Behaviourism to foster a productive work environment


Behaviourism is a psychological concept developed by B. F. Skinner. Many people believe that such ideas can only be applied in places like schools and kindergartens and not as part of workplace training solutions. However, the story is entirely different.

Business owners have a lot to learn from behaviourism and related concepts. It can help them understand employee behaviours, which in turn increases their chances of success.

This article will describe behaviourism and show you how it can make your employees more productive.

What Is Behaviorism?

One of the most useful theories that can explain workplace behaviour is the reinforcement theory. Essentially, employees tend to keep reinforced behaviours and dispense with those that aren’t. The theory also states that past behaviours can be modified so that their impact on present behaviours is limited or neutralized.

When people are provided with positive reinforcement, they are more likely to repeat their actions. As a result, when you offer employees various incentives, you can expect their production to increase since they will keep doing the actions you rewarded them for.

Other forms of behaviour in your business can also influence your workplace organization. For instance, your employees’ leadership style and personality are reliable indicators of how they will perform. To that end, you can set up interviews to evaluate candidates and employees and determine if they will fit in with the company culture.

Moreover, organizational behaviour deals with a group and individual dynamics. It aims to understand behaviour in the workplace and develop ways to predict how employees will behave. This method can help you control actions detrimental to your company.

What Can Business Owners Take Away From Behaviorism?

By now, you may have already reached some conclusions about how you can take advantage of behaviourism to build a more productive workplace. Here’s how you can follow the abovementioned principles to improve your corporate training and create an ideal business environment:

Display Kind Behavior

Treating your employees the way you want to be treated will help develop a positive atmosphere and a loyal community appreciative of the leader’s consideration. If you behave kindly with your employees, they’re likely to return the favour and be more comfortable doing their daily jobs.

To achieve this goal, you can perform various acts of kindness. For example, you can give away a branded coffee mug to your employee. Even a simple ‘Thank You’ is a small but powerful way of showing your employees that you appreciate their efforts. This will drive them to remain productive, knowing that they are working in a rewarding environment.

Generate Motivation

To help your employees feel motivated, you can empower them to solve various problems and make workplace decisions. Another great idea is to provide your employees with the opportunity to take part in training activities or flexible work schedules. The motivation aspect applies to all departments, from sales development to call centres.

Include Rewards and Incentives

Positive reinforcement is arguably the easiest way to achieve higher production. It’s also the most desirable since it goes easy on every team member involved. As previously mentioned, the technique comes down to recognizing and rewarding employees for preferred behaviours, such as an outstanding presentation, report, or pitch deck.

The most effective way of imparting positive reinforcement is to do it periodically. You don’t want your employees to start expecting rewards for every single task performed. They should be included intermittently so that your team doesn’t get used to them.

Moreover, try to identify rewards that have intrinsic value for your employees. For example, a well-thought-out note, plum assignment, or simple praise in front of the whole team will make your employees feel appreciated and motivated to perform on the same level or even better.

Don’t forget to always include feedback in the workplace, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism. Providing feedback is beneficial to your employees since it allows them to see where they performed well and which areas need improvement. In doing so, your employees can grow and work on the skills necessary to contribute to your company’s growth.

Relating Employees’ Past Experiences in Interviews

To predict how prospective employees will act in certain situations, you should conduct interviews to see how they behaved in the past. You can discuss with a candidate if specific past problems could have been resolved differently. If the prospect is fit for the job, they should know how to relate their experience to your business.

Applying Organizational Behavior Management (OBM)

Many people refer to workplace behaviourism as organizational behaviour management. All of the methods previously mentioned are part of OBM and all of them have the same goal – making your employees more productive.

As we’ve already discussed, there are many ways to increase workplace efficiency. But the business environment has evolved significantly, which is why you should consider adding a technological element to your OBM. Here are a few examples:

Get Your Employees Moving Around

If you’re running a business that requires your team to sit for hours on end at their desks, you should find a way to increase their physical activity. This will keep them in good health and maintain workplace productivity. A great way to do this is to introduce an app that jingles for a couple of minutes every hour, signalling that it’s time to get out of their seats and move around.

