The behavior you get is the behavior you reward. Or put the other way around, the behavior you reward is the behavior you get.
Here are a few examples; if you reward someone for being late to a meeting they aren’t going to be on time. Think about it, if you are last to arrive at the meeting you don’t have to wait on someone else to get the meeting started. Show up last and the instant you walk through the door the meeting starts. You are the center of attention and the meeting begins as soon as you finish telling the other attendees how bad traffic was in your neighborhood.
Or how about the college age son or daughter who routinely bounces checks or over-draws the credit card. If mommy or daddy keep writing checks to cover the over-draft fees why would careless spending ever stop? You would have to be stupid to act responsibly.
If you reward stupid… you get more stupid.
Here’s a slightly more subtle take on the concept: The behavior you get is the behavior you measure and celebrate. The things an organization measures and celebrates are the things that get done.
My dad used to say, “people respect what you inspect.”
Okay, the rhyme may be a bit forced but you get the idea.
What do you celebrate? That’s the question of the day. Because the things you measure and celebrate are the things that get done.
If you want to be a great service organization, you have to get good at measuring and celebrating great customer service.
If the only thing that gets celebrated in your workplace are birthdays the only thing you are likely to get is old.
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