Spankings. According to the American Psychological Association, “there is general consensus that corporal punishment is effective.” Spanking and other gentle but firm types of physical reprimand can have a noticeable effect on human behavior. That effect is usually immediate, which would allow the manager or supervisor to elicit a strong response from employees who are exhibiting behavioral issues such as talking back (American Psychological Association). General ineffectiveness, sluggishness, and other behavioral problems can be easily corrected with a whack of a stick or a slap on the bottom. Corporal punishment “remains a widely used discipline technique in most American families,” and families remain one of the most common organizations in the United States (American Psychological Association).
The use of spanking is generally discouraged in the childhood education sector. However, corporal punishment may have a distinct and measurable effect in the workplace. There are some drawbacks with the recommendation of corporal punishment in the workplace. For one, there have been few empirical studies designed to measure the effect of corporal punishment; future research is necessary before human resources managers and other supervisors want to take the initiative and spank their employees. There may also be legal issues that arise; organizations should check their codes of ethics and state laws and possible receive legal consultation before embarking on a corporal punishment employee discipline strategy.
2. The Undesirable Transfer. Behavioral issues can sometimes not be solved using traditional means, especially when an organizational climate of fear, paranoia, and demoralization prevent successful conflict resolution. When a problematic employee threatens the social order in the company, a transfer may be warranted. If a manager wishes to reward good behavior rather than punish poor behavior, the employee who exhibits the strongest record of social harmony could be sent to the most desirable office, such as the one in Barcelona. If would be inappropriate to send a valuable employee to an undesirable location. Managers working within a more punitive disciplinary framework could send the problematic employee to the office in Saudi Arabia or Perry, Florida. A transfer accomplishes several core organizational behavior objectives, such as creating and maintaining an environment of mutual support, respect and cooperation that does not include annoying or misbehaving personnel. Alternatively, employees that work hard deserve to be rewarded with the transfer to a more pleasant position in Barcelona or Fiji. Good behavior must be rewarded as robustly and consistently as bad.
3. Writing organizational rules over and over again on the dry-erase board, or picketing with appropriate organizational rules in public. When employees fail to obey company rules, they may not have properly internalized the regulations and overall values of the organization. It may be necessary to review policies and codes of behavior. A review session is unlikely to yield any quantifiable results, though. Employees attending a meeting during which managers expound upon the importance of wearing bras or shoes might take naps during the session, or post pictures of their bare feet on Pintarest. Instead of ineffective disciplinary strategies, managers might want to use a more effective technique such as making employees write the rules on the company dry-erase board in front of the entire boardroom. After twenty minutes of writing, “I will wear a bra to work,” the employee will be more likely to shop at Victoria’s Secret after work. If all else fails, managers might consider using novel techniques like making employees wear fake pickle suits while carrying picket signs that read, “Acme Building Supplies Likes Boobs to Stay Firmly in Place!” The picket signs would be an excellent adjunct to the organization’s marketing mix.
4. Intrinsic Motivation. Employees sometimes perform better when they are intrinsically motivated, rather than being motivated by external rewards like carrots. One of the ways to promote intrinsic motivation would be to create an atmosphere in which each employee feels valid and valuable. A sense of personal validation cannot just come from within; coworkers and supervisors need to provide their continual support by liking each other’s Facebook posts. Even stupid employees deserve to be listened to during company meetings, or else they might develop low self-esteem and cease performing well at work. Intrinsic motivation prevents turnovers, and retains some of the most valuable personnel. Managers can foster a sense of teamwork and camaraderie to encourage employees to care about their job. Some extrinsic rewards can be incorporated into a strategic incentive plan. For example, free pizza and beer will get employees to come to a company picnic. If hookers, blow, and other extrinsic rewards are included, then more employees will show up to the picnic.
5. Access to the executive toilet. George Costanza, the character on the television series Seinfeld, understood the value of access to the executive toilet. Executive toilets are large, clean, and private. Some of them include fancy Korean or Japanese toilets that have warm water sprays and other fun tools that make passing the time much more comfortable. Executive also smell nice, and are healthy spaces in which to perform necessary biological activities, daily ablutions, and impromptu Tweets. The access to the executive toilet is a blatant form of extrinsic motivation. This technique should not be used too liberally, because it is more important to engender intrinsic motivation among company workers.
American Psychological Association. “Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline?” APA. Retrieved online: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2002/06/spanking.aspx
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