The 3 Most Powerful Rewards and Punishers

Research into human behavior clearly shows that people would prefer to do something that is rewarding to them rather than something that is punishing.

A REWARD can be something that is easy for you to do, you like doing it, you’re good at it, it’s exciting, it’s not boring, or you get noticed when you do it.

A PUNISHER can be something that is hard for you to do, you don’t like doing it, you’re not good at it, it’s not exciting, it’s boring, or nobody notices when you do it.

Research also shows that the 3 MOST powerful rewards and punishers are…

Personal, Immediate and Certain. (PIC)

And, that the 3 LEAST powerful rewards and punishers are…

Organizational, Delayed, and a Gamble. (ODG)

Personal rewards or punishers are things that affect you personally.

Organizational rewards or punishers are things that affect the organization but don’t affect you personally.

Here’s why this is important…

If you ask me to do something in my job, and the punishers to do it are Personal, Immediate and Certain (PICs) and the rewards for doing it are Organizational, Delayed, and a Gamble (ODGs), then don’t be surprised if I’m not that motivated to do it.

And, this is often the cause of non-performance at work – because even though most people want to do a good job, they will unconsciously gravitate towards things that are rewarding to them and avoid things that are punishing to them.

It’s all about the BALANCE OF CONSEQUENCES (rewards vs. punishers).

To fix this, you need to find a way to make the rewards for DOING the job greater than punishers for doing the job.

Or, make the punishers for NOT doing the job greater than the rewards for NOT doing it.

When you do this, you’ve changed the BALANCE OF CONSEQUENCES.