When do you reward your employees? How do you reward them?
When are you rewarded? How are you rewarded?
If we want to reinforce a culture we reinforce the behaviors seen in it. They can be good or bad behaviors. You can reinforce negative behaviors that build a negative culture just as much as you can reinforce positive behaviors that build a positive culture. One thing I am doing right now is consciously watching what behaviors I am reinforcing. Mostly I am doing this by watching what behaviors I am rewarding with praise, attention or a gift. You see, I want to make sure I am not ACCIDENTALLY rewarding negative behaviors. However, I also want to make sure I am not letting positive behaviors that help the team fulfill the mission of our company or build a culture we desire slip by unnoticed either. I do this through a card, an email, verbal praise or taking someone to lunch or giving them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Just yesterday I rewarded 4 people through public praise showcasing what they did. Then, I relayed the behaviors specifically that I was rewarding; leadership, responsibility and “conducting business honestly” (which is part of our company’s mission statement). I was looking for the best investment that would give the biggest return. If I not only reward these behaviors but do it publicly I am not only reinforcing the behaviors I want to see in these 4 people, I am also showing the 14 people bearing witness that our company notices, values and rewards leadership, taking responsibility and honesty.