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O.b question # 5


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1. What conditions, if any, do you think justify the use of punishment?
2. Do you think most managers use punishment? If so, why?
3. What’s the downside of using punishment? And of using positive reinforcement?
4. What would your behavior response be if you had to work for a boss who uses punishment?

Published in: Business, Technology

O.b question # 5

  1. 1. 1 Question # 5 As sales managerCharlesoccasionally relieson punishmentto try to improve his employees’performance. Forinstance, one time he was dealing with a salesman who washaving a bad month. He talked to the employeeaboutwhathe could do to help him move more cars. But after anotherweek withouta sale and a condescending attitude from the employee, the managerconfronted him. He screamed atthe employee, told him his performance wasunacceptable,and then threw a notebook binderat him. The managersaid “I had talked to him before, said that I would help him out, but thatwe had to do something abouthis sales numbers. The day I actually threw my binderat him, he actually sold a couple of cars”. And the manageris unapologeticabouthis behavior“I am alwaystough on my salespeople,butthey know the reason is thatI wantthem do to better. Do I think its alwayseffective?No butif you do it once in a while, it works.” Apparently,Charlesisn’t alone. When the pressure for meeting numbers and deadlinesis high, some managersrely on punishmentto try to motivate employees. A motivation consultantsaysit can backfire on a manager, when he orshe avoidstelling employeesthatthere are negative consequencesforpoor performance. “Positive reinforcementis something thatemployeesshould earn”according to him. For example, there are cases where high performing salesperson refuses to do his paperworkbutstill getshigh praise from the boss because his numbers are good.
  2. 2. 2 Many managersstill rely on threats to motivate employeesand it does work on some employees. According to them, punishmentcan sometimesprovide a much-neededkick in the pantsto salespeople who are slacking or unaware oftheir poorperformance. Forsome people, public embarrassmentworks. Questions: 1. Whatconditions, if any, do you think justify the use of punishment? 2. Do you think most managersuse punishment?If so, why? 3. What’s the downside ofusing punishment?And of using positive reinforcement? 4. Whatwould yourbehaviorresponsebe if you had to work for a boss who uses punishment?
  3. 3. 3 Answer: Whatconditions, if any, do you think justify the use of punishment? I believe thatpunishment is acceptable only if it is done in an ethical way in the workforce. The employee should know the punishment of an undesirable behavior in the workplace. In this situation the manager shouted at the employee and then threw a notebook. I believe thatthis type of behavior shows the company in a negative lightas well as scares the employee into dislikingthe manager and the company and the risk of that employee of quitting is high. I believe thatpunishment is only warranted in extreme situations where if the employee came in drunk then his punishment would be suspension. I believe the most efficient way to shape a behavior is using positive and negative reinforcement. Only use punishment when you really feel it is the lastoption. If you punish too much, you risk alienating your people, and losing a good working relationship. Everyone wants to do well, and we are not always perfect. You have to cut some slack sometimes, but the job has to be done. If it takes a punishmentto get productivity back up then so be it. Just tread lightly, and only dowhat you have to do to get people to stay motivated. Usually just the threatof a punishment will work out well. This isn't school, and you can't threaten detention, or be rude about it. You are working with adults, and you have to treatthem like adults. Being such, they will understand thatthey have a job to do, and the consequences for being unemployed. If they feel that the boss isn'thappy, they will work
  4. 4. 4 harder to get back on the rightside of the boss. An adultmightnot like the job, but will rarelyfeel joy over not having a paycheck. If an employee doesn't produce even when they know they are being watched, then you can punish even more. Everyone will stay off the path every so often, so you have to use the rightpunishment for the rightcrime. If someone is slacking for a day or two, just remind them that they have to stay late if they don't finish. However, ifsomeone is continually slacking, youcan just fire them, or put them on a written notice. That will pave the way for a firing, and if the employee doesn't turn it around, you can get rid of them. The use on punishmentis good when you mighthave the feeling that some have tuned you out. You can't punish an employee for doing something when they are bored. You can't say they are fired because you caughtthem texting, or that you caught them on a non-work related website. However, ifthe employee doesn't stop, and they aren'tbeing productive, you can easily punish then. Tell them to take the day off, and think about how much they really wantthe job. Make them work on Saturday ifthey don't get the work done by Friday. The first action that will be taken is verbal warning, second action is being written up, and the third will be grounds to suspend/termination. These are the proper procedures when correcting an employee in the workplace. Any other form of corrections is truly abusing your Title/Power, and thatisn'tgood for the workplace. When people
