Straight Talk: Bad for Business #4: Contingency Management

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In this episode, we discuss contingencies, which is the relationship between two events, meaning that you can predict that one thing will happen in respond to another thing. One of the things that can go wrong when predicting what behaviors might happen is other, competing contingencies, that are in place. These things include:

  1. How are rules aligned across different situations? For example, is your organization trying to enforce a rule that is different from a State or Federal rule?
  2. Are there other, more immediate or powerful, direct reinforcers for other behaviors?
  3. Have you ensured that the right resources are present to follow the rules?
  4. Do people have the authority/power to enforce the rule?
  5. What are the consequences to not following the rule?
  6. How quickly are consequences implemented?
  7. How consistently are the consequences implemented?

For more information about leadership, check out Leadership in Behavior Analysis: The Independent Variable that Advances our Field by Natalie Parks, Ashley Tudor, and Adam Ventura.

We also discussed several cases our experts have worked. You can learn more about their business by visiting Performentor.

Transcript of Episode

Kyle Ditzian: [00:00:06] First of all, thank you to everyone who just joined us. For those of you who don’t know every one of us. I’m Kyle. I’m here with Amanda, Natalie and Manny. You can’t see any of my fingers being absorbed by them here with straight talk. Today, we’re going to be talking about competing contingencies. So we thought a good place to start off with that. It would be what the hell is a contingency and why is this important? We did the kind of classic approach of checking out the dictionary definition of a contingency and surprise, surprise. It does not perfectly set up with our professional definition, but the definition that you can find a good word is a future event or circumstance, which is possible but can’t be predicted with certainty. Typically, when behavior analysts talk about contingencies, that certainty is a is a factor that we try to take into account, in addition to a number of other things that that empower a contingency or make one contingency stronger than another. But typically, what we’re what we’re talking about, if we wanted to boil it down to just a couple of words, is an if then if something happens, then this will will most certainly will most likely follow in any organization. A leader’s role is to establish good contingencies that push the direction of the of the work of the employees towards the company’s mission or vision. There are obviously a number of ways that that can go wrong in a number of.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:01:52] Things that might happen that can can run counter to to what, you know, an organization or manager is trying to achieve. And one kind of quick thing in the chat, and I would love that people would do, is to give me an example of a time when a manager, you know, tried to set some direction. So, for instance, saying that safety is the most important thing at this workplace, but then at the same time also asking you to do something that was counterproductive to that. So, for instance, engaging in unsafe practices to meet productivity numbers or something along those lines, you guys could toss some examples that you personally had to deal with that are along those lines in the chat. That would be super helpful. Additionally, as we kind of go on, we just we’re generally just just just shooting from the hip here. And so if you guys have any questions or topics you’d like to go over that are related to this, please just toss those questions into the chat. You can either message one of the four of us privately so that, you know, things don’t show up for everyone or you can just toss it out into the ether on the chat. Either way, we’re happy to answer any of those. So with the introduction of what a contingency is, why they’re kind of generally important, I think that the next thing I was hoping that we would get into is.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:03:20] Who who has power over over a contingency is what makes for a good one, and how can we best capitalize on contingencies in the workplace to push productive behavior that works for the company mission. With that I will push it to Natalie because she’s not muted.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:03:40] [laughs]. Manny’s not muted either.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:03:46] So, you know, when you said, like, who has who has the power over contingencies? I think that’s I don’t know why that resonated with me, probably because I’m sarcastic by nature. But I think, you know, one of the things that is important to know is that a lot of times as leaders, we want to have power over contingencies, but we don’t necessarily have as much kind of control or power over them as we think, you know, kind of meaning. So just just in thinking about it, if we can agree that a contingency is kind of the the likeliness that something predictable will follow a behavior and I want a certain behavior to happen, maybe I want I don’t know, I want people to wear face masks while they’re working with grocery shopping or grocery shopping or grocery shopping.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:05:00] Yeah, maybe I want people to wear face masks while grocery shopping. And I am a grocery store manager. And so, you know, I think that maybe if I put people at the front door and I instruct those people to tell everybody coming into the grocery store, like, you have to have a face mask on before you can enter the grocery store. And so I think that, you know, it seems logical. It seems like, you know, people are now not going to be able to enter without the face masks. But what I don’t necessarily account for is like.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:05:41] Are those people that I placed at the front door actually going to have some power over the people who are walking in? And so I kind of think that I’ve I’ve created an excellent contingency and a contingency plan and I’ve put this in place. And then I walk around the grocery store and I see all these people with no face masks and maybe, you know, they all wore them as they walked in, but then they took them off because it’s hard to breathe in those things.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:06:11] And, you know, it’s uncomfortable to wear or maybe they saw somebody else that wasn’t wearing one. And so they’re like, well, if Manny doesn’t have to wear one, then I don’t have to wear one. And so I took mine off. Or maybe, well, I don’t know, hopefully you’re not eating in the grocery store, like smell the food, the would be weird, but maybe. I have definitely seen people, like, put their empty beverage containers on the conveyor belt to pay for it. So, you know, maybe I got super hungry and I needed a snack, so I had to take my mask off. I was grocery shopping.

