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This edition of the business classic Bringing Out the Best in People (McGraw Hill Education, 2016) by behavioral psychologist Aubrey C. Daniels provides a timely update to his seminal book on performance management. With new chapters on employee engagement and the impact of technology, as well as tips for stimulating innovation and managing today's multigenerational workforce, the book offers readers behavioral tools to effectively address workplace issues.
The book examines the effects of two kinds of reinforcement that all of us receive every day: positive and negative. Both types, the author writes, increase behavior—but in opposite ways. Positive reinforcement causes a behavior to increase when a desired consequence follows it. Negative reinforcement causes a behavior to increase as a means of escaping or avoiding some unpleasant consequence. Organizations that use reinforcement effectively see improvement. A lack of improvement means that the right kind of reinforcement is not occurring, Daniels writes.
So how can organizations apply positive practices to get workers to behave in ways that help the business? Rewards and recognition are time-tested strategies that can make that happen—but only if they motivate employees and don't leave them feeling anxious or, worse, angry.
The book offers six tips for making rewards and recognition effective:
Desda Moss is managing editor of HR Magazine.
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