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Is Positive Reinforcement Good For Motivation?

Positive reinforcement can be a tricky decision. 

We hear about rewards constantly. People are rewarding themselves for losing weight, for getting a certain mark on their schoolwork, and even for completing their day’s tasks. But should people be rewarding themselves so often? 

Are rewards good for motivation? Will rewards help your franchise or business? 

Is positive reinforcement really that necessary? 

Rewards come in two types: 

  1. Verbal praise – such as being told you’ve done a good job by a manager or business owner.

  2. Tangible goods – physical rewards for achieving a pre-set performance indicator. Although tangible goods may not always be physical, they can include free work lunches or give always of franchisee or business products. 

So what are the pros and cons of using positive reinforcement for your franchise or business.  


  • Rewards are known to make people happier and happier people are more efficient at their work. That’s a clear positive.  

  • Gives employees clear cut goals to work towards. Having a silver lining for striking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can create a surge of motivation and efficient work. Would this even work for yourself as a franchisee?

  • Verbal positive reinforcement is costless. All it takes is noticing the good work your employees (and yourself) are doing and letting them know just how much you appreciate it. ‘Good work Julie’ takes two seconds to say and can make your employees day. 


  • Tangible rewards need to be financed. This can dip into your total franchise or business budget; can you financially sustain such a system?

  • Applying too many rewards for good work can make employees over confident and build an expectation of reinforcement, ultimately your workers should do their jobs without these extra incentives. They are after all, a bonus. 

It’s a personal decision that you and only you can make. For some people, positive reinforcement will the the extra motivation they need to get the job done well, for others it may not change a thing. 

Consider your own work behaviours. Do you need to reward yourself for achieving goals, or is the achievement itself enough?

If you do choose to take the positive reinforcement pathway, always ensure that your rewards scheme is down in print, links rewards to performance, and works on a variable rate. 

Good luck!

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