Reinforce what they are doing well.

When an employee is doing a good job, it is crucial that you recognize that behavior. Not just for that employee, but for the rest of your team. By seeing positive feedback for certain actions, you reinforce expectations of all your employees.

Set The Bar

You’ve got to establish what “good” is at your company. What is the measure all employees use as a gauge? Is “really good” enough or do you want “excellent?” What’s the difference? Particularly if you have over 100 employees, it becomes difficult to make sure everyone has the same gauge.


Starbucks Green Apron Book

At Starbucks, we needed to establish a measure. In 2004, Starbucks had over 8,500 stores with plans to double within four years.

With so many employees, while everyone understood Starbucks was to provide great service in a welcoming environment, there were many definitions of “great” service. A district manager in the East should be able to trade partners (employees) with a district manager in the West, and they should have the same standards.

Starbucks didn’t.

So we created the Green Apron Book. Our book that outlined the language and behaviors to provide a standard, high-level of service.

Here are a few examples from the Green Apron Book and the mini-wallet-guide that went with it… (click for larger images)



You’ve got to reinforce the right behaviors and reward those who do it right, or else no one will know how to do right… and what it takes to move ahead.

Now that we’ve covered the topic of reinforcing behaviors we want to stay the same, let’s talk about when we want to help change behaviors.