Track Your Team’s Exercise and Eating

If your business entails frequent travel, it usually means less exercise and poor eating. To prevent this, you can get your employees apps that monitor their activity and diet while on a business trip. It will keep them healthy and more likely to get the job done.

Employ Gamification and Microlearning

Video games are a motivating addition to any business. Modules like leaderboards and badges make workplace learning fun and engage your employees. This creates an environment conducive to greater productivity and growth.

Furthermore, use microlearning activities to make your employee training more efficient and time-saving. It comes in various structures and includes engaging content.

Final Thoughts

Even though it may have sounded far-fetched at first, behaviourism has numerous implications in the workplace. If applied correctly, your employees will become more efficient.

To ensure you’re taking the right approach, contact the experts at Learnsure. We’ll show you how behaviourism can help any business and implement many other methods that will become an integral part of future workplace learningBook a demo and check out our services for yourself.

Innovative Learning for the digital age.

Innovative thinking for the digital age

One of the most important investments that any business owner can make is in the employees. This doesn’t only refer to the basics such as salaries and benefits. There are more significant details for making your employees feel appreciated and nurtured.

To be successful, a company needs to provide its employees with the knowledge and tools necessary to become skillful contributors. The staff must also be incentivized to use their skills properly.

Over the years, corporations have become aware of the importance of employee training and skill development to their success. More and more companies are starting to invest in Chief Learning Officers well-versed in training people to thrive in the corporate environment.

These executives are experts in innovative learning strategies, which should be the focal point of any business in this digital age. By adopting innovative learning, companies can enhance business operations and maximize the chances of success.

Such a holistic approach has proven effective for all organizations. Every company should foster employee development with consistent educational tactics, whether self-driven or structured. But how exactly can a business encourage the staff to be more innovative and creative?

In this article, we’ll provide you with three main tactics you can use to develop innovative learning: design thinking, behaviorism, and experiential learning.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process of identifying different solutions and strategies that may not be readily visible. In the main, design thinking attempts to understand customers, challenges assumptions, and redefines problems.

At the center of this process lies an interest to understand your target customers. It enables you to observe them and empathize with them.

The process can also help you question many problems, assumptions, and the implications of business decisions. As such, design thinking is an effective strategy for addressing vague or unknown issues. It allows you to redefine them in ways that are learner-centered. It encourages you to organize brainstorming sessions and take a direct testing approach.

Design Thinking Stages

You can find multiple implementations of design thinking, which can contain anywhere from three to seven stages. Nonetheless, the process is very similar in that the stages epitomize the same principles.

To give you a brief depiction of how design thinking works, we’ll mention what the process includes in its five-stage form:

  • Empathize – Learning about the audience for which you’re designing
  • Define – Developing personas based on demographics, goals, and objectives
  • Ideate – Brainstorming ideas while suspending judgment and encouraging creativity
  • Prototype – Creating sketches or building 3D models
  • Test – Learning what works and what doesn’t

Bear in mind that the sequence isn’t inviolable. You shouldn’t consider this process as a hierarchy of the five steps. Instead, it’s just an overview of the actions contributing to innovative thinking and business projects.

What’s the Value of Design Thinking to Businesses?

Nowadays, businesses face countless challenges, from budgetary concerns to technological adoption. It’s no secret that companies have to go through frequent project failures. According to an IEEE Spectrum report, some of the most common reasons a project fails include:

  • Stakeholder politics
  • Poor customer and developer communication
  • Ill-defined requirements

Design thinking can help you overcome these obstacles in several ways. For instance, if your business has trouble retaining customers, design thinking can direct your staff to reexamine their efforts and develop new retention ideas and techniques. They’re also encouraged to collaborate with people of different viewpoints. This can lead to strategic innovation and the solving of major problems.

In your meetings, make sure to elicit as much participation as possible. According to Lawton Ursrey, now Chief Product Officer at UserIQ, getting ideas from everyone is paramount. It’s worth prolonging your sessions to hear your team members’ suggestions on numerous issues.

Since design thinking promotes the testing of ideas, it can lead to valuable feedback in the early stages. This is conducive to early breakthroughs and more efficient business practices. When inputs are received early, you may be able to avoid spending money on worthless solutions.

