Sep
15
2017

Reinforcement theory for employee motivation

To bring about efficiency within an organization’s employees certain managers develop strategies that would motivate employees into performing in the manner the organization desires or to alter their behavior in accordance to what is required at the work place. Changing an employee’s behavior is by no means an easy task and needs motivation to be used as a tool Reinforcement theory tends to provide the relationship between the existing behavior and its impacts and also includes how the behavior of an employee can be modified with respect to the settings of an organization. In essence, the theory attempts to use certain motivational factors that can be used to develop beneficial behavior amongst an employee and ensure that negative behavior is removed from their character.

The theory utilizes two different techniques to achieve this that is either by providing incentives to its employees or by penalizing them. Here the term “behavior modification” refers to the technique and the methods that which are used under the theory in order to modify the attitude of the organization’s behavior. The theory uses the “law of effect” as its basis under which behaviors that are enforced upon can be deemed as repairable whereas behaviors that are not enforced upon are behaviors that cannot be repaired. Providing rewards and punishments to motivate employee behavior is pretty simple. A classic example of a reward is an hourly wage paid for your work.

Reinforcement is a term that is often used to describe anything that tends a repetition of certain behavior within an employee. The reinforcement theory suggests that one technique of ensuring the reinforcement of a person’s behavior is by offering him or her, an incentive in exchange for displaying a behavior that is required to be demonstrated by the person For example when an employee is appreciated for submitting his work on time or completing the task in an efficient manner the manager tends to praise him or her.

The praise would result in ensuring that such a performance would be displayed by the employee in future as well. The second aspect of the theory states that desired behavior from an employee can be obtained by trying to remove any negative reinforcement from the attitude of a person. For example, if an employee has a habit of turning in late and he gets scolded by his supervisor for it but as soon as he comes on time the supervisor stops scolding him. Elimination of scolding in such a scenario reinforces new behavior within the employee

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