Amanda Barnett: [00:06:55] So Natalie we have a great question. You mind if I segway to that? Absolutely. Yeah, because I think this ties into, I think, a question we had from Alicia. And in many states, the COVID office closures are scaling back. This leads to some retail food slash beverage businesses are readying themselves to reboot and reopen. It seems that some contingency planning is warranted. Any suggestions on what to consider? So from what you were saying earlier, Natalie, I’m just going to segue into this a little bit, is that we need to think about not only what are the rules and sometimes are not aligned from what the government says to what our city says, to what we want to do as a business leader, and then how do we uphold these rules and how do we behave in a way where, let’s say a mask is not comfortable? How do we keep that contingency in place, quote unquote, if, let’s say somebody takes it off and nothing happens and then like, oh, I’m actually more comfortable, I can breathe better and they’re not necessarily caught, so to speak. So I think I’m going to segue to that and then open up to you guys. Like, what things would you consider when you’re doing contingency planning to kind of reopen?

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:08:05] I’ll jump in, I, I want to talk about things from two two standpoints with this question. One is contingency planning with regards to the safety and health of both the consumer of a company and the employees of the company. And then the second one is contingency planning with regards to addressing societal rules versus organizational rules. So and forgive my Chihuahua.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:08:36] Ok, so the first one from a safety and health perspective, I think many organizations will when things like COVID or when any any kind of crisis happens and they go to reopen or relaunch the organization. The first set of contingency planning that’s warranted is around the safety and health of the consumer as well as the employees. So are they set up for the best case scenario around protecting the safety and health of employees? So with regards to COVID, that’s things like a work with equipment. Is the equipment sanitized? Do they have the right proper protective equipment in-house ready to go when the employees come back? From the consumer’s perspective, we’re seeing all sorts of things happening in the media with regards to what happened with Tyson, the organization that makes our producers chicken. Right. And all the things that are going there. So those organizations, they’re taking accountability and saying, OK, we’re going to protect the consumers and make sure that we’re doing it the right way, the safest way, the healthy way. Right.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:09:44] However, I think contingency planning when it comes to reopening organizations have to take it another step further with regards to health and safety. So the grocery store example is a great one because society, government, name your contingency leader, they’re giving us rules and guidelines. But if the organization doesn’t follow those rules and guidelines that they’re essentially establishing their own set of rules and how consumers can come in and go into the organization. So grocery stores, for example, I went into my local one yesterday and I was wearing a mask, but they were consumers that were not wearing masks. So the organization is essentially reinforcing both behaviors. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. It’s all the same to us. Well, in this case, if a company has not been open for a period of 30 days, 60 days, they need to do their contingency plan, needs to include what rules are we looking for our consumers to follow and our employees to follow.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:10:44] And let’s decide what the rules that we want and follow [dog barking], sorry guys, and what rules do we want to set follow. So I think from a safety health perspective, that’s one thing I would mention. And then the other thing and it kind of ties to what I was just saying is when considering re-opening organizations have an opportunity that they do have an opportunity to meet the standard or meet the guidelines from, say, the government or powers at large outside of the organizations of society at large. Either hit that standard or go above and beyond the standard right to say, you know, we want to protect our employees and our consumers and so what are we wanting to do? What does what does it look like? And if it means just hitting the minimum standards, then OK, but if they want to go above and beyond, now’s a great time for them to start planning those contingencies before they open the door.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:11:41] I think something that’s important to talk about here also is that any of these companies could have like a really great policy that is super safe for everyone. But if they have no means of enforcing that policy or if the people who are meant to enforce that policy have no power to do so in that whole thing can fall apart in an instant, it is incredible how quickly people will respond to the presence or absence of some sort of contingency. I mean, just think about. I mean, here’s a, you know, super common example, but speeding, right? There are no cops around. I’m not going the speed limit. It is simply not happening. But if there is one in my visual vicinity at seven, a trend a lot closer to that because the possibility of enforcement is there or the policy, the rule always existed, but with no one around to enforce it, it has it has no power. And so so I think that’s something that’s super important that needs to be accounted for in any of these policies. It’s great to say that, like, oh, we don’t want anyone in the grocery store that’s not wearing a mask. But what can the person that’s standing outside that grocery store really do? How have they been empowered to keep people who are not wearing masks from entering the grocery store? And if they have no ability to enforce that policy, it simply won’t be followed.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:13:14] The other the other thing to keep in mind here is that even if you do have some means of enforcing the policy, if it takes forever in a day to do so and the benefits of engaging in whatever shitty behavior it is you’re trying to stop are great enough to to you know, it doesn’t take a whole lot to overcome a difficult consequence if that is way in the future. If if the benefit if the payoff for doing the the naughty thing that you’re trying to prevent people from doing is in the here and now. And that can make all the difference in the world as well. So and we need to not only, again, consider those those policies and procedures, but how we’re going to actually put them into place in a way that creates ineffective behavior change program, if you will.

