Since reinforcement is one of the best ways to shape future performance, any organization that has high trust between management and the workers has a significant advantage.
In groups with low trust, attempts to reinforce workers are often met with apathy or suspicion, and they frequently backfire. This reaction happens because of the low trust, and workers feel the reinforcement is likely some form of manipulation.
Here is an example of how an attempt to reinforce workers did not work well.
Marvin was the big boss in the organization where I worked. He wanted to reinforce a group of employees who had put in a lot of overtime over several weeks. He asked the manager to buy theater tickets for everyone in the…
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