DISCIPLINE IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!
Too often when someone says the word “discipline,” the immediate reaction is that someone must be in trouble. In fact, discipline has almost become a dirty word for many people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Understanding discipline is critical to being a successful leader and manager. Discipline by definition is training and is derived from the Latin word disciplina, meaning teaching and learning. It is also defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.
Discipline is generally held to be in three distinct forms in an organizational context. These are:
1. Preventative Discipline - Preventing problems by carefully hiring the right people, thoroughly training them not only in the techniques of the job but also in the parameters of appropriate and desirable organizational behavior and ethical standards and in the organizations policies and procedures that ensure work is performed to the highest standard.
2. Corrective Discipline – Correction, sanction and punishment for performance or behavior that is inconsistent with organizational standards and detrimental to the good order of the organization. It serves as an example to others of the negative consequences of improper or substandard activity. Retraining to positive behavior and performance is the key objective.
3. Positive Discipline – Reward and recognition for good and desirable performance that enables the company to meet or exceed it’s goals and objectives and serves as an example to others of the value of positive contribution.
Employee Incentive Programs are molded around the concept of positive discipline. They can take many forms and are easily adaptable to virtually any kind of business. Properly structured and administered, incentive programs don’t cost the company money; they make the company money by improving the bottom line through achieving or exceeding goals that ensure your success.
However, a word of caution is appropriate as you think about creating an incentive program. Simply throwing money or goodies at people and expecting better things is absolutely the least effective approach and is doomed to failure before you toss out the first dime. Incentive programs must contain many key elements to be successful. You must carefully define exactly what it is you want to achieve, the means by which you are going to do it and set realistic and achievable goals that your employees can meet with diligent work and honest effort. The reward must be perceived as valuable by the employee otherwise there won’t be much enthusiasm to achieve it. A time frame must be established and a fair and objective measurement system must be in place so there is a high level of trust and confidence in it.
Once established and implemented, there may be some need for adjustment to deal with unanticipated issues or conditions that occur that are beyond the employee’s control. The goals that are set should be high and held to so you do not end up rewarding mediocrity or marginal performance. Nothing will demoralize and de-motivate your best employees faster than giving a non deserving employee who has not achieved a high standard a reward.
Once the program is underway, constantly reinforce good results and encourage your employees on. Once completed, make sure those who have succeeded are made to feel special and important and that you recognize their achievement.
The final step of course is the reward. Make it high in the “WOW” factor. This can best be done working with an experienced professional that can assemble a package that meets your budgetary constraints and delivers a high quality experience to the participants.
At the conclusion, jump right back into it and create a new program with goals that are a little higher. The employees will be enthused and ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done because they have experienced the value of their hard work. Your company will continue in an upward spiral achieving more all the time.
For more information on Incentive Travel Awards Programs, contact Jerry Vaughn, President of CEALS at 877 836-1949 or firstname.lastname@example.org