Amanda Barnett: [00:14:10] Yeah. Oh, go ahead. I was going to summarize what we talked about so far, but I didn’t want to cut you off, Natalie.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:14:16] Oh, well, I was just going to add to what Kyle was saying in terms of, you know, how how consistently or how effectively can we ensure the contingency is actually met. And I think when you’re when you’re thinking about reopening and the policies that you’re going to kind of implement and that type of thing, I wonder if there’s a way that you can kind of talk about it or you can kind of create the contingency in terms of like these are things that absolutely will happen in terms of if you do this, here is the consequence that will follow. Here’s the result of of that behavior, good or bad. But then and you do that for the things that you can certainly ensure, but the things that you would really like to have in place. But, you know, there’s no way of ensuring that consistently. Maybe you put those as kind of general recommendations. And I think that those two things, I think, one, what we see is any time you say something is like this is certainly what has to happen and you have to follow these policies, but then there’s no follow through. There’s no way to ensure that people kind of learn that policies are suggestions. Right, like the speed limit. I think the speed limit is a great suggestion and it’s kind of like a recommended. We think maybe you should be in this range, except when a cop is present. Right. Or there’s like a strip in my city that I drive down frequently or used to drive down frequently. And I knew like, I got pulled over three times in like three months. And so, like, OK, even if I don’t see a cop, I’m going to slow down here. Right. Because the contingencies were pretty clear.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:16:23] But everywhere else, it’s like a suggestion. I think you should go thirty five but 50 might be OK too. So I think so. I think it’s kind of like it undermines the actual policy. But if you say these are things that we would like to see happen that we suggest are kind of best practices, but we’re not making them are hard, fast policies, it creates maybe some social influencing, some social contingencies, some kind of like peer checks, that make it more likely that it will happen, but also don’t undermine the things that you can ensure. And so maybe it’s kind of finding a balance between those.

Amanda Barnett: [00:17:16] Yeah, I think to summarize what we talked about so far, and I’m typing it up in the chat window so people can reference it, but I think the first one is just think about what are the rules are we want people to follow for the consumer and also for our staff. And really, how does that align with what are the societal expectations in this? Could be a time where we go above and beyond potentially thinking about really what could go wrong and how can you actually enforce these rules and follow up with them, because if you can’t, then it’s going to be really you’re setting yourself up for a situation where people can do what they want and your rules really don’t matter. And you’re kind of turning into the Wild West for the third one is look at the benefit. So, like, how immediate are people going to be able to I guess what does that immediate feedback in a way. So if I take my mask off and it feels really good and I’m no longer sweaty and hot and nobody says anything or kicks me out, well, maybe I’m going to walk around without a mask, for example. So or like what Natalie was saying, I might have said a couple times, I’m going to get pulled over on a on a call once. That was very interesting. But it’s one of those things that happens so infrequently and it’s not always immediate and doesn’t happen consistently. So all the time really, there are a few people who just follow the speed limit because it’s there. But really, who does that? The next one is just really ensuring that we’re we’re able to talk about these contingencies.

