Definition of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the act of rewarding an individual for performing an act that is required or desirable. The reward motivates the individual to keep performing such acts in the future as the reward that is achieved as the result of that act is associated with the reward.


The reward motivates the individual to perform that act. In management, positive reinforcement would be in the form of a bonus, a raise in salary, a foreign trip, or pay-offs.

Positive reinforcement in the workplace can have fruitful results and can act as an agent in the development of new behavior. Employees can feel new energy and motivation as they associate the rewards with the reward-oriented act they perform.


Example of Positive Reinforcement:

A company manufactures and sells bicycles. The head of the sales team announced in a meeting, there will be a 5% commission added to the salary for each bicycle sold in each month. Now the sales team would go out of their way to earn that lucrative 5% commission on sales for each sale they make. This is a positive reinforcement example, where the reward is 5% commission.

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