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Positive Reinforcement Strategies for Generation Y

There appears to be a lot of interest in positive reinforcement these days—more than ever. I think the world of work is finally ready—the stage is set and the cast is in place. The power of positive reinforcement—is ready to be experienced.The right generation of employees has arrived.

The book I wrote a couple of years ago Praise for Profit: How Rewards and Recognition are Demotivating American’s Workforce, was intended as a wakeup call to corporations that were blindly, carelessly and sometimes irresponsibly overusing “things” to replace thoughtful management practices. One danger of using incentives and tangible rewards is that they can become addictive to management; overuse and abuse are likely because these systems takes the place of personal reinforcement—something that many supervisors find uncomfortable and try to avoid. When the landscape is carpeted with money and merchandise, management depends on these inducements—these incentives, to manage human performance—while they go off to do other things they are more comfortable doing.

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The Simpliest Way to Improve Human Performance by 20%

I’m going to share a secret process with you—a system for improving your company, plant, department, work group, or teams performance by 20%--minimum.You may see 50% performance improvement if you follow my advice.

First, read this blog. It will prepare you to implement 90% of my secret process. It works…it’s proven…I’ve done it dozens of times with Fortune 500 companies.If I can do it you will have no problems—I guarantee.

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The Corporate Personality: Change My Behavior, Don't Change Me

If you Google “Organizational Culture,” you get over 4,000,000 search results. Wikipedia has one of the first results, and as you scan the description you immediately began to blanch with confusion. If you work in a corporation that will soon undertake a “culture change” initiative, you may begin to tear up. Here is the first paragraph of Wikipedia’s description:

“Organizational culture, or corporate culture, comprises the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. It has been defined as the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization. Organizational values are beliefs and ideas about what kinds of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members should use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another.” Wikipedia.

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A Positive Reinforcement Strategy That Works!

Stop trying to use positive reinforcement!Instead, have a brief conversation with each of your employees as often as possible—everyday is not too often.Face-to-face, have a casual discussion about their work—“how’s it going?”

Stop thinking about positive reinforcement and recognition as comments like—“You really did a good job on that report Jim,” or “Thanks for getting that report complete on time Alice.” The words “Good job,” and “Thank you,” are being overused and employees have heard it so much it no longer makes a point. More importantly, there are simpler and easier ways to positively reinforce someone for extra effort, vigilance, or showing they care about the company.

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