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Case Study 1: Manager Who Doubled Productivity

588 words - 3 pages

1. How did Cliff take advantage of principles of operant conditioning to modify his staff’s behavior?
Cliff’s took advantage of the principles of operant conditioning to modify his staff’s behavior in a few different rewarding and positive ways. Cliff noticed when he accepted the position of manager, that there was a high turnover rate in the company and employees were “unproductive and insufficient.” Many past employees quit because the prior manager was very negative, and often criticized when work was not done properly. Cliff decided to not criticize or punish his employees unless it was absolutely necessary. Some approaches of operant conditioning Cliff took were complimenting employees often for their hard work. He set goals for them to reach, for example every Friday afternoon he would buy lunch for all staff members that met their goals everyday that week. Cliff also incorporated spot ...view middle of the document...

When the staff is being constantly criticized for every move they make it makes for a stressful environment. As an individual, when you are constantly put down when trying your best it is a difficult act to be productive and motivated. Reinforcement strategies are preferable over punishment strategies because it creates a healthy work environment. Rather than a stressful environment that demoralizes staff members. Reinforcement can also promote more productive staff members. By incorporating goals for them like Cliff Richards did for his staff, can motivate and determine staff members to strive to their full potential.
3. How did Cliff make use of partial reinforcement schedules? What kinds of schedules did he use?
Cliff made use of partial reinforcement schedules by rewarding his employees only when they met goal and performed their specific jobs exceptionally well. If he rewarded them more often the positive reinforcement would become overused and not as motivating. Cliff mainly used fixed-interval and fixed-ratio schedules when rewarding his employees.
4. How could Cliff use his technique to train his staff to complete a complex new task that they had never done before?
Cliff’s technique creates a less stressful environment for his employees. If he used the same positive technique when training his staff to complete a complex new task, it would be a positive outcome. When rewarding his employees when they are working hard and efficiently this will create motivation and an environment that is more relaxed rather than a negative reinforcement technique.

5. How might Cliff make use of principles of cognitive learning theory to improve his staff’s productivity even further?
Cliff could make use of the principles of the cognitive learning theory to improve his staff’s productivity further by developing small personal relationships with his staff to grow to understand how each individual thinks, and absorbs information. It could be as simple as eating with the staff at lunch and observe their conversations. If he better understands his staff then it will be less challenging to find what techniques motivate them.

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