For example, imagine that an employee comes to work late on a day in which he or she was needed to arrive on time. How can a business operator prevent this scenario
from happening again? One way is through a process called behavioral modification (i.e.: recognizing an
action and its payoff; and finding and dealing with the trigger). Following are the five steps behavior
- Recognize the behavior. Find out who/what is influenced by the employee’s behavior and whether that behavior is worth correcting.
- Analyze the behavior. What triggered it? According to psychologists, every human action is
preceded by a trigger which is followed by a perceived payoff. When analyzing someone’s
behavior, dig deep and find the trigger (the cause of the action) and the payoff (the reward the
employee thinks he or she receives).
- Seek out possible solutions. Calmly sit down with the person(s) who performed the behavior and
get some feedback. Perhaps the trigger was a one-time-only event, or, the employee wasn’t
aware of the consequences of his or her action and mentioning it is all that’s necessary for it to
- Implement a solution. People usually don’t do things unless there is a payoff. In a calm and
rational manner, modify the trigger or payoff by adding a consequence that is either positive or negative ( it should be positive).
- Monitor the results. If the results work, continue along the same lines and look for another
solvable problem. If they fail, go back and try something else.
Staying with our example of the employee arriving at work late, perhaps
The aim is to deal with the trigger so that it does not occur again – while
ensuring that the corrective action that’s taken does not lead to future or compounded problems.