Most would agree that a good supervisor offers reinforcement and feedback to their staff. But oftentimes, that same well-intentioned supervisor might accidentally punish good behavior; resulting in the employee stopping the good behavior!
It’s important to look into what each staff member finds reinforcing because everyone is different. I once supervised this amazing staff member who disliked being publicly acknowledged for anything. Another supervisor was impressed with something this staff member had done and was going to give her the “Employee of the Month” award and call her up in front of the whole agency to present the plaque. While someone else may have definitely seen this as a good thing, this particular employee would have probably called in sick for an entire week to avoid this “reinforcer”.
A quick, written staff preference assessment given once-a-year or during orientation for a new employee is a great way to figure out what kinds of things each person might find reinforcing. This way makes your efforts to motivate and reward your staff much more effective!
What if you don’t have a lot of time to provide feedback and reinforcement for good behavior? There are many things you can do as a supervisor that take little time but may have big results for the person receiving that feedback.
Tune in to our most recent Behavioral Brief, “Staff Feedback: Making it Effective and Worthwhile” to learn more. View it here!