Positive Reinforcement Ideas to Assist with Training and Coaching

positiveAs someone who has delivered customer service and sales training to a variety of industries for the past 18 years, there is no better feeling than arriving at the training site and being welcomed with genuine smiles and excitement from the attendees – I love it when this happens!

I don’t get to stay onsite with the attendees once the event is over, but I still want them to remain engaged and enthusiastic. Delivering positive reinforcement in between training events is easy to do and you can even have some fun while doing it! Here are some tips and ideas on the best ways to incorporate positive reinforcement at your location:

Positive Reinforcement should be Timely and Specific

Recognizing desired behaviors should be delivered as close in time to the occurrence as possible, and specific examples should be provided so that the associate understands what they did to receive the recognition and encourage them to continue doing this.

Positive Reinforcement should be Front and Center

Create a space where progress, results, goals and recognition can be featured for all to see.  Have fun with this space and create it around different themes: holidays, seasons, local events, etc.

Positive Reinforcement should be Everyone’s Responsibility

Managers and supervisors should be providing positive reinforcement on a consistent basis, but they shouldn’t be the only ones doing this.  Some of the most meaningful reinforcement I have received has come from my peers.  Encourage a peer-to-peer recognition program at your place of business.  You can even take it one step further and define ‘peer’ to include all associates, at every level, across all departments.

Positive Reinforcement should be Personalized and Appropriate

Not everyone enjoys being the center of attention, or drinking Starbucks, or attending a sporting event.  Rewards are not always one-size fits all! If you choose to deliver positive reinforcement by recognizing and/or rewarding someone, make sure you know a little bit about them.  Do they prefer to be recognized in private or public?  Would a Starbucks gift card be a delightful surprise or something they would pass on to a co-worker?  Do they enjoy sports or even know which sport is currently in season?

Positive Reinforcement should be an Everyday Occurrence

If you make a small, conscious effort, you will find at least 1 opportunity to deliver positive reinforcement every day.  Eventually you won’t have to make even a small effort – those opportunities will naturally present themselves, and this will become your habit.  And unlike some of those “non-desirable” habits, this one will be appreciated by co-workers, associates, friends and even family members.

And who knows, you may even receive some hugs!

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