I recently read and enjoyed the “quick read” book Oops by Aubrey Daniels. The book is interesting as it focuses on human behavior and discusses management practices, policies and processes that motivate and de-motivate employees. The essence of the book is that business managers need to focus on frequent positive reinforcement of behavior and that motivating through discipline and fear is not effective for long term success. Mr. Daniels makes the analogy of games that we play and how we are constantly getting positive reinforcement when we make that great shot or move as we play. Managers need to reinforce positive behavior regularly and often as well. One practice he points out that does not work is the employee of the month because the metrics are usually not clear and it creates a negative feeling from everyone except that one person. Mr. Daniels suggests a better practice would be to create clear metrics and then recognize everyone who meets or exceeds the threshold. Do this more often – daily if possible!
I think that the book is worth reading. Motivating and driving desired employee behavior is extremely important and there are not many books that focus entirely on this.