© 2020 Human Performance Engineering, LLC. 

Your Situation

You do your best to be patient and empathic with your employees, but some still resist  your  directives. They might:

  • do it their way, skip steps, ignore the standards, or the customer.

  • respond too slowly.

  • fail to inform you of work or customer issues that could have been addressed earlier.

  • bring negativity to the team or otherwise undermine your vision. 

  • unnecessarily compete with one another, hoarding information or expertise that could benefit the whole team.  

  • refuse to collaborate. 

Constantly attending to staff issues is frustrating and robs you of the time you wanted to spend on business growth opportunities. Ultimately these staff issues will result in under-performance, quality errors, customer complaints, production delays, lateness, absenteeism, and turnover. 

 A number of corrective meetings have been held, but these have produced little in the way of results. Is it them or is it something else? Can this employee be saved? Is it just their nature or is something prompting and sustaining their behavior? 

And on a more positive note, which of your employees have the talent, but just don't seem to have the drive to reach their full productive potential? We call this discretionary effort. How do we motivate them to realize their true capability? 


Do you agree with the reasoning in this quote? We hope not.

What behavior does an employee's salary reinforce exactly? Pay by itself only motivates a performer to show up for work and avoid being fired. Effective performance management requires a stronger relationship between what you do and what you get.

The Solution

All the soft terms we use to describe people and groups - attitude, traits, personality, climate, culture, etc., have their roots in one thing - behavior. Behavior is what people say and do, it is observable. That is how we concluded someone had a "poor attitude" in the first place. As a manager of people, what business are you in, if not the behavior influence business? 



This necessary focus on behavior has some important implications. 


  1. In the workplace, it is ineffective to try to change personality or attitude directly. Not only that, it is intrusive. Are we supposed to be therapists for our employees? No.   

  2. b(f)=c. Behavior is a function of its consequences. Or in plain English, if you want to know what someone is going to do, look at what happens to them when they do it. 

  3. Training will not solve a motivation problem. Threats are a temporary solution, and have unintended negative consequences that are well documented.

  4. Behavior is precise. We only need to change those few behaviors that have the greatest impact on performance. 

If you need your people to do more, do less, or do differently, Incentive Solutions is the answer.

Consulting Deliverables

Motivation Report

  • A precise description of the behaviors you want to change for an individual, job title, or work group.

  • An investigation of the environmental influences that conflict with the behavior you want or support the behavior you don’t want.

  • A recommended set of changes to the signals for desired behavior (clearer expectations, system prompts, priorities, and other signals to perform)

  • A recommended set of new or revised behavioral consequents for desired behavior (social and tangible reinforcers). 

Behavior Influence Plan

Now we need to put the learnings from the Motivation Report into action:

  • A precise description of the behavior goals, taken from the Motivation Report.

  • How you will track changes in the behavior you want to influence.

  • How progress towards the desired behavior will be rewarded.  

  • The schedule on which reinforcement will be delivered, by who, etc. 

  • The means to evaluate success in long lasting behavior change. 

The strengthening of desired behavior is often more important than elimination of undesired behavior. This is because good behavior can crowd out the bad behavior. Incentive Solutions helps capture discretionary effort, one of the factors that can make average performers produce like your best performers. 

And let us add, we never design an incentive or motivation system that we ourselves would not want to be participants in. Your employees will prefer to work in the new system over the old one...they may be frustrated too.


What do you note about the graphic above? There are 5 key things we want you to see in it.

Please see Our Offer, or Contact Us for more information.

They'd BETTER work their butts off, we are paying them good money!      - A Fortune 500 executive

It’s not what gets measured that gets done.

It’s what gets reinforced that gets done.

Measurement is only a signal for reinforcement.        - Scott Ford