Amanda Barnett: [00:18:47] So how do we set it up where our peers can talk about it as well? So I would think about like maybe toolbox talks or things that we can do in the morning to talk about how are we going to be safe? What does this actually mean if we see somebody not following the rules? How are we going to talk about it? And I just wanted to point out, too, that one of my friends, she is getting ready to open up. And so she was posting her rules for herself and her clients and customers and she actually got backlash. So people were saying, why are you opening up? And you shouldn’t be doing this? And and it’s almost like she wasn’t prepared for that. So it’s like, let’s think about the backlash could potentially happen. And what are your talking points to help prepare for that? So your staff, if somebody says, hey, you shouldn’t be open or you get some weird, you know, people that are with the picket fences, you know, how do you respond to that? You know, so I think the last thing is just really, I think thinking through kind of back to Alisha’s point of like, what are the steps that we can do to make sure everybody is safe and how do you open up is just looking at resources, you know, so how are we going to track your resources and then make sure that they’re easily accessible as well? And why? Man And you talked about like sanitization schedules, like what does that actually mean and look like so anticipating that as well.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:20:10] You know, far as like concrete advice for what to consider when reopening, if you are going to put a policy into place, make sure that you consider how that’s going to be enforced in a way that is fair but quick. And that’ll be probably the most important thing for trying to maintain some semblance of order when the stores actually open, or at least to me. Yeah. So this is good for them. So a couple a couple of things that have come up already that I wanted to dive into a little bit more. One is the dimensions of a of a consequence or of a contingency that that affects how effective that contingency is. One that we’ve already spoke of a bit now here is probability. So is it going to happen versus is it probably not going to happen or somewhere in between? Alisha calling Amanda out in the chat here. Sorry. In addition to probability, we also spoke a bit about the timeliness of the consequences and the fact that consequences that are closer in time, if we can make sure that the contingencies, the policies, the procedures that we have in place.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:21:34] Affect the here and now, they’re going to be a lot more effective than something that says if you do this, then in six months from now you’re going to hear about it on your performance report, right? That’s a bullshit contingency. It doesn’t work. It simply doesn’t work. No one is thinking about six months from now when they’re doing whatever it is that they’re trying to do. If you can make it six minutes from now, then that can be a lot more likely to push behavior in one direction or another. And so those are some things you really need to consider when you are trying to create those policies and procedures and the enforcement strategies around those. Manny, Natalie, Amanda, other things to consider when developing a new organizational contingency?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:22:31] I think one other important thing to consider is what other consequences might be in place and how powerful those are. So so even if it’s kind of a sure and quick consequence that will follow my my behavior. So let’s just say that, you know, it’s a sure thing that I’m going to get pulled over and get a ticket for speeding every time I do, but the the joy of driving fast on the highway is so much more powerful. And even if I only get two minutes of that, that two minutes is like so much more exhilarating for me. Chances are I’m going to continue to do that.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:23:26] So I think you also have to kind of weigh for for your staff, like what are the personal kind of benefits that they might get for the reinforcers, as behavior analysts say, for the behavior versus maybe the consequences or the negative consequences?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:23:47] And and do they offset one another, seeming to make sure that the programmed contingencies are as strong or stronger than the natural pre-existing contingencies that support behavior? No. Yep. Great way of putting that.

Amanda Barnett: [00:24:06] Also, I have a question. Oh, go ahead, Manny. You’re going to say something.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:24:10] Yeah, I just to follow up and answer Kyle’s question, you know, I think I did thinking through organizational contingencies, you know, from the standpoint of an executive or manager, director in any kind of big change or restructuring or even just as a response to a pandemic, you know, there’s be like three, three kind of main categories, if you will, of how to do it right, how to actually set up these contingencies. And one I find is that the contingency is actually implementable, if that’s a word. I don’t even know if that’s a word yet, but implementable, I can actually implement it. We have the staff, the resources, we have the technology. We know what we can do it if we can’t do it. And that contingency is already failed, right? We don’t know. We don’t know what we’re doing. Right. Whether it’s a policy or procedure or what have you. The second one I find and and that only kind of touch on this is enforceable. So enforceable by who? Right. So typically the enforcers are typically managers. And I think somebody that’s on our line here said like a manager. Right. So the enforcers are typically the ones that are going to be following up to make sure whatever the policies and procedures are, they’re actually being followed. Right. So whether it’s through good auditing protocols or good performance management, whatever it is, those contingencies are actually being enforced and managed. And then the last one I find is also sustainable. Too often organizations put in new policies and procedures and they do it and then they change it within a few months. And so and the reason they change is because they learn quickly that they’re just either not implementing or not enforceable. So the sustainability factor of contingencies, I think, is really important. And it’s not to say you can’t change contingencies, you can change your policies and procedures from learning. That’s important. But ultimately, the goal should be if it’s truly a contingency you want in place, it should be sustainable over a long period of time.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:26:17] And something else that’s important to consider. Oh, no, Amanda, you were going to go go ahead, man.

