In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of setting realistic importance in building accountability in process improvement. Another crucial part of building accountability is to positively reinforce changes. If you want people to take ownership of your processes, they have to be motivated to do it.
According to the authors of Applied Behavior Analysis, John Cooper, Timothy Heron, and William Heward, positive reinforcement is the most important and widely applied principle of behavior analysis. That is how powerful and motivating positive reinforcement is. Here are ways you can positively reinforce changes to build accountability within your team:
#1 Share positive customer stories in your day-to-day operations
What better way to motivate your employees to perform well than to let them know that what they do makes a difference to other people, especially your customers? Research shows that 76% of employees who think their work impacts customers find their job meaningful.
Find ways to let management and employees share how newly improved processes are making better customer experiences. It could be as simple as sharing positive customer stories in your Kudos Channel in your company’s team messaging app.
Celebrate small wins with your team. When your team’s morale is high, they are more likely to take ownership of your processes and live up to or even exceed expectations.
#2 Continue coaching in your day-to-day leadership
As mentioned in the previous blog, processes won’t get perfectly executed right away. You have to provide support to your team members by coaching them—reminding them of the process and continuing to block a process if you see a defect.
Along with coaching is calling on leadership. The reason leadership is powerful is to show seriousness and importance. For instance, you can have someone in a leadership position in your organization send a biweekly video giving updates on where you are in your process improvement efforts as well as the things you are hearing.
#3 Continue training consistently
Giving your team additional training is another way to positively reinforce changes in process improvement. This also provides an opportunity where you can touch base on things that are going well and things that are falling a little short.
Training shouldn’t happen just when something new is being implemented. The organization should be continually assessing where the operation is falling short and have consistent training to bridge the gaps in understanding.
In this work of process improvement, we believe people are whole and complete, and they’re doing their best. When people aren’t following processes there’s always a reason, and you have to find out what that reason is. It could be that they need a better understanding of the importance of this work or they might need more support.
Whatever the reason, what can truly help in making sure your people are taking ownership and responsibility for your processes is positive reinforcement.
You are not just asking your employees to get something done and pulling things together. You are asking them to ensure that they deliver the same level of quality work every time. When you choose to highlight the things they are doing right and provide them support instead of questioning their ability to follow processes, you put them in a better position to succeed.
In love and respect,