Answer to Question #99649 in Management for Vaibhav

Question #99649
Arjan is an employee who is never on time for work or meetings. He has been issued several warning memos but in vain. The management is not able to take stringent action against him as he is very good at his work and is one of the top performers. As his reporting authority you still feel that he should respect time and be disciplined. From the different elements of reinforcement which one should his manager choose to get the desired behaviour? Conclude by giving why it (the one which you chose) is the best suited.
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Expert's answer
2019-12-02T07:47:07-0500


Arjan is an excellent employee when it comes to productivity. However, he needs to understand the importance of time management. Also, his bad habits may rub off on other employees. It is, therefore, imperative to employ techniques that will motivate Arjan to change his behavior.

There are many ways in which employees in the workplace may be motivated to change their behavior. These methods are known as reinforcements, an idea that was described by Skinner (Skinner, 1953). There are four reinforcement strategies, and these include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Each reinforcement method has its advantages and its disadvantages, which need to be considered before choosing which method to implement. The positive reinforcement method strives to encourage behavioral change by offering a reward when a change has been made or when there are improvements concerning unwanted behavior (Pavlov & Watson, 2017).

On the other hand, negative reinforcement involves strengthening behavior by removing an adverse condition. For instance, a kid who is used to his mother scolding him for coming home late decides to go back early, and suddenly the scolding stops. Removing the harmful condition, in this case, the scolding strengthens the kid's behavior of coming home early. Punishment refers to the use of something aversive to decrease the unwanted behavior. For instance, a kid decides to go and play without doing homework, and the mother decides to give the kid more chores. This will motivate the kid to finish the homework first next time. Extinction refers to the removal of something to decrease a behavior. A kid, for example, likes throwing things around to get a guardian's attention, the guardian responds by not caring about what the kid has thrown. With time, the kid stops this behavior.

The best reinforcement method to use in Arjan's case is positive reinforcement. Arjan should be rewarded whenever he makes an improvement on his time management skills concerning what time he reports to work and to meetings. The rewards don't have to be something big, a simple congratulation and appreciation should be enough. Arjan has received several warnings but has not changed. Perhaps it would be better to congratulate him every time he comes to work on time. Positive reinforcement is the best method in Arjan's case because it is not associated with negative emotions such as anger that might affect his performance negatively. Positive reinforcement also has the advantage of increasing employee confidence and improves work environment which is important for performance.

Reference

Pavlov, I., & Watson, J. (2017). Skinner-Operant Conditioning..

Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior: SimonandSchuster. com.


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