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What is the Most Important Rule In People Management?

What is the Most Important Rule in People Management?

What is the Most Important Rule in People Management?

The single most important rule of management is this:

"Whatever gets rewarded, gets done."

That single sentence should act as the guiding light which illuminates your thinking about managing and motivating people.

"Whatever gets rewarded, gets done" means, you must become extremely conscious of what behaviours you are rewarding.

The sad truth is that, many bad behaviours are often inadvertently rewarded, (think of a mother giving a misbehaving child a bar of chocolate, in order to pacify him).

The same kind of thing happens in your organisation.

Whatever behaviour gets rewarded, gets repeated.

So, don't fall into the trap of accidentally rewarding bad behaviours.

You should note that the opposite statement is also true: "Whatever behaviours do NOT get rewarded, will soon stop."

If a colleague exerts extra effort, over an extended time, obtaining good results for the business, and that extra effort goes unnoticed and unrewarded, you can be sure that they will be less likely to repeat such efforts.

You should be sure that you and your organisation does not accidentally reward the following behaviours.

  • Yes-man mentality
  • Indecision (the refusal to make a decision for fear of making a wrong one)
  • Chronic risk avoidance

These three behaviours are often rewarded, and consequently the organisation as a whole becomes slow to change and adapt, and thus is at risk of being selected for extinction.

It is vital that you and your organisation recognise and reward the following behaviours:

  • Constructive criticism of the current set up
  • Creative thinking
  • Intelligent risk taking

These three behaviours are often NOT rewarded, and often they are even discouraged.

All successful organisations thrive because they encourage these types of behaviours.

Whenever you see a person giving constructive criticism, or creative thinking, or taking intelligent risks, you should single-out that person for praise, appreciation and reward.

The reward does not have to be money, although it could be.

Rewards can come in the form of personal recognition, appreciation, thanks, and career advancement.

You cannot afford to NOT reward risk taking, creativity and constructive criticism.

You cannot afford to reward Yes-man mentality, indecision and chronic risk avoidance.

Remember the following sentences and ponder their important implications:

  • Behaviours I reward, will be repeated.
  • Behaviours I fail to reward, will stop.

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