Often, when we have visited organizations, they’re struggling with how to develop a culture of reinforcement and positive behavior across all employees. When we’ve asked leaders how often they’re actively looking for those behaviors that make a great place to work, they usually will say how busy they are and that they forget to simply watch for those things. They all seem to understand the need for positive reinforcement, but struggle with making the time and knowing exactly what to look for.
Catch ’em Doing Good cards were developed to help the everyday manager become fluent in looking for good behavior and providing positive feedback to their employees and colleagues. Imagine having a few spare moments in your day. You go to your office, grab your deck of Catch cards, shuffle, and pick one. You read off the card this behavior that occurs nearly every day, in nearly every organization, but that we forget to reinforce so that we see it more, or at least maintain.
You ponder for a moment what this behavior looks like in your organization, put the card in your pocket as a reminder, and head out into the work area to see if you can spot someone engaging in the behavior as you’ve defined it. It may happen in the day or a week, but you’re now attending to the behavior of your employees and colleagues in a way that you hadn’t before. As soon as you see it happen, you smile, approach the performer, and provide some behavior-specific praise:
“You know, I saw the way you did X just then, and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you doing this. By doing this, you’re really making our organization a better place to work, and I hope you’ll keep doing it in the future.”
Now you have likely made the performer’s day, because you noticed their behavior and praised them for it. You go back to your office, pat yourself on the back, and return the reminder from your pocket back into the deck. When you’re ready, you pick another card, and repeat!
The Catch ’em Doing Good card deck has 54 cards: a “how-to”, a tip card, over 40 positive behaviors to watch for that occur in nearly every organization, and 9 blank cards for you to fill in behaviors that are specific for your business or industry. You can base these on your company’s needs, values, or whatever else you desire.
This is just a start of how to use these cards as a leadership and training tool for yourself and your supervisory teams, a way to increase value-adding everyday behavior, and create a culture of positive feedback. We will be expanding upon this product in the months to come, including expansion packs, booster sets, new and innovative ways to use the cards, and so on. We’re very excited to help improve the world at work one behavior change agent at a time. Hopefully you’ll see this tool as moving us closer to our mission.
Want to see them in action? At FABA 2018, we played a version of game we fondly call “What’s the Catch?” with dozens of folks and had a blast practicing delivering feedback. They were pros in no time, as you can see: