Positively Positive

Scaling / June 19, 2013 / Kristie

Positive reinforcement is a great way to boost the morale in your office and increase the motivation that we sometimes find ourselves reaching for but not quite able to grasp. When we are recognized for good behaviour, it encourages us to continue to strive to maintain that standard and even exceed what is expected of us.

An article by Chris Joseph on Chron answers the question “Why Is Positive Reinforcement Important In The Workplace?”  He breaks it down into four main beneficial reasons for implementing positive reinforcement:



1. Provides A Sense of Worth

2. Encourages Good Behaviour

3. Improves Workplace Morale

4. Helps Employees To Fit In


Finding motivation can be difficult for anyone, especially once we reach a level of comfort in a job. This is why it’s so important to continue to acknowledge people’s efforts so that they feel a reason to consistently improve. The saying “there’s always room for improvement” is very applicable to business, as we are needing to always stay one step ahead of our competition. In order to be continually improving, we need to be thinking about ways to improve, setting goals, and reaching them. Setting up objectives in Daylite is a great way to set timelines and keep track of your goals as a company.

By incorporating positive reinforcement, it gives your employees that extra push to reach goals on time, and to go over and above their job description. I used to think that going above what is asked of you in a job is what everybody did because it makes sense to want to get ahead and do a good job. Unfortunately once I entered the work field, I realized that not everybody cares about going above and beyond. Some people are happy being complacent and doing just what is asked of them, no more and no less. By incorporating positive reinforcement, it makes people rethink what their goals are and sparks the fuel of motivation.

I heard of a really cool incentive plan that Johnny Wilde from LOW uses to encourage his employees. Johnny encourages his employees to bring their favourite mug to work and when he notices something they’ve done well, he tosses a quarter in their cup. The purpose is to reward his employees every time they do something well. It also results in some healthy competition between employees as they develop skills and are motivated to learn ways to improve in order to be rewarded. From the boss’s perspective it’s a win-win because they can easily part with a few quarters in order to gain high quality work, and the employees have a monetary gain. It is a good way to change the perspective of being scolded by the boss and instead being rewarded for the good things that are accomplished. Johnny feels that this way “people will do things for the pleasure of doing them instead of for the fear that might arise from not doing something.”

Incentives don’t always have to be monetary related. You can have a team oriented incentive such as having an office lunch if a specific goal is met as a company. Incentives can also be self esteem boosting by verbally incorporating positive reinforcement in the form of a statement like, “thanks for speaking up in today’s meeting! That was a great idea!” The more positive feedback employees get, the more they want to succeed to continue to gain more positive feedback. It’s an upward cycle.

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