  5. 5. 5 come to work they are not looking to be punished for an honest mistake, because mistakes will happen in the workplace. 2. Do you think most managersuse punishment?If so, why? I do not think that most manager use punishment. I believe that most manager work cooperativelywith their employees and sit down and discuss a resolution when there are time of the employee misbehaving. During my career I have noticed that most managers thatuse punishment are usually power hungry individuals and are not the best of managers.I have not seen these types of managers succeed in their career because the employees that work for them do not support them and they usually get lower employee satisfaction scores. When the pressure for meeting numbers and deadlines is high, some managers rely on punishment to try to motivate employees Punishment can be used in positive and negative manners;an example of positive punishment is the use of a water-mistspray intothe face of the subject when the subject exhibits an unwanted behavior, such as mouthing for self-injurious subjects. The use of timeouts and response-cost systems are examples of negative forms of punishment There are so many little things that happen in the workplace, and if you punished everyone for everything, youmightnot have much of a workforce. People will use the Internet, people will read magazines on a register, and there will be disagreements,and probably some fights at work
  6. 6. 6 too. Managementwillbe talked down to by employees, and you can't fire someone for having an opinion that you mightnot like. Employees are going to be late, and people will make mistakes. . Managers are often faced with the difficulttask of changing undesirable employee behavior. Problems like absenteeism, lateness, and drug or alcohol usage cost corporations millions of dollars annually while some inappropriate employee behaviors within organizations maygo undisciplined, and managers believethatpunishment is necessary when undesirable actions (which could include a wide range of specific and contingent employee behaviors)have an adverse effect on job performance. That is, any unwanted subordinate behavior which has a directimpact on task performance is a likely targetfor organizational discipline, with subsequentemployee performance the primarymeasure used to gauge the effectiveness of a supervisor’s disciplinaryattempt. However, many if not most managers dislike administering required punishment due to the strong emotional reaction the punished individual is expected to display as well as due to the potential impactpunishment may have on employee attitudes such as job satisfaction. Given their importance to both organizations and theorists, itis not surprising thatone or both of these outcomes (i.e., performance and satisfaction)have been the focus of the majority of organizationaldiscipline research.
  7. 7. 7 EXAMPLE:-As sales manager for a New Jersey auto dealership, Charles Park occasionally relies on punishment to try to improve his employees ‘performance. For instance, one time he was dealing with a salesman who was having a bad month. Park talked to the employee about what he could do to help him move more cars. But after another week without a sale and a condescending attitude from the employee, Park confronted him. He screamed atthe employee, told him his performance was unacceptable, and then threw a notebook binder athim. Said Park, “I had talked to him before, said that I would help him out, but that we had to do something about his numbers. The day I tossed my binder athim, he actually sold a couple of cars.” And Park is unapologetic abouthis behavior. “Iam always tough on all my salespeople, but they know the reason is that I want them to do better. Do I think it’s always effective? No. But if you do it once in a while, it works.” ApparentlyCharles Park isn’talone. 1. What’s the downside ofusing punishment?Of using positive reinforcement? The downside of using punishment is that you mightlose a good employee that just needed the righttools to perform their job. The company would have to hire another employee and then train them on the job. This can cause downtime in the company’s productivity and lower morale between other employees when they see punishment as the consequences of lower productivity. The downside of using positive enforcement could be that the employee never learns from his behavior.
