When there is an experience or reinforced practice in someone behavior that is permanent, then we say learning has taken place. This is very important in determining a behavior of a person in a psychological process.
Operant conditioning is a behavioral theory that assumes with positive reinforcement and negative behavior being punished then we are able to experience the best learning. It is also referred to as Instrumental learning. Ivan Pavlov and B.F Skinner were some of those instrumental in propagating on this theory.
This theory has shown to be result oriented in working environment in terms of management and is now being widely used.
When one is praised through positively being acknowledged or rewarded because of good performance. They tend to be more productive when they feel appreciated through affirmation which then tends to make them motivated. In a working environment, this can be practiced by giving awards to the best performers. This can be in the form of targets being met which make people want to do more since it acts as a positive reinforcement that needs to be furthered more. This they know at the end of the day they will get more in terms of monetary appreciation.etc.
When a conducive environment is provided for the employees at their place of work then they feel relaxed and increase productivity. Squeezed congested workplaces can bring about stress among the staff and demotivated from acquiring their maximum potential. Also, issues of work politics can negatively influence low productivity.
Employees who are weak in some areas can be grouped with others for purposes of positive reinforcement to learn from them. This too can be in terms of avoiding unwanted bad character within departments where people can be reshuffled or duties reassigned. This acts as a way of motivating each other according to abilities and working towards the same goal Embracing teamwork is key together with this pairing of strong and weak personnel to leverage their potentials then it leads to increase in targets.
Proper ways of communication especially positive energy should be embraced within the working place with words of affirmation or encouragement like you can do it rather than the use of negative words. The communication should be done in a professional way especially when giving feedback. When doing evaluations for staff then the team leaders should try as much as possible to start with the positivity than the negativities. This makes the person being evaluated to feel they have been valued for the work done. Solutions or alternatives should be provided for the weaker areas of staff improvement in a more constructive way rather than in a dismissive manner.
When behaviors that are not as per company policies or are deviant take place then the employee concerned should be punished accordingly to make them not repeat the same or influence others. When others to learn of the punishment they tend not to do the same hence discipline or ethical work ethics are observed hence conducive work environment maintained.
In conclusion, it is good to be consistent when applying or using the operant conditioning theory when dealing with employees at the workplace. When negative or positive reinforcement is provided selectively then it may lead to other employee’s feel they are not treated the same which may make them feel odd. This is a powerful tool that when used properly within an organization. The management can make use of it people management since most of the behaviors are learned hence control one. This can be changed by managers through manipulating the rewards system were necessary to achieve organizational goals through positive rewards and negative punishment.