There is one simple but powerful management principle that anyone can use, not only in their small business but in all their relationships, including raising kids:
“The things that get rewarded get done.”
This simple idea was made famous a few years back by Michael LeBoeuf, author of the small but influential book, “The Greatest Management Principle In The World.” The reason it is so powerful is that it is based on one of the laws of science: Whatever gets reinforced gets repeated.
But how do put this powerful principle to work in your small business?
The key to making this Greatest Management Principle work for you in your business and life is to be aware of and careful about what you reward. In the hustle-bustle of everyday business, it’s all too easy to reward quick fixes, risk avoidance and busywork that doesn’t really create value.
The character Wally in the Dilbert comic strip is a perfect example of a guy who manages to do nothing but walk around with a coffee mug in hand because he has become an expert at being rewarded just for showing up and making excuses like he’s waiting on other people to get back to him.
As you manage your business and relationships, be careful to reward solid solutions and work that creates value for customers, and if possible withhold rewarding sloppy work and just showing up.
Yes big reward banquets and recognition ceremonies are nice, but it’s the day to day behavior that will make or break your small business. Encourage your team not only to create maximum value for customers but also to try to continuously improve. In a group situation, public recognition and praise can be far more effective than money in rewarding and sustaining desired behavior.
Other team members see this recognition and want it too – so they try harder to improve.
LeBoeuf suggests that you:
- Choose the results you want
- Identify the behavior needed
- Decide on the proper rewards
- Use the power of positive feedback
- Dispense rewards, enjoy success and set new goals.
The bottom line: Everybody works smarter when there’s something in it for them.
Try this careful-rewards principle in your business and personal life and you’ll be rewarded yourself!
For ideas on rewards you can give your team members or customers, check out these ideas from LogoNation.com.