Amanda Barnett: [00:26:23] No worries. I actually was going to ask you guys a question, but if you want had it related to this, I didn’t want to take it off track. OK, so my question is, sometimes when we talk about things I can keep one of them is this can be costly. You know, when we think about the extra PPE, it might not always be available. There’s a lot of time and energy spent on developing new keys. And how are you going to do this safely? So my question, I guess, to the panel is. How do you, I guess, think about the contingency plans and maybe some of the things that when you think about the cost and time and resources that actually make it more difficult to follow through on some of these things. So, like we think of a restaurant, you know, they don’t they’ve been hit hard and they don’t have a lot of extra money just laying around. So what suggestions do you have related to that?

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:27:20] I think in terms of kind of planning for for contingencies, then what you want to put in place, this that question lends to what Manny just said about kind of enforceability and sustainability. Right. So if I’m a restaurant that is now struggling to keep my doors open and I’m looking for ways to be able to have customers dine in again, and I want I would love for all of myself to wear personal protective equipment, but I don’t have the money to fund it.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:27:58] And on top of that, even if I have the money, I probably can’t even find the stuff that I need in a timely way. Then, you know, it’s kind of one of those where I would say I would suggest that I would say, hey, like maybe we can make some homemade masks or something like that and we’ll provide them. And I will strongly suggest that my employees wear them. But if I can’t truly make it enforceable and it’s not sustainable over time, I don’t make that a clear policy. I make it more of a suggestion. And and then I think that one’s back to it still makes me credible as as the manager, the owner or the person making the contingencies. But it also kind of allows for that leeway and understanding that I may not have the resources to truly enforce that.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:29:04] I think in addition to resources and stuff like that, the other driving force for like how to decide what’s most important, I honestly think that’s a great opportunity to reflect on an organization’s mission and values, to, you know, basically establish a direction for what what kind of behavior do I want to really promote with the contingencies that I am creating and, you know, I am referring to the mission, referring to the values to be a good way of kind of a litmus test of is this OK? Is this the right direction? Are we doing the right thing? If it follows according to the mission, but probably or at least you’re headed in the right direction.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:29:51] Another thing that another thing that I wanted to chat about as far as some of these contingencies go, a common issue that I have encountered in the past with a ton of organizations is where there is a contingency that the performer has relatively little control over. So like common examples here. OK, a teacher. Teachers have certainly some ability to help their students. Their job is to teach them the content and make sure that they pass the test. But there’s only so much that a teacher can really do to ensure that a student is learning. They can engage in best practices as a teacher and still have a student fails on these state exams, et cetera. They can receive penalties for, you know, failing to have the student test, even if it’s completely outside their control. For instance, that student has an insane homelife that is simply not a sustainable learning environment. Or another example could be like a car salesman. You know, sometimes people are just window shopping. They don’t want to talk. And if your whole job is to try to push to try to get that sale, it is simply not a possibility. And your performance is being judged against it as though it were, you know, just a matter of your own behavior. You know, that can be hugely detrimental not only to morale, but to performance in the long run. I think that’s something that needs to be taken into consideration as policies are generated to make sure that the performers that are being subjected to the contingencies that you’re creating have power to affect change at their level. If if they have no ability to if they’re being judged against metrics that they have no power to move, it can really be disastrous in the long run.

