Personnel Management and Organizational Behavior

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How can managers shape employee behavior?
Four ways to shape employee behavior are: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Positive reinforcement is following a reaction with something enjoyable (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Employees need recognition for exceeding the organization’s standard on job performance. A well-organized reward program will motivate employees to excel the organization’s standard. Example of this are: employee of the month, quarter or year, and recognitions to employees for presenting ideas to improve the organization’s operation.

Negative reinforcement is also referred as “looking busy”. Supervisors should explain the task to the employee, provide necessary resources, and ensure the work is performed to standard. These actions will help eliminate negative reinforcement. Punishment and knowing the organization’s standard are directly related. The organization’s standard, duties and responsibilities of the employees have to be established in order to hold employees accountable for their incorrect behavior. Punishment can be used as the way to unsure employees follows the standard. The different type of punishments have to be included in the workplace policy to ensure the employee knows what could happen if he/she does not follow the standard.

Extinction is a behavior not reinforced, causing it to disappear (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Adequate supervision and communication in the workplace are two key elements to assess this behavior and eliminate when is not needed. Managers have to develop ways to shape employee’s behavior in order to improve performance. Shaping the employee’s behavior starts with adopting practice that encourage employees to be responsible, loyal, and committed to an organization’s goal (“Strategic Planning in the Payroll Department”, 2007). Some of these practices include setting standards, establishing duties and responsibilities, and direct...
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