I prefer training my team using the pavlovian conditioning, with a slight bias in negative reinforcement. This has drawn the ire of the Human Resources department in the past.

The reinforcement that I usually employ is done via penalties. The penalties are monetary in nature, and increases in severity if the infraction happens close to each other. An example is a first violation is worth Php50, but any violation in the next 2 weeks will incur a higher penalty of Php100, and so on until a set limit (normally Php500 per infraction). If there is no violation after 2 weeks then the penalty goes back to Php50 as the next violation will be treated as a first offense. The reinforcement is only effective if the team sees that I have my skin in the game too. If the violation is something that applies to me then the same penalties cover my violations. Usually I also sweeten the pot wherein if there is no violation for 2-3 consecutive periods then I automatically contribute the highest penalty amount to the collected funds. I “lose” either way but my goal is not to collect funds but to make the team learn a certain behavior.

The funds collected do not go to my own pocket. The team decides what to do with it. Normally the team spends it on a lunch-out or a series of snacks. I had one team donate the collected funds to charity.

The whole point of negative reinforcement is to make sure that the subjects do not deviate on the prescribed behavior as it will be too inconvenient. Positive reinforcement on the other hand makes it pleasant to meet the prescribed behavior. I just prefer the former because I find it more effective in getting results in a much shorter time.

ciao!