Amanda Barnett: [00:32:00] It can be a big un-motivator for sure. So if I think about just another example of a client that you and I could work with a little bit, Kyle and Alicia as well is a construction company and we developed some KPIs. But there are certain things that we put in there, looking back on it, that were out of their control. Like to a certain extent, they have no specific training on I guess they were asked to do interviews and actually get feedback from the customers and the customer experience, but they didn’t really know how to use that software. And I was like, oh, major oversight. I assume that that was my bad. Yeah. And so then, you know, so if I think about what’s in their control, I think that’s such a very good example of that, you know, because obviously it’s not in their control. They have no idea how to do it. So Page actually had a good point of like, could we bring all the employees together and ask them policy ideas? They could all try them out and get feedback before they’re in place and permanently. So I would like to I think that’s a great question. And I think there’s a little bit of decision making framework about when you would want to do that versus when you wouldn’t, because I don’t think it’s I think there are circumstances where you might not. But generally speaking, I would say yes. And I love that idea because if people can own it, they’re going to be more likely to follow through on it and it’s going to be more realistic. And you’re actually getting a better perspective and. Exactly. Authorship equals ownership. So thank you, man. I love that. So if you guys can talk a little bit about that, I suppose that would be great. And maybe some examples.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:33:48] Yeah, I’ll throw in a couple. The authorship equals ownership I don’t I can’t say I, I didn’t come up with that. I just use it a lot. I don’t know who came up with that, but whoever did it was great. And that the premise where I first learned that was when it came to in the world of behavior based safety, in the world of behavior based safety, there was a big, big surge and push for employees to own the process, to define it, to run it to from weekly meetings to direct observations, to what behaviors they focus on the whole thing. Right. Even all the way to the rewards and recognitions of being for safety. And what came out of that that surge? You know, this is probably I don’t even want to say when it is long time, but but what came out of that was this notion of of getting employees buy in on change. And how do you how do you do that? So from the world of behavior BCT, that’s that example in the world of change management, when you think of things like mergers and acquisitions or huge system changes, the best case scenarios of when those changes are successful is when the employees are actually brought together with managers to say, OK, how are we going to make this happen? And like, no, really like what’s going to get in our way and how do we remove those obstacles and so on.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:35:11] And that that by at the employee level, working in tandem, working side by side with managers is always the best case scenario. And I don’t think that’s any different in managing a pandemic. You know, we’re. Talking about people going back to work, we’re talking about businesses reopening. It would behoove it would be very beneficial for every manager, every store owner of a mom and pop shop, every Fortune 100 company manager to rally the team together and say, hey, we’re about to open our doors. What concerns do you have? How do you see this working? What can we do to make this work for everybody and for whatever concerns you have? Are they if they’re real concerns, how do we remove those concerns? How do we work through those? So getting that authorship, getting that ownership requires them to author the solutions. And that’s where I think authorship equals ownership comes in one.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:36:03] One question I had going back to I think the minute you kind of started on this, but is it, like so under what circumstances should we, for instance, gather all the employees in the room? Have the employees come up with those ideas in conjunction with management versus having management come up with a number of ideas and then pushing them to employees for feedback?

Kyle Ditzian: [00:36:27] Where do you which is best under what circumstances? Yeah, I have a sense. Yeah, it’s a great question.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:36:37] So I think I think there’s a couple of drivers. Right. There’s a couple of antecedent incident drivers that trigger that. I would love to hear people’s thoughts on this, but from from my perspective, I think first is the sense of urgency. So gathering employees together to really make change happen, to really get their buying take time. It takes time. It takes a lot of effort and in some cases, some scenarios. You simply just don’t have the time. You don’t have the luxury of time. And so sense of urgency becomes kind of one of those criteria. Sorry, that’s on my end. Somebody’s pinning me. I don’t know. I don’t. So the idea is hopefully it’s something that you guys so but the sense of urgency, I think is point number one. So if if an organization has a huge sense of urgency to make a decision and make it quickly, well, that’s that’s typically what the role of a manager is. The role of a manager is to manage the organization and make decisions. And in some cases, if it’s urgent, if it’s absolutely time sensitive, you don’t have the luxury of time to bring employees together. And for the most part, I would say employees understand that, you know, that if you you later on, you tell them, hey, we made this decision. There was a it was pressing sense of urgency. You know, we had to make that decision. Most employees understand that. I think that the other trigger, though, is the opposite is when you do get employees involved, is when you do have the luxury of time. If you can wait, you know, and you don’t have to implement it yesterday, then it absolutely makes more sense to get employees involved and getting the right employees involved. You don’t have to get all employees involved and get the right minds in the room and really just get that thinking as part of the solution. So time is on your side. I would say that’s a good antecedent for getting employees involved.

Amanda Barnett: [00:38:37] I’m going to do a quick shout out to Alisha here, because she put some little things up in the chat window that are just great, so I just want to share them. So perform on a principled decision. Making goes where it belongs to a certain extent. So we try to do what we call grassroots, where it’s like bottom up so people can own it. But really, if I understand you, Alicia, and working with you, it’s like who’s going to own that decision ultimately? And are they going to whether they’re good or bad and who’s going to be able to essentially feel it the most? So I think if you were to go about it that way and then co-author should co-ownership. Absolutely. So if I think about, you know, if it’s a financial decision where the company is going, it’s going to get input. But that might not necessarily be something that a front line worker would need to talk about. It might be more of a senior management type thing, you know, so it might be good to involve them a little bit, especially if you’re doing cost saving measures. What I did what I did is do you guys have a general? But for the most part, I think if I think about that example specifically, especially when we’re talking about right now where people’s budgets are being cut and they’re not seeing the pipeline anymore of sales coming in again, I feel like that’s going to be a lot of senior leadership stuff going on.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:39:53] You know, one other thing that kind of comes to mind when you’re thinking about like how much can we or should we involve employees in the decision making process? And identifying the contingencies is the relationship that the leader or the manager has with their employees. I think that kind of the more positive relationship that they have, the more trust that’s been built, the more history of positives that that has been established, the more likely it is that a manager can come in and say, hey, look, like we had to make a really quick decision. I made this to the best of my ability. We’re going to try it out and hopefully it works. You know, if not, we’re going to take some data and evaluate people are much more likely to kind of fall in line if the relationship was positive.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:40:50] And and I think that we see that kind of on a society basis right now is that when leaders that we are aligned with that we trust that we think are smart, that we think make decisions that are based on the betterness of our lives, we tend to fall in line with them and not ask a lot of questions. But when leaders that we don’t agree with, that we don’t think have our best interests at heart, that we don’t think or are trying to make our lives better, are concerned about us, we don’t fall in line with that. And so, you know, I think we can see that in every realm of American society, at least right now.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:41:38] And so I think that speaks to, you know, even above and beyond, like, how sure can we make sure, you know, enforce this contingency is really like what relationship have I already established with the people that I want to follow my rules? And if I have a good relationship, then things will work out better. But if I have a really poor relationship, I might be able to enforce and sustain things really, really well. But people might not fall in line.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:42:18] So then what about the scenario then where you are that leader that perhaps people don’t like, but you’ve got to make the make the changes, do you, then I just does it then become about messaging?

