Leadership Development Systems

Leadership Development Systems

Leadership Development Systems are crucial for the success of any business. Management style plays a key role in employee engagement and ultimately in the employees attitude towards the business and it’s customers, quality, safety, etc…

Harnessing The Remarkable Power Of Positive Reinforcement.

Leadership development is crucial for every business. It doesn’t matter what kind of leader you are: a business leader, teacher or a parent. What you want from the people you lead is more. We want more sales, more safety, more quality, more innovation and bright ideas, more customer or patient satisfaction, more production, more performance, better grades, cleaner rooms….we want more.

If we want more, then we have to get people to change their behavior. It really is all about behavior change.

Employee Engagement 101

Over the last ten years, we’ve heard a lot about employee engagement from companies like Towers Watson and Gallup. Employee engagement is a pretty big deal. Research tells us that the more engagement you have, the better your safety, quality, production and performance will be. When you have a company that performs well, then your customers are going to be satisfied and happy. When your customers are happy and satisfied, that’s going to drive profitability.

But what is it that drives employee engagement?

The research says that the number one driver of employee engagement is positive reinforcement in the system. Positive reinforcement drives profitability. It drives performance, customer satisfaction, safety and quality.

Engaged Employees VS Committed Employees

Engagement is a big deal. Just like when a young man puts a diamond ring on a young lady’s finger; they become engaged. But I would argue that the moment of that engagement is not as important as the moment when the two of them look into each others eyes and say “I do” and they commit to a long term relationship with each other.

So, is there a level of performance beyond engagement? I think so and I think it’s all about commitment.

Three Types of Employees In The Workplace

As we move towards commitment, we learn that there are basically three kinds of people that we work with everyday:

  1. Non-compliant people (I will not do it). 10%
  2. Compliant (I’ll do it if I have to and if I’m being watched). 80%
  3. Committed (I want to do it). 10%

Sadly, more than 90% of people are either non-compliant or compliant, but the people that we want and even need in order to be successful make up only 10% of the people.

Why are things this way? because the management system that we use around the world is classic “Leave alone-ZAP”. We leave people alone and say nothing when they do things right, but we’re quick to zap them when they make a mistake. This method actually does work. it produces a short term change in behavior.

You can watch it everyday on the interstate: the pack of cars are speeding through traffic as they go down the interstate. They are non-compliant they are not doing what they know the police want them to do. Then, when they see the policeman in the distance, they hit the brakes in order to avoid the zap. They become compliant. They begin doing what they know they have to do to avoid getting the zap.

We see this all the time in the workplace. People know they aren’t doing what is expected of them until they see the supervisor coming and then they immediately become compliant in order to avoid the zap.

Leave alone-zap creates a yo-yo effect among people. They move rapidly between non-compliant and compliant depending on whether or not they are being watched, but they never move to the higher level of performance found among the committed.

Leave alone-zap management will never produce committed employees. If leave alone-zap worked, the police would have eradicated speeding long ago.

Commitment Comes From Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement delivered by the leadership team is the only way to get world class performance.

By now you’re probably beginning to realize that you could use a little less zap and a little more positive reinforcement in your workplace. 99% of companies tell us that when it comes to positive reinforcement they try to do it, but they are inconsistent and haphazard in their execution and delivery of positive reinforcement. They do the performance appraisalsand the company  picnic, but they don’t have any systems in place to actually implement and track positive reinforcement.

Less than 1% of companies are strategic in their approach to employee commitment. They deliver positive reinforcement and feedback every day for the behaviors that they want to reinforce. Behaviors that lead people into being committed to customer satisfaction, production, quality and safety.

How do we shift a work environment from being haphazard to being strategic?

Leadership Development

We teach these principles in our Leadership Development Workshop. We identify what positive reinforcement is and why it takes more than a paycheck to get world class performance. We show how to do it even for leaders who normally don’t feel comfortable giving positive reinforcement.

The most important thing that we cover in our Leadership Development Workshop is the five letter acronym W.I.I.F.M. (Whats In It For Me). If you can’t answer that question, then you will not change the culture in your workplace and you will not see lasting change in employee behavior within your organization.

My mom understood the WIIFM concept really well. She said “Son, if you eat your green beans, you can have some ice cream”. It worked! I’m eating green beans to this day! I’ve been around the world talking about green beans and ice cream and I’ve even written a book about green beans and ice cream.

What did my mom do?

The first thing she did was pinpoint the behavior that she wanted (eat green beans).

When I did it, I got a smile from Mom, a pat on the back and a big bowl of ice cream.

I got all of those reinforcers immediately,  not at the end of the year at the annual performance appraisals.

Positive Reinforcement Has To Be Immediate

Not only does positive reinforcement have to be immediate, it can never be one size fits all.

A lot of companies have made the mistake of thinking that one size fits all reinforcement is ok.  Google got in some trouble for this a while back when they gave a 10% raise company wide.

Here’s why thats not a good idea:

If I’m the most non-compliant employee at the company; always slacking off and only doing my job when I absolutely have to and you are the most committed employee in the company and we each know these things about each other and we each get the exact same reward, how does that make you ( the most committed employee) feel? Probably not very good.

Me on the other hand? I feel great! I didn’t work nearly as hard as you and yet our reward was the same.

Pretty soon, the committed employees begin feeling as though their commitment has been punished while the non-compliant employee feels like his non-compliance has been rewarded.

So, the committed employees eventually reduce their work ethic to becoming compliant along with 80% of their fellow workers.

One size really does not fit all!

Learn how to unleash the remarkable power of positive reinforcement in our Leadership Development Workshop.



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