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Performance Feedback, Rewards, and Reinforcement

MHR 3200 Dr. Larry Inks Department of Management and Human Resources Fisher College of Business The Ohio State University

The Performance Management Cycle Feedback (including 360 feedback)

Reward Systems Operant Conditioning and Reinforcement

The Performance Management Cycle

Rewards (Merit increase, etc.) Training and development (ongoing) Informal feedback (ongoing)

Setting Accountabilities

Performance Review

Developmental Review

Two Fundamental Truths re: Feedback

People who are open to, and seek out, feedback about their performance and act upon that feedback will almost always be more successful than people who do not. -- and --

Perception is reality.

Feedback Basics
Feedback has two major functions: Instructional (e.g., insight into better ways to perform a task) Motivational (e.g., information that builds your self-efficacy) Feedback can come from a variety of sources: Yourself Others The task/situation itself
Success depends on sorting through/attending to these sources

Feedback Questions to Ask Yourself

Could I have done better than I did on this task/project?

Do I feel good, bad or indifferent about my performance? Why?

If I could do it over again, what would I do differently? How much of the results are because of my own behavior? What did I do well on this task/project? How can I do more of that same behavior in the future? How can others help me? Do I have things to learn from them?

What have I learned? About content? About myself?

Think through these questions as they relate to courses, tests, etc.


Guidelines for Giving Feedback to Others

Be clear in your words and articulation Be specific about the behavior(s) in question

Focus on behaviors, not on personal characteristics

Focus on behaviors that can be changed Accept ownership of the feedback (use I statements) Be timely; give feedback ASAP after the behavior is seen

Use a good balance but accentuate the positive

Clearly explain the consequences of their action(s) Link the feedback to what the person cares about Seek input from them on how to continuously improve

Agree on (ideally) goals for future behaviors

These principles apply to both constructive and positive feedback

Why Does Feedback Sometimes Fail to Work?

Feedback is used inappropriately (e.g., to punish, embarrass).
The feedback is provided too infrequently and/or too late to make any real difference. The content is lost in the message (e.g., overly harsh delivery). The provider of feedback is not viewed as a credible source. The recipient thinks the feedback is not accurate. The feedback isnt accurate (e.g., could be overly positive). The recipient is not held accountable for improvement. The overall feedback atmosphere makes one defensive. Dont forget about self-serving bias and other types of errors

Typical Reactions to Negative Feedback

My job makes me act that way; Im not really like that Thats just what you think; others dont think that way

He/she is only saying this because they dont like me

I dont do that anymore I only did it once (twice/three times) Are you confusing me with someone else??? Thats not the way I remember it This is accurate; I just dont care Okay, fine, whatever you say

Pretty common to not accept feedback based on just one person


What Is 360 Feedback?

A process in which feedback about a persons behavior is collected from multiple perspectives (including self):


Coworkers/ Colleagues



Direct Reports

Participating in a 360 Feedback Process

As a participant, you will be expected to:

Develop a rater list approved by your manager

Forward the request for feedback to raters Complete your self-assessment Participate in a feedback session Review your report Share general feedback with your raters and prepare a development plan

A great process for getting feedback to help you be most successful


Potential Problems with 360 Feedback

Unrealistic expectations for improvement (not a magic pill) Too little, too late for significant problem situations Can be used to manage out rather than for development Poorly designed and/or poorly implemented Results not acted upon (e.g., to develop action plans) Too much focus on weaknesses vs. strengths Overload for raters (e.g., if many participants at one time)

These problems can be overcome with thoughtful planning and use


What to Look For in 360 Feedback

Patterns across the competencies, and within each competency Differences between how you see yourself and how others see you Differences in how your rater groups see you Patterns in the types of items that are high or low How you compare to the Top 25% (or norm group) Specific behavioral suggestions for improvement