Kyle Ditzian: [00:42:36] Does it become to do it and try to, for instance, put someone else, like, be like, but this is your idea now bring it to the masses and please make it work or what’s the approach if you’re not in a position where you are a beloved manager?

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:42:57] I’ll jump in, I think, I think that’s a good question. So I think we have to also take into account the individual’s motivation and interest. So if you’re not a beloved manager and let’s assume you know, you’re not a beloved manager, you probably don’t care to have all sorts of buy in or you probably don’t care. You probably are let for making assumptions. So but it’s based on some experience. So there are some people out there that are in management roles and they serve a role. They serve a very specific role, which is to make things happen regardless of how. And so they they build a history, a learning history with employees in the organization that they get stuff done, even if it means they push it, they ram it down people’s throats. And to some extent, you depending on what we’re talking about, it may make sense that that might be the case. You know, groupthink doesn’t always equal efficiency or productivity or or good results. So there are there are cases out there. I can think of a couple in the area of safety where when you have an executive, for example, or a manager who has a great deal of experience and in seasoned scenarios, the old adage of they see the train wreck happening, you know, but they see it happening like a year away and they have that foresight because of that experience. They know what effective change needs to happen. And so rather than having the group think and make it happen. And so in the behavior analysis world, we say they’re going to do it through a series of negative reinforcement contingencies.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:44:47] You’re going to have to do it now in respect to let’s assume the manager is an unfavorable manager, but doesn’t even is aware that they’re unfavorable. Let’s put that in perspective. And so in that case, I think a great deal of coaching and mentoring for that individual would be very beneficial as well as some feedback. But in that case, let’s assume that they’re not favorable and they try to push it on employees. More often than not, they’ll probably be met with those contingencies. The reactions, right. So people are going to tell them, you know, a couple of things. They’ll get some feedback from employees, but hopefully, hopefully it’s done sooner than later. But if they’re unfavorable, more often than not, I would say those managers know they’re not favored. They’re not you know, their people don’t like them or whatever. But I think in many cases they use that to their advantage. They serve a role. They serve a purpose in a company. And and they and and they probably got a great deal of reinforcement for being that person. So I want I guess that’s my answer to that question is I think what do you do about those kind of people while they exist in the organization? Then there were contingencies in place that reinforce their behavior. So it would be we have to acknowledge that first before we can say, well, what we did different.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:46:21] Hopefully that answered the question, because I think I started painted a picture of a guy in my head that I know very well, and that’s kept coming to me.

Amanda Barnett: [00:46:33] If I think about I’m going to pivot a little bit to when I actually used to work with people that had severe behaviors. So really what we would do, actually, and I think Natalie and Kyle and Manny as well, you probably have seen this where if you don’t have that relationship and no matter what you say, what you do, they’re going to be like, if you like, I’m not going to do whatever you say, even if it’s like something that makes sense. So what we would do is kind of like a takeout out. So we would actually have somebody that has every relationship, you know, actually drive whatever that treatment bill was or in this case it might be. I’m giving that feedback to that person to make them fall in line with whatever the rules are, if it’s a shout out for following a rule or setting the rule itself. So we would actually look at who the team actually. And it doesn’t it could be a peer sometimes, you know, show like who actually has followers. So when we talk about a leader, a leader is anybody who has followers. So let’s take a look at who has an influence and then how do we tap them in to whatever your goal is and then bring them aligned with yourself. And then and then you also want to look at who has the authority to do that. So I wouldn’t expect somebody who’s appear to be making financial decisions. But, you know, when it comes to things that are in their control and they have that influence, I would absolutely, you know, rely on somebody like that. As Kyle said. Good cop. Bad cop. Yes.

