So how do you create an atmosphere of positive reinforcement for your team where they know that mistakes aren’t the end of the world AND that what they do well is noticed and appreciated?
5 Simple Steps to Making Your Team “Right”
To become the kind of coach people want to follow, you need to make positive reinforcement an everyday event. Here are 5 tips for putting positive reinforcement into play…
1. Define Good Behaviors
Don’t just reward willy-nilly, according to fluid guidelines in your head. You need to define specific desirable behaviors and make sure your team knows exactly what those behaviors are.
2. Reinforce Immediately
When things get busy it’s easy to think, “Bob did something good there, but I’m really busy so I’ll tell him later.” The problem with that is busy people need to stay busy, so later never comes. Don’t miss an opportunity. Reinforce positive behaviors immediately whenever possible.
3. Be Specific
Instead of just saying, “Nice job, Steve”, be as specific as possible about the positive behavior you want to reinforce. For instance, “Steve, I’ve noticed how much more detailed his paperwork is, and it’s obvious you’re making an effort to triple-check your math lately. That makes life a lot easier for a lot of other people and I appreciate it. Good job!”
4. Don’t Overdo It
Once you get in the habit, it feels good to compliment others – but be careful not to go overboard and start complimenting everything they do. Positive reinforcement should be significant and meaningful. Surprise them with your reinforcement. Be stealthy and try to “catch” people doing something right.
5. Celebrate Victories & Challenges Evenly
Make sure you don’t get into the habit of only reinforcing positive behaviors of your top performers. Leave no one out. Your lowest performer deserves reinforcement when they improve, too. Also don’t forget to celebrate the lessons learned when we hit a setback or roadblock. Show you still beleive in the team and the service you offer during good times and bad.
Take some time this week, maybe even today, to start putting these 5 tips into play. If you start using positive reinforcement and making your team “right” consistently, you’ll soon notice a spike in team morale and productivity.
The truth is that your team needs a Performance Coach much more than a manager right now more than ever. Become a manager that CREATES the change they want their team to be not just reflect it in their statistics. For more information about how to sign up for our Performance Coaching Class on how to get your team to do exactly what you’d like them to do go HERE.