Saturday, October 1, 2011

Motivating Positive Behavior

If you perform  -  then we'll reward you.   If you don't perform  -  then we'll punish you.

This traditional carrot/stick system found in workplaces doesn't work as well as once thought, according to studies conducted over the past 40 years.  And worse - it's actually slowing your domestic staff down.Each of your staff are wrestling daily with their own version of the candle problem, a well-known experiment which demonstrates the fallacy of relying on rewards/punishment to elicit high performance, and detailed in Daniel Pink's video here.
Pink recalls: 

Once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance.  

Helpful or harmful?

Most harmfully, the if-then approach removes focus away from effective management  - which could be striving instead to provide what cognitive workers are known to require  -  to succeed for their employers at whatever they do.

If your domestic staff are not performing to high standards with this approach, what does motivate them?

You'll be pleasantly surprised to discover.