Alright, enough of the questions....Here's a scenario for you. You are walking along the corridor to your office and notice a smashed styrofoam cup with the contents spilled out onto the floor. Instead of passing it by, you stop, clean up the mess and throw away the cup. You didn't notice your supervisor, Monte, watching this through his office window.
Five minutes later you are summoned to Montes' office. You think: "Ok what did I do wrong NOW? How much trouble am I going to be in for that late proposal I submitted." As you arrive, he invites you in to have a seat. As you sit down, he gets up and comes over to you. UH OH! this must be serious!!
He extends his hand and puts a firm hand on your shoulder and says "thank you for a job well done. I noticed that you cleaned up that spill in the hallway just now. Great to have someone of your caliber working here. Would you please sign this?"
Flabbergasted, you sign the paper that looks an awful lot like a disciplinary form. You think to yourself: Am I being punished for doing something wrong? I'm confused!!
After giving the form back, Monte hands you an envelope, a really nice looking envelope. And says "Here's a little something to let you know how much you are appreciated around here. Instead of focusing on the negative, I have decided to start tracking the positive things."
A feeling of pride comes as you go back to work. Perhaps a little more motivated as now you know what you do there is noticed and appreciated.
How to motivate employees: Supervisory perspective.
The idea here is to start looking for the positive in your employees. This positive reinforcement will work wonders for employee morale. "Not that easy?", you say.
How does tracking negative behaviour compare to tracking the positive and genuinely rewarding those that go above and beyond?
The employee that has been 'punished' will probably act out of fear of losing his/her job. Is this the motivation you would like your team members to act upon? Compare that to how an employee feels when a supervisor like Monte is looking for opportunites to reward a job well done.
What is the employee from the above scenario now thinking as he walks away from Montes' office? Will he be more willing to meet deadlines? Be more productive? He may even become one of the company's best employees!
Positive rewards, even a handshake and a pat on the back, will help to motivate employees. These employees are the same ones that showed up late for work, took long lunches, and performed haphazardly well. With some positive reinforcement, you will likely see an improvement in employee morale and an increase in your bottom line. And is that not what all business owners strive for?