Gone are the days when you could get your direct reports to do their jobs by “intimidation” tactics. This strategy no longer works. Even if you do apply this, you may get results, but it proves counter-productive in the long run. You cannot bring in the desired change in your team members through such tactics. The best way to bring about the desired changes in them is through “positive reinforcement”.
Positive reinforcement does not mean praising your employees under all circumstances but providing feedback to get the intended results in a win-win fashion. At the workplace, you need to deal with grown-ups with their own sense of right and wrong, likes and dislikes, and career preferences. Moreover, they also differ in their talents and abilities. You need to accept this fact while deploying your personnel to perform various tasks in the team. A few guidelines are given below.
Choose the Right Person. When you choose the right person for the right job, it becomes easy for you to be specific in your appreciation. Sometimes, you may have picked the wrong person for a job; and you find him/her struggling in his/her role. Instead of keeping him/her on that particular task, see if there is any possible replacement in the team. Swap their responsibilities.
Stress the Positive Side. You can end up demoralizing your employees by giving them a gloomy picture of their performance. When a subordinate is unable to perform as per your company’s set procedures, your immediate reaction could be to get upset and reprimand him/her. Hold on. Do not get carried away by your emotions. Instead, analyze his/her performance; identify those aspects in his/her performance which have made a positive contribution to work. Identify where they are going wrong. Start with the positive aspects, while insisting on the desired change and its benefits to the company as well as his/her career growth. This kind of rational feedback can make the employee reconsider their performance style and bring in the desired change.
Always Be ‘Impartial’. Though you may personally like someone, don’t allow that to come in the way of appreciating the outstanding performances of other team members. Focus exclusively on the way your team members perform their given tasks. Your criticism or appreciation should reflect professionalism. This will enable them to have a re-look at their performance and make necessary changes for the benefits of all.
Be Approachable. As a manager, you may be busy with various engagements. Many times, you may not be able to observe what is going on within your team. Once in a while, gather your team members and encourage them to express if they have any problems with either the work at hand or other team members. Pay attention to what they have to say without losing your cool and do what you can to resolve their problems. Thus, you can build trust with your team members and they can do that extra bit required to succeed in their jobs.
Positive reinforcement can go a long way in employee satisfaction and motivation. People like to be appreciated for all the good things they have done or achieved. Give them what they want – after all it’s your employees that help you in achieving increased productivity and coming up with innovative processes.
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