Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement – Why managers should prioritise praise

 

“If each of us was to confess our most secret desire, the one that inspires all our plans, all our actions, we would say “I want to be praised”” – Emil Cioran, Philosopher

 

When we see an outstanding leader in action, one of the first things we notice is their ability to recognise achievement and celebrate success in a way that feels genuine. This has an uplifting snow-ball effect on the team.

This is evident in data gathered from global engagement survey providers, which consistently tell us that there is a direct link between enhanced retention, productivity and revenue and employees receiving praise and recognition at work.

But even when we know that praising employees for their work and commitment has a positive effect on our bottom line, it can still be something we struggle with.

 

Practice makes perfect.

Knowing you should give positive reinforcement, and actually doing it are two very different things. Also, saying the same thing on repeat will quickly lose its impact. So not only does it need to become a habit but you also need to mix it up.

 

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount” – B. F. Skinner, Psychologist

 

  1. Find out what motivates each member of your team and tailor your positive feedback to drive their performance
  2. Use different channels. Some people prefer one-on-one, others in front of the team, or in an email. Most people will respond well to praise, however it is delivered, so use a variety of forums to keep it fresh
  3. Remember your introverts. You may not hear as much about their accomplishments so make the effort to dig a little deeper to find out how they are going. If they’re delivering great results, let them know
  4. Commit yourself to never forgetting to praise a team member who you see going the extra mile. Discretionary effort is the hallmark of engaged employees and these are the people you need to retain.
  5. Remember, it is far easier to spot mistakes than it is to focus on what is right with a piece of work. Keep this in mind when delivering feedback and make sure it’s balanced.
  6. If you have a consistently high performer, don’t forget to consistently praise them for their efforts. Sometimes when a high level of performance becomes the norm from someone, it can be easy to let the positive feedback slip off the radar
  7. Performance reviews are the ideal opportunity to link an employee’s efforts with the bigger picture. Tie their achievements to the strategic goals of the organisation – this reminds them of the ‘why’ and the important part they are playing
  8. If you’re working on an area of development with an employee, take every opportunity to positively reinforce behaviour or actions that show they’re improving in this area

 

Positive People can help you to develop your frontline leader’s ability to recognise their team and elevate performance. Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077.

 

Month: March 2018

A No-Fuss Recruitment Process

You told us that one of the most important things when it comes to recruitment is a smooth, no fuss process that doesn’t bog you down in administration. This is something Positive People can deliver for you, but if you decide to go it alone… here’s our insider’s guide to some of the key time savers in  recruitment.

1.Start with a ‘Person Profile’

Along with updating your job description, take some time to consider the personal attributes, competencies, experience and skills that you’re seeking. This is great preparation for writing a targeted and effective advertisement and making sure you make the right hiring decision.

2. Stand out from the crowd with your advertisement

Candidates quickly get tired of job ads full of buzzwords that all sound the same. Be genuine, be real and tell them what’s special about working for you. On Trade Me you can add photos, so consider including pictures of your office, view, last team event, or latest project.

3. Start screening applicants immediately

On the first couple of days after placing the ad, set aside some time throughout the day to review CVs as they come in. Regardless of the job, really hot candidates can go FAST. Losing a candidate through the process due to them accepting another offer is frustrating, disappointing and means more work for you – especially if you have to go back to the drawing board and re-advertise

4. Phone screen applicants

There’s nothing worse than being 10 minutes into an interview and realising it’s not going to work due to hours, salary, holidays booked or some other detail. You wish you had Graham Norton’s red chair. Conduct a thorough phone screen with long-listed candidates, keep your notes and ensure you meet with the best people for the job.

5. Send an interview confirmation email

Sending an email to confirm your name, address, and the time cuts down on misunderstandings and will ultimately save you time. Attach the job description so candidates come ready to talk about the role in detail.

6. Give candidates an application form when they arrive for their interview

An application form is a written declaration from the candidate covering any medical conditions that may affect their ability to perform the role, declaring any criminal convictions or conflicts of interest and giving you permission to contact their referees. Gather this information now and save yourself a headache down the line!

7. Reference check soon

Once you have a candidate that is ticking all the right boxes, get on the phone and arrange to reference check early in the process. It can happen that the person you need to speak to is out of contact immediately or unable to talk to you straight away. Making contact sooner rather than later allows you to be ahead of the game.

8. Don’t forget to decline unsuccessful candidates

Decline completely unsuccessful candidates soon after they apply – this will save you fielding follow-up phone calls and emails. Once you’ve had an offer accepted, decline everyone else. You should call and verbally decline anyone who you interviewed face-to-face. Candidates are potential customers too, so this is an opportunity to protect and promote your business AND your employment brand in the market.

These few simple steps can make life a lot easier for you to save time through the recruitment process and also help you attract the perfect candidate for the role.

PositivePeople November 2, 2016 No Comments

Leadership Development in Talent Planning

It’s a fact of life that no matter how great your workplace is, at some stage you will lose key staff. This might be due to career changes, personal situations, babies, marriages, or they simply make the big move out of Auckland to escape the rising house prices.

Whatever the reason, losing a successful leader can have a huge impact on your team, as well as your future business objectives. Projects can be delayed, team dynamics interrupted, and it takes time and cost to ride this out and get your business back on track.

Having a succession and talent management plan in place is a vital ingredient of successfully safeguarding your business against this disruption. Equally as important is ensuring the identified successors have the skills and ability to step up into the role before the transition takes place.

A key component of this is ensuring that successors have the leadership skills to manage this transition to leaders, develop relationships quickly, and move their teams forward from day one. Too often we see team members moved into leadership roles without the required leadership experience to be successful, promoted with the hope that they develop these skills once they have been appointed. The damage this can do to a team and to their own self confidence while they learn can be long lasting.

To develop a succession and talent plan that really works to support your business it is important that you:

  1. Identify a pool of talent, large or small, within your business that has the potential to move into leadership roles
  2. Identify the key skills required for each identified team member to step up to a new role
  3. Identify the skills gaps for identified team members well in advance of these skills being needed
  4. Develop these skills by training, coaching and project work, before they need to use them

A skilled leader will fill any role gap seamlessly, ease the team into the transition, and communicate openly and honestly from day one on their expectations and your business goals. When this is done well the loss of a key team member is barely felt and your business can continue successfully on its current trajectory.

Succession and talent planning matters. This has, in no small measure, been one of the key ingredients to the All Blacks continued success and competitive advantage over many years. What would you give to be the All Blacks of your sector?

Positive People have 22 years’ experience working with businesses to develop their future leaders.

For more information view Leadership Development