common, is the concept of rewarding in the workplace. Those holding managerial levels should take note from parents and pet owners, as the benefits of positive reinforcement can move mountains when it comes to employee satisfaction.
Giving praise and even rewarding, when deserving, has the ability to not only make an employe smile but ultimately gives them a sense of self-worth. The Houston Chronicle specifically highlights giving praise in areas previously needing improvement. Such actions allows the employee to realize that any strives they have made in enhancing their work has been recognized. Alleviating any self-doubt presumably creates a healthier work environment for the employee.
In particularly tedious jobs, creating and maintaining morale amongst team members is often difficult to achieve. When they see hard work being praised or rewarded, often times a trickle down effect takes place. Similar to dominos knocking down one another, when one employees receives positive reinforcement, others are likely to follow their lead and take actions they know are appreciated. Specifically when a working environment requires teamwork and reliability from employees, positive reinforcement can become a driving force behind the coexisting nature of the group. Not only can morale become affected but levels of productivity are prone to improvement as well. Good luck finding a boss who isn’t satisfied with higher levels of productivity!
Engaging an employee by opening lines of communication in regards to work performance gives them confidence they may not have previously possessed. With the newly added confidence, an open relationship can come to light between supervisor and employee.
Empowering employees at all levels of the company gives even the most entry level position a voice. There are countless stories of world-renowned innovation coming from the lowest tier of a team, all due to the boss having faith in his employees and allowing their creativity to flow.
As a leader, it is important to remember the hardships it may have taken to get where they are and the support system needed along the way. Positive reinforcement is crucial in maintaining work morale, productivity and innovation. Employees feel more inclined to dedicate their efforts and time to an organization when they feel their work is being recognized and appreciated. The power of positive reinforcement goes a long way for just a little bit of effort.