Rewarding Your Team: Reinforce the Behaviors You Want To Continue
Rewards/Praise is one of the tools most often overlooked by Managers and Supervisors in the workplace. However, this is one of the most powerful methods for ensuring that desirable behaviors you want your people to exhibit are going to happen, and to continue. I recently wrote about this in my bestselling book, "Why Can't People Just Do Their Jobs? The Empowering Leader’s Guide to More Fulfillment, Less Stress, and Getting the Best out of your Team."
In the chapter titled, "Reward Your Team and Reinforce the Behaviors you want to Continue," I discuss this truth as explained by, Dr. Tali Sharot, an leading expert on cognitive neuroscience and the author of The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. Dr. Sharot explains, "When we notice others making sub-optimal decisions, we automatically fast forward in our heads and visualize their failure, leading us to warn them about the devastation we envision. But what the research  suggests is that we need to consciously overcome our habit of trying to scare people into action, and instead highlight the rewards that come with reaching our goals."
From my book...
"Ultimately, because positive feedback triggers reward centers in the brain that are designed to help us learn what behaviors we want to keep doing, this becomes a tremendously powerful tool for leaders... By Rewarding your team when they perform well you utilize this principle to promote the behaviors that you want to continue.
...An added benefit of this type of practice is that it is intellectually easier to understand. Do this get that good thing..easy!"
The fact that it is easier to understand means that your team can use their leftover brainpower to think about other, more important things. Specifically, they have the time and the clarity to see the connections that you are not even focusing on at the time. They are then able to make decisions, not because we tell them to, but because they want to achieve their goals. This is the key benefit to infusing positive reinforcement into all of your systems and processes. You begin to remove yourself as the source of right and wrong. You begin to simply facilitate their growth rather than being necessary for their growth. This is where the true Empowerment begins."
If you are someone who wants your team to take more initiative, who needs them to step up so that you can have your time back, lower your stress levels, and actually enjoy going to work again, then feel free to reach out and schedule a free strategy session. And remember...Live every day like it is on purpose!
About This Contributor
Your instructions are clear. Your timelines are reasonable. But still, tasks that should take 3-4 days to complete seem to take your team 3-4 weeks. Unless you are personally making it happen, checking on every detail, they just don’t seem able to perform to your needs. Managing a team this way is not sustainable, physically, or financially. At this rate, it’s not a question of “if” you will burnout, but “when.”