  8. 8. 8 Reinforcementincreases the behavior thatpreceded it. Punishment decreases the behavior thatpreceded it. Punishment weakens a behavior because a negative condition is introduced or experienced as a consequence of the behavior. Example: a ratis in a cage and when it presses the lever, it is shocked. When it lets go, the shock stops. It learns not to press the lever so it won’t get punished. One of the downsides of punishment is that it makes people resentful and instills fear. While using positive reinforcementmakes a person feel better and want to please you by DOING better. Positive reinforcementis effective and largelyused for two separate reasons. Firstly, itis one of the most powerful techniques available for the direction or motivation of the actions of other people. The second reason which is more philosophical is the versatility ofthe concept of reinforcementas an explanation of behavior.When positive reinforcements are used, the desired outcome is that the behavior is reinforced. Subjects understand thatthe behavior is desirable and willtend to repeat it for the rewards Manager can influence employee‘s behavior by reinforcing action they deem desirable .however because the emphasis is on positive reinforcementnot punishment, manager should ignore, notpunish unfavorable behavior.Even though punishmenteliminates undesired behavior faster than no reinforcementdoes, its effect is often only temporary and may later have unpleasantside effects including
  9. 9. 9 dysfunctional behaviorsuch as workplace conflicts, absenteeism,and turnover Positive reinforcementworks much well as employees want to do a good job for a good boss. Positive reinforcementwill boost morale and employees will feel a part of a team, wanting to put their best foot forward Reinforcement and punishment, the core tools of operant conditioning, are either positive (delivered followinga response), or negative (withdrawn followinga response). Reinforcement is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with greater frequency. Punishment is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with less frequency. Positive reinforcement (Reinforcement): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus that is rewarding, increasingthe frequency of that behavior.In the Skinner box experiment, a stimulus such as food or sugar solution can be deliveredwhen the ratengages in a target behavior, such as pressing a lever Negative reinforcement:occurs when a behavior (response)is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, therebyincreasing thatbehavior's frequency. In the Skinner box experiment, negative reinforcementcan be a loud noise continuously sounding inside the rat's cage until it engages in the targetbehavior,such as pressing a lever, upon which the loud noise is removed.
  10. 10. 10 Positive punishment (Punishment)(alsocalled "Punishment by contingent stimulation"): occurs when a behavior (response)is followed by a stimulus, such as introducing a shock or loud noise, resulting in a decrease in that behavior. Negative punishment (Penalty)(alsocalled "Punishmentby contingent withdrawal"): occurs when a behavior (response)is followed by the removal of a stimulus, such as taking away a child's toy following an undesired behavior, resultingin a decrease in that behavior
  11. 11. 11 Positive Reinforcement Behavior Presentation of a pleasantor positive stimulus Frequency of behavior increases You put coins into a vending machine. You receive a cold can of soda. You put coins in vending machines in the future.
  12. 12. 12 Negative Reinforcement Behavior Removal of an unpleasantstimulus Frequency of behavior increases In the middle of a boring date, you say you have a headache. The date ends early. You use the same tactic on future boring dates. Punishment I Behavior Introduction of an unpleasantstimulus Frequency of behavior decreases You touch a hot iron. Your hand is burned. You no longer touch hot irons. Punishment II Behavior Removal of a pleasantstimulus Frequency of behavior decreases You're careless with your ice cream cone. The ice cream falls on the ground. You're not as careless with the next cone.
  13. 13. 13 4. Whatwould yourbehaviorresponse be if you had to work for a boss who uses punishment? According to me the job of a manager in the work place is to get thing done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. But that easier said than done! Human nature can be very simple, yet very complex too an understandingand appreciation of this is a prerequisite to effective employee motivation in the workplace and therefore effective management and leadership. There is an old saying you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink water; itwill drink only ifit’s thirsty so with people they will dowhat they wantto do or otherwise motivated to do There are 3 things we can do with a bullying boss: Ignore them, confront them or Reportthem. Here are some tips to follow if you are being bullied: 1. we can tell someone trustable whatis happening. Ask for their help. 2. We can keep a written diary of incidents, including the date, time, situation and any witnesses. 3. Report the incidentto your supervisor/manager, to the bully's supervisor/manageror to your Personnel/Human Resources department. 4. Tell the bully that their behavior is unacceptable and leave the situation.