Do NOT just file the report awaytake time to review it carefully


Well-Known 360 Leadership Assessments

Benchmarks (Center for Creative Leadership) Profilor (Personnel Decisions International) Leadership Mirror (Development Dimensions International) Leadership Practices Inventory (Kouzes and Posner) Voices (Lominger) The Extraordinary Leader (Zenger-Folkman Group)

Can also work with vendors to create your own tailored instrument

A New Concept: Feedforward

What Is Feedforward?
Concept suggested by Marshall Goldsmith, a leading speaker on leadership and organizational behavior. Rather than focusing on the past (like feedback), it focuses on the future. Basically involves asking others (even strangers) for suggestions on how to change behavior, improve performance, etc. and then doing the same for them. Very quick, very painless, very informative and motivational. A complement to, rather than a substitute for, traditional feedback.


Assumptions Behind Feedforward*

We can change the future. We cant change the past. It can be more productive to help people be right than prove them wrong.

Feedforward is especially suited to successful people.

Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task. (It does not require personal experience with the individual). People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback. Feedback can reinforce self-fulfilling prophecies; feedforward can reinforce the possibility of change. Feedforward is much more pleasant to receive than feedback. Feedforward can cover most of the same material as feedback. Feedforward can be much faster and efficient than feedback.

Feedforward is implicitly developmental vs. judgmental.

People tend to listen more carefully to feedforward vs. feedback.
* Marshall Goldsmith, Leader to Leader, 2002.

Steps in the Feedforward Process

1) Pick one behavior you would like to change. 2) Describe this behavior to your fellow feedforward participant. 3) Ask for feedforwardtwo suggestions he/she has to help you achieve more of the desired behavior 4) Listen attentively to what they say and take notes. Dont comment. 5) Thank him/her for the suggestions. 6) Ask him/her what behavior they would like to change. 7) Provide feedforward to him/her, and say youre welcome when thanked. 8) Find another participant and keep repeating as appropriate.


Reward Systems

Rewarding Organization Members

Four basic approaches to allocating organizational rewards:

Profit maximization Reward equity: based on fairness Reward equality Member need

Criteria for making the allocation decisions can also vary:

Based on results Based on actions and behaviors Nonperformance measures (e.g., tenure, level in organization)

A combination of the above is used in most organizations


Common Kinds of Rewards/Incentives

Merit increases Bonuses (many different typesmost variable in nature) Long-term incentives (LTI)e.g., stock options Annual performance rewards (e.g., a Chairmans Award) One-time awards (e.g., for specific, outstanding performance) Lump-sum merit pay Competency-based pay Team-based pay and/or bonuses and/or rewards (e.g., parties)
Need to make sure youre incenting the right behavior!

Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning Overview

Operant Conditioning refers to the shaping of behavior by using the following: Administration or withdrawal of a response/consequence A response/consequence that is positive or negative There are four basic types of operant conditioning strategies: Positive Reinforcement Negative Reinforcement Punishment Extinction
Operant conditioning can be widely applied to life situations

Operant Conditioning Overview

Reinforcement strategies promote good behavior Negative reinforcement: bad thing taken away to promote A good behavior Focus on positive reinforcement.

Type of Response Positive Negative

Given Given or Taken Away Taken Away

Positive Reinforcement



Negative Reinforcement


Reinforcement Schedules
Positive reinforcement can be applied in a variety of ways: Continuous reinforcement Intermittent reinforcement Fixed ratio Variable ratio Fixed interval Variable interval Use continuous reinforcement to shape behavior, and then intermittent reinforcement to maintain it over time

Good specifics on shaping behavior on pg. 216 of your text


In Summary
Performance can be improved in a variety of different ways:

Providing accurate and timely feedback

Using a 360 feedback system when appropriate Using new approaches, like Feedforward Carefully thought out use of reward systems Ongoing shaping of behavior using operant conditioning


The Performance Management Cycle Feedback (including 360 feedback) Feedforward

Reward Systems
Operant Conditioning and Reinforcement Review of Grading System for the Course


What Questions Do You Have?