Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson’s Psychoanalytical Theories help explain positive and negative reinforcement and punishment. They believed that when a stimulus is introduced and a particular behavior is reinforced (such as a teacher giving praise for a right answer), we are more likely to see that behavior repeated. This is the root of the idea of Positive Reinforcement.
In a recent conversation with a colleague we discussed the ideas of the Psychoanalytical theory and whether it is relevant in today’s society, specifically with regard to the ideas of positive reinforcement. As I thought a little more deeply about this concept, I realized that these ideas are clearly applicable and prevalent in the workplace today.
Do you see the effects of positive reinforcement in your organization? Are your employees being recognized for their hard work? Or are they starving for a little appreciation? If the theory of Positive Reinforcement is applicable in the workplace, and we recognize our employees for their hard work, employees will become more motivated and easier to coach, and will help the business grow over the long term. By taking the time to recognize the effort your employees put forth, they will naturally become more dedicated and will want to achieve your organization’s goals. With the right goals, scorecards, and metrics, you truly can make a difference to your bottom line performance.
So what are some ways that you can acknowledge your employees? I have witnessed a number of ways in which you can recognize employees in order to motivate them and make them more coachable. Here is a list of five very quick, very simple ways to show your employees that you notice and appreciate what they do for you:
1. Simply say “thank you”
2. Take the time, even if it’s in passing, to learn of their successes
3. Reward effort as well as success
4. Publicly announce their success
5. Offer the right incentives to succeed
There are many other ways to show appreciation to and acknowledge your employees for their hard work, efforts, and success. Just remember that by recognizing their labor, you can help your business grow and ultimately achieve the result you want and a boost to your bottom line.