  14. 14. 14 5. Don't fight back or engage in debate with the bully - you may end up being blamed for the fight. 6. Avoid being any place alone with the bully if at all possible. 7. If someone else is nearby, ask the bully to repeat his or her comments in front of them as a witness The administration is effective only when a clear rationale is provided. Clear and unambiguous reasons must be provided why a person was punished. And a person must be clearly warnedwhatprecise actions will lead to punishment in the future. When a rationale for punishment is provided, mild or moderate punishmentis just as effective as intensive punishment (in influencing behavior).And the person must be told what (positive) alternatives are available before him.
  15. 15. 15 Keep in mind to always read the handbook the company in which you are applying for a position. Because that will be the only thing protecting your rights in the workplace. In case you ever come in contact with that boss that likes to bully their employee's, the handbook will protect you from that type of unfair and unusual punishment. Be sure to read all documents a workplace gives you it's for your own good,
  16. 16. 16 remember. Ifyou’re not familiarwith the guide lines of the rules and regulation you’re only hinderingyourselfwhen a problem like this arouses, then you’re according to me that if we will think wisely and really we want to save our job and retain it smoothly so we have to tackle our boss in such a way so he/she insist to change his/her behaviorfor us and no situation will come for punish us. Obey the boss’s rules even if it contradicts company policies: There is nothing more miserable to a boss than a critic. Just give the illusion that you are doing things his or her way. 1. Be gentle and considerate - The meek shall inheritthe Earth. You may lose the battle but if you do not confront those who seek dominance with the same kind of attitude that has corrupted them, then you will win the war. 2. Offer a sacrifice – Power trippers see themselves as gods. If you want to please them and get their approval, offer a decapitated chicken… err… I mean, give them something delightful from time to time. 3. Give yourboss the powerto grant – Adding the phrase, “If it’s ok with you…” to your requests can actually make all your wishes come true. To them, what you say may sound like, “Yeah, who’s your daddy now?” The point, however, is that you won’t have any problem getting whatyou want. 4. Do not ignore yourboss – People obsessed with power always like getting attention, so give it to them. Otherwise, youmightget in
  17. 17. 17 trouble if you make the mistake of ignoring your boss whenever he’s around. 5. Neverargue with yourboss – For power trippers, it’s either you’re with them or againstthem. Arguing with your boss, or anyone who has directauthority over you, is not a win-lose situation. It’s suicide. 6. Do not stand in the boss’s way – Your boss may see everything as competition. Stay out of his way by letting him hear what he wants to hear and letting him know whathe needs to know. Give information that mightbe useful to him and your boss will love you for it. 7. Do not reject offers and invitations – Declining invitations maybe interpreted as resistance to their authority. Your refusal may depend on the context of the boss’s invitation, butshowing disinterest generallymeans a sign of contempt. 8. Plead for whatyou wantas if it was punishment – Competitive people may see everyone as opponents in their struggle for supremacy. Consequently, it makes them happy to see other people suffer. Avoid communicating your needs with a smile on your face. 9. Do not delay – If your boss wants something done, do it immediately. If your boss is calling your attention, respond instantly. Making your boss waitis like watching the liquid in a thermometer rise. 10.Offer words of praise – Whatyou don’t know are that your boss needs more recognition than you do. The reason is that the higher you go up the career ladder, the more inflated your sense of self- worth becomes. Offering prayers sometimes work as well.
  18. 18. 18 11.Treatyourboss like a feudallord – Each time you order a pizza, go to your boss, and then say, “Have a slice before the orcas get their hands on these.” If you don’t get a reaction, offer the whole box. 12.Addressyourboss properly – If he wants to be called by his name, that’s great. If he wants you to call him “Your Imperial and Royal Majesty,” you need to oblige. 13.Emphasizeyourboss’s contribution by reframing yourlanguage – Instead of saying, “Ihope the general manager willbe satisfied with what I did.” say, “The generalmanagerwill definitely be impressed that you came up with that idea.” 14.Spend time with yourboss as much as possible – If you’re worried about whatyour peers have to say to you, tell them you’re just doing it to get inside information. 15.Fill the void – Bosses are generally lonely people. Whenever there’s an occasion in your company, always be the first one to invite your boss. 16.Give a helping hand –Whenever there’s an opportunity of helping your boss with something like printing documents or writing reports, grab it. Bosses are suckers for people who will do anything for them. 17.Act as a spokesperson – Generally, people who are not formally prepared for positions of leadership are not taughteffective communication skills. If you think you’re better than your boss in this area, modestly ask ifyou can help deliver the message on his or her behalf.
