Positive reinforcement and constructive discipline are very effective tools when sculpting an individual into an ideal employee. Both concepts can be used to great length to fashion an individual’s progress thru the company. The trick lies in knowing which to use when! Sometimes rewarding an individual too often can make him or her complacent and yet again constantly punishing someone for little things will make them arrogant and aggressive.
Some points to ponder when dispensing either of the two
- Does the employee really deserve it? Should you reward somebody just because they finished an assignment in time? Should an employee be punished for wearing inappropriate clothing the first time?
- What is a good reward/punishment?
- Just meting out justice is not the objective. Rewards and punishment should both serve one common goal; ensuring that an employee reaches his or her full potential.
- Is the previous Perk/Punishment working?
- It should be constantly observed whether the previous actions taker for or against an employee have yielded the expected results. If they haven’t, maybe a different approach is required.
- The learning curve
- Some people learn and adapt quickly to the ways of an organization while others take time. An employer needs to identify employees that will have the adequate learning curve for their company. This ensures that over a reasonable period the Perks increase while Punishments are eliminated.
Finally, it goes without saying that the idea of reward and punishment is not a new idea. It has been practiced for eons not just in the workplace but in every other sphere of life including the training of wild animals. Thus we should also remember that as good as it is, it also has some flaws. Nepotism and partiality find their beginnings in this same concept. So the employer or company that practices these concepts should monitor their application closely to avoid their abject misuse.