Kyle Ditzian: [00:48:03] So I do want to be cognizant of time, what is our time here, it’s twelve fifty currently. Shall we get into trying to wrap this up? I mean, do you want to read through our.

Amanda Barnett: [00:48:16] Yeah, I think so. So for the most part, I’m actually going to scroll up a little bit to things that we discussed earlier. So summary, there’s going to be a couple takeaways here. So bear with me, everybody. But one, just what are the rules and processes for staff and consumers? Think about what could go wrong, how you how do you actually enforce it? Think about the immediacy of some of that feedback that they’re going to be getting. Look at, you know, how like I talked about daily huddles. So how can we talk about instead of an environment where people can give each other that feedback and keep up these rules because a rule is great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to keep it up. So let’s take a look at all of the things that are going on. I guess how do I say this without sounding behavior analytic, but reinforce behavior? More or less so. And then we want to look at the benefit. So we talked about that. Let me scroll down here. You know, we want to make sure that we we are creating talking points for our daily huddles if we have them.

Amanda Barnett: [00:49:26] So, you know, what are we going to do to be safe? We want to make sure we identify that. We want to think about all the things that could really potentially go wrong. And we want to think about processes and procedures to keep that from happening and plan around it. So we want to be preventative as much as we can and then have talking points around that. So we call that an OBM pinpointing behavior. Analysts might be calling it operation definitions, whatever it might be. You know, just figure out what behavior it is that you want to reinforce. The next one is think about the resources and how easily they’re accessible and keep track of it and if you can actually enforce it. So if you don’t have the materials for masks in, one of the things that Kathy and I were actually working on in terms of open, you put in that little comment in here. We’re working with a manufacturing client and not everybody has masks or access to them. They’re like, I don’t know how to make my own. So it turned into like daily calls to Katherine.

Amanda Barnett: [00:50:20] I’m like, I don’t know why I need to wear one or what to do around here. And she was like, Y’all, I’m doing it to keep you, keep you safe, you know? And and then they’re like, well, why can’t I make my product at my house and why can’t I work from home? And she was like, I don’t think it works that way to make foam products at your house, but it would be cool if we could. So, you know, it’s like it turns into all these things that you really want to think about. And then Manney, you also talked to really eloquently about, you know, are they enforceable, implementable and are they sustainable? So are these practices that you can state sustain over time? You know, so thinking about all of those things kind of going forward, we talked about hold on here, I’m going to scroll through. But we want grassroots, more or less of what we talk about, where we can create ownership. So Paige made a good shout out in Alicia as well about how if we can get the decision makers involved and the people that are actually doing the things that we want involved to, then they’re going to be more likely to own it. So we want to do that as much as we can. Co-authors of Equals Co-ownership to quote Alicia and then also what to do if, let’s say you don’t have report. So you want to think about really the relationships, if you’re a leader that you’re building with your staff and if it’s too little too late and you’re like people hate me. Well, one that sucks for you, but too, can you outsource to somebody that has an influence?

Kyle Ditzian: [00:51:51] So short, don’t make policy you don’t want to enforce, you know, I think with force, I think it’s a great idea.

Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez: [00:51:58] That was a great summary Amanda. It’s amazing what we could do in 50 minutes, how much we could talk about. I think one of the things we probably should just kind of segment as part of the summary is there’s a reason why it’s called contingency management and not contingency idea making it. So I think contingency management from the contents of the workplace, pretty much everything we talked about was if you want if you want to see behavior happen, you have to identify what are the contingencies in place right now? Is that what I want? If not, what do I got to change? And then you have to actually manage that change. You got to manage that contingencies for the long run otherwise behavior because the air flows were reinforced, whoever goes where reinforcement flows. Right. So so it’s called contingency management for a reason.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:52:56] I think that wraps it up really well, Manny.

Amanda Barnett: [00:53:00]  That’s what they do.

Dr. Natalie Parks: [00:53:02] Yeah, so and we’re kind of right at that time. So I’ll just take this opportunity. Thank you all for attending if you are interested, and either BACB CEUs or SHRM PDCs, you can head over to university that behavior leader dot com and you can sign up for those. There’s one Seiyu or PDC per panel. So every time that you tune in with us and participate, then you can earn either a CEU or a PDC. With that being said, we will see you all next week.

 

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