  19. 19. 19 18.Avoid adding pressure – If you want to have an activity with your colleagues, don’t expect your boss to organizeor head the committee. Ask only for approval. Your boss has more things to worry about even if it may not look like he does. 19.Alwayssay, “Considerit done!“ – Bosses are fond of people who are not difficult to manage. When your boss asks you to do something, give him or her assurance that you’ll take care of everything. Justmake sure that you actually follow through with whatever it is you agreed to do. 20.Do it when and where the bosswill see you - If you're willing to help organize the workplace, makinggood impressions count. Your boss can only use his imagination when he thinks about you. Give him something good to remember. 21.Police the area when yourboss is present – When the cat is away, the mice will play… we all know that. If you wantmore time to play, then do your boss’s job for him. Make a reasonable and believable demonstration. This will make him think thatthis is still what’s going on when he’s not around though you know better. 22.In all thingsand at all times, smile – This gives the impression that you are a positive person not only to your boss but to all the people you work with as well. 23.Exaggerate– Actors/actresses in film, television, and theatre are good at whatthey are doing because they know how to exaggerate.If you wantto convince your boss, put more emotion in your words
  20. 20. 20 and your actions. For example, shed a tear when explainingwhy you’re always late. 24.Pretend you’re a masochistif yourboss is a sadist – Figuratively speaking, ifyour boss is the type of person who enjoys seeing a flowing stream of blood and tears from employees, then pretending that you’re working yourselfto near death may actually pay off. 25.Everyoneis exploited;yourbossis not exempted – When your boss engages you in a conversation and talks about how life has been so unfair and things like that, be attentive but don’t absorb the negativity.Your boss has a lot of influence over your mind, but there are times when you have to guard your own sanity. 26.Copy whatthe team playersare doing – If there are people whom your boss pays attention to, those are the guys who produce results. If you can’t match their skill set, you can at leastimitate the way they behave around your boss. 27.Know when to make a persuasive suggestion – When you catch your boss uttering words of disappointmentand discontent, use the opportunity to offer your own solutions (things you really wantfor you and your friends)in the form of questions. For example, “Would it be better if…?” or “Whatif you try…?” 28.Use rewards– Every time your boss does something to make you and your peers happy, take note of it and examine whatyou have done to receive such a charitable action from his holy grace. Use it for a period of time to initiate the same response from your boss. When
  21. 21. 21 he gets used to it, he’ll try to come up with ways to please you even if you don’t do anything. 29.Use punishment – When your boss behaves like a douche bag, punish the behavior by being lethargicand insubordinate, or something to that effect. It’s more powerful if you can get your co- workers to take part in the scheme. Take note that the functioning elementin using rewards and punishments is consistency. 30.Know how to read gesturesand meta-communicationsignals – Your boss mightbe saying something to you unconsciously, so you have to be able to read his gesture On the other hand, meta- communication is when your boss tells you whatto expect in terms of how he will interactwith you. For example, “I just had a bad presentation with the vice presidentthis morning, so let’s see how this meeting goes.” 31.Share secrets with yourboss – If you want to get your boss’s trust without sweating it out, the easiesttrick are to share secrets. Reciprocal concessions mightwork for you in this way. Showing trust in your boss will likely urge him or her to trust you in return. 32.Information overload– The human mind is not capable of handling too much information. If you want to get your boss off your back, you and your friends can try raising your concerns through email all at the same time. That should keep your boss busy. 33.Set a time limit – Whenever your boss asks you if you have a minute, tell him you’re only free for five. If you are consistent with this, it can prevent him or her from engaging youin long conversations during
  22. 22. 22 work hours. Your boss will get the signal which will be left inside his memory. 34.Ask if you can do it for yourboss – Your boss may not always have time to conduct meetings, create reports, and coach his subordinates, and so on. Ask if he can teach you so you can do it for him. Sooner or later, not only will you have the experience and your boss’s recognition, but you will get his job title as well.