Additionally, design thinking can be a way out of many stressful and challenging situations. It can remind your team members that solutions are available. All you need is to focus your efforts on finding them. This strategy can foster an encouraging environment in your business.


Applying behavioural psychology in the workplace can improve your business. To explain, we’ll go through B. F. Skinner’s reinforcement theory.

Unlike others, reinforced behaviours tend to be adopted. The gist of the theory is that you can condition people’s actions. This has direct implications for workplace training and development.

The main thing is to coach your team properly and provide appropriate reinforcement. You’ll help them develop preferred forms of behavior and dissuade the detrimental. In this regard, positive reinforcement is much more preferable to negative.

Positive reinforcement rewards desirable behaviors. If you want to promote any approved behavior, you’ll want to make sure to recognize or reward the team member who exhibits that behavior.

Doing this periodically is the best way to go. There’s no reason to condition your staff to always expect a reward for a job well done.

Additionally, the rewards should have inherent value for the staff. It can be a unique congratulatory note, an outing, or a dinner at their favorite restaurant.

This means that you should find out about your team member’s preferences beforehand, which you can accomplish with a survey. If you use the same reward for all, it can be tantamount to not recognizing an employee altogether if they don’t care for the reward.

Experiential Learning

Now we get to the final part of effective corporate training, which is experiential learning. As the name implies, this is learning through one’s experience, such as workplace exercises.

Some of the most common examples include group activities that focus on problem-solving (could be company-specific), job rotation, adventure learning, and shadowing programs.

With today’s cutting-edge technology, you can even set up e-learning and virtual simulations. Along with other methods, you can organize direct practice in controlled environments. Your team members can apply what they’ve learned in real business situations.

According to a study conducted by ATD (Association for Talent Development) and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, top companies regularly invest in experiential learning initiatives. On top of that, high-performing companies organize experiential leadership activities created by in-house or outsourced instructional designers.

Best of all, this can be emulated at other companies, including yours. Make use of experiential learning if you want your company to blossom. Still not convinced?

Find out more about the intricacies of experiential learning:

Closely Resembles Reality

Experiential learning isn’t a straightforward activity, nor is it a 100% accurate depiction of real-life situations. The reason why it’s useful is that it falls right in the middle of these two extremes.

When you set up an experiential learning activity, participants have to solve real problems. These are problems designed to imitate workplace challenges and require participants to apply the skills that they use daily. This bridges the gap between practice and theory.

Unlike simulations, experiential learning exercises don’t replicate reality. Rather, they serve as themed scenarios and metaphors for the problems that workers face in their everyday work lives. They might not recognize the similarities at first, but they will soon understand the importance of the exercises and how to apply what’s learned.

Triggers Predictable Learning

Experiential learning isn’t accidental learning. The goal may be to teach the significance of planning or another practice, such as conducting a productive meeting. No matter the objective, the exercises instil a set of values in team members.

In other words, you don’t just initiate an experiential learning activity and wait to see the outcome. Instead, you design the exercise beforehand and incorporate all the principles you’d want your team members to adopt. And if these principles are relevant in the real world, your teams’ approach to the game will imitate what they need to succeed in the workplace.

Thanks to the predictable outcomes, you can be confident that your employees will come away with improved skills and knowledge.

Team Members Have to Be Involved

One of the most useful characteristics of experiential learning is its immersive nature. Staff members are engaged and encouraged to use a critical approach. This deep involvement allows them to retain new concepts much better. Furthermore, this evokes a greater desire to improve, both during learning and at work.

Innovation Is Key

If your team members are underperforming or not living up to their potential, your company needs change. Otherwise, you may fail to catch up to businesses that are already using modern workplace learning techniques.

The most important step is to adopt the three practices we mentioned above. They’ll help the entire staff focus on their work by practicing in a controlled environment and thinking about problems critically.

However, implementing these strategies can be challenging. Luckily, you can always turn to Learnsure for first-class workplace training solutions. We’ll share all our expertise to get your employees honing their skills and embracing how other high-performance businesses work.

Contact us now and don’t miss out on our innovative, sure-fire techniques.