Reinforcement is defined as rewards (the financial contribution) and recognition (non-financial). Both aspects must be considered for the implementation to succeed.
Rewards – the Financial Contribution
Aligning people’s rewards is a sensitive area that must be done correctly the first time. If you don't have the internal resources to design and manage this, then you can outsource the responsibility to a HR specialist. Changes in people’s pay will elicit a greater response from staff employees than any other HR changes. Changing insurance or pension plans, for example, will affect some staff employees but not all. In addition, many staff members will not understand the full implications and the results are not immediate.
Recognition – the Non-Financial
Recognition must be aligned to the strategy and the right actions.
When right actions and strategy don’t align, it creates confusion among individuals about what is expected, what is important and what needs to be done as you are asking for specific actions and recognizing something different.
How to Motivate People
When an individual performs a mechanical skill such as moving bricks from point A to point B and no creative thinking is required, then money is the number one motivator. The person’s pay encourages more of the behavior even though the task is repetitive and doesn’t require analytical thinking.
Academic evidence has also been increasing, indicating that performance-related pay leads to the opposite of the desired outcomes when applied to any work involving conceptual thinking rather than physical skill.
More about Reinforce
Seven Guidelines for Designing an Effective Recognition Program
1. Identify the drivers of motivation
2. Identify the outcomes and actions to be reinforced
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