There, that felt good to hear, didn’t it?
We are wired for rewards. Literally. In fact, when people receive a positive recognition or reward, it creates a shot of dopamine, sparked by the neurotransmitters in our brains. According to Kevan Lee in his article on the The Science of Motivation: Your Brain on Dopamine, “The brain can be trained to feed off of bursts of dopamine sparked by rewarding experiences.”
The dopamine shot is felt in many ways, including motivation, memory, behavior and cognition, attention, sleep, mood, and learning…leaving an imprint on our brains reminding us to repeat the behavior that earned the reward.
Thankfully, more and more managers and business owners are understanding the power of positive reinforcement, and are using it to create more rewarding workplaces resulting in happier, more loyal and more productive employees. In fact, according to “The Power of Perks” by Bruce Shutan, (March 2013), “By using interesting perks that are simple and cost-effective, businesses will reap a higher return on investment (ROI) in the areas of employee engagement, morale, recruitment, and retention, as well as improve productivity, innovation, customer loyalty, and revenue.”
If you’re not already utilizing the power of positive reinforcement, give it a try. And keep these three things in mind when rewarding employees:
According to the authors of Values Shift: The New Work Ethic and What It Means for Business, Companies that build non-cash perks and incentives into their corporate culture are 44 percent more likely to have above-average profits than those that do not adopt this approach.
An easy and effective solution is simply exploring employee gift cards. When purchased and kept handy in smaller denominations, tangible gift cards provide an opportunity for frequent, on-the-spot use by managers to immediately reward favorable employee performance.