Step 3: Define and Enforce Positive Over Negative Consequences
People often view enforcement as only as a negative thing. If people know they will get in trouble if they break the rules and get caught, what becomes the goal? Do we follow the rules or not get caught?
With the proper emphasis and reasoning, we can easily shift one’s focus towards the positive consequences of rule compliance. When we recognize people who do the right things, we help foster personal pride and commitment over time.
Leaders need to stress the positive, as well as negative, outcomes for following the rules. Positive consequences don’t have to always be extrinsic in nature.
Team members all gain enhanced job security and a safer working environment when they follow fair rules. Plus, it is not uncommon to gain happier customers and waste less time. I find that the best enforcement strategy is to provide positive, meaningful, daily, and consistent feedback.
In our TapRooT® root cause analysis class example, the consequences are simple. We give out a playing card for being back in the seat on time. There is a chance to play best and worst hand poker for a prize. If someone returns from break late, they don’t get a card.
People rarely return late from break however, even though the prizes are relatively low in cost. People want recognition when they do the right thing. Don’t you?