Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go…
Perhaps just having a job should be sufficient motivation to get going each day. However, the reality is that most of us need more. Whether we are introverted and demure, or flamboyant and glitzy, we all seek recognition for our unique talents and capabilities on some level.
The need for positive feedback is ingrained in us.
The illustrious psychologist and educator B. F. Skinner introduced the idea of operant conditioning as a way of explaining factors that motivate actions. Skinner deduced that any behavior by an operant (organism) that is followed by a pleasurable stimulus tends to be repeated. On the other hand, a behavior that is followed by negative stimuli or negative reinforcement tends to become extinct. Skinner found that animals and people alike are very easily conditioned by stimuli.
The findings of Skinner and other renowned psychologists have been studied by astute human resource personnel for years. It is not necessary to expound on the benefits of positive reinforcement. It’s good- we all need it. But how do we go about getting more than an email smiley face on our birthday from an employer?
Take a look at some tips that can put you in the spotlight
Send a note—Have you gone the extra mile and set up chairs for a business meeting, greeted guests at a company dinner or operated the video camera at a special event? Send a note to your supervisor or HR rep telling them how rewarding it was to be involved in the project and casually comment on your contribution.
Newsletters get noticed—You can volunteer to work on the company newsletter or start one if your outfit does not have one. A newsletter is a great way to validate and express appreciation for random acts of generosity that are usually unnoticed. Be sure to enter a few notes on your special assignment. Remember, newsletters are forwarded to company execs.
Speak up—Do you have a suggestion that could boost efficiency, save money for your organization or create a safer working environment? Make an announcement in a group meeting and let it be known. Minutes are usually taken at these meetings. Your name and brilliant proposal will be entered for the record. If the thought of making a recommendation verbally is intimidating, put it in writing and ask for permission to give your handout to those in attendance.
Accessibility—It is much easier to get kudos when you are around. Even if you tend to work best alone, try to join a few group activities so that staff members know who you are and that you are a part of the forward momentum of the team.
Attitude of gratitude—Express appreciation and admiration for yourself and the contributions of others. You will be in an upbeat, receptive mode attracting support and encouragement as you move through your day.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Tree White 83 Blog