Reinforcement Strategies – Essay Example
Reinforcement Strategies in the US Post Office The essay aims to proffer reinforcement strategies appliedin a United States Post Office Organization. The paper would identify the reinforcement strategies used by management to motivate employees in the United States Post Office. Each reinforcement example would be categorized as continuous, positive, or negative and the strengths and shortcomings of each reinforcement example would be discussed based on observations and experiences.
Reinforcement Strategies in the US Post Office
One of the most exciting and challenging theories encompassing human behavior in organizations is motivation. Motivation is the intrinsic inducement that propels an individual to behave in specific ways. There have been a significant number of literatures covering the nature, theories and applications of motivation and its effect to job performance and satisfaction. In this regard, the essay aims to proffer reinforcement strategies applied in a United States Post Office Organization. The paper would identify the reinforcement strategies used by management to motivate employees in the United States Post Office. Each reinforcement example would be categorized as continuous, positive, or negative and the strengths and shortcomings of each reinforcement example would be discussed based on observations and experiences.
US Postal Service
The US Postal Service endeavors to serve the postal needs of the customers through focusing on “what matters most to the customers, leveraging on strengths and being prepared to adapt and adjust to the changing demands of the times” (USPS, 2010). In pursuing the organization’s vision, management instituted both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to motivate their personnel. The organization gives incentives in the form of attendance bonus for a period of three consecutive months and ensuring all personnel are accident free for three years. For both the attendance and accident-free incentives, a target has been set by management as well as the appropriate bonus in monetary or nonmonetary items such as gift cards and other relevant items. This kind of motivation is continuous and positive as it uplifts the morale of the personnel.
Intrinsic rewards are those rewards that come from the performance of the work itself. At USPS, majority of the personnel are motivated from receiving praise for a job well done, having good interpersonal relationships with colleagues, and being acknowledged by superiors for an improved job performance. Management gives intrinsic rewards in the form of advancement and promotions. Giving more responsibility, accountability, and recognition are motivational factors which acknowledge that people have performed their jobs well. These rewards are also continuous and positive.
An effective reward system, therefore, incorporates both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards which are continuous, positive reinforcement strategies; and which complement each other to ensure that an employee is satisfied with his job and his job enables him to satisfy all his hierarchy of needs.
An organization, like USPS, could not just impose a particular reward system and assume that all employees would be motivated by this. The best that management can do is to be aware of the factors that motivate their employees and utilize both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards to boost satisfaction and achieve excellent performance, not once, not usually, but all the time.
US Postal Service (USPS). (2010). Vision 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.