Using Consequences to Increase or Decrease Behaviors
At the end of the day, what a group of employees or individuals know about food safety principles or what they think or believe about food safety is of less importance. It’s what they do – their behaviors – that is critically important. So how can we help shape or reinforce proper food safety behaviors? Well, I believe one of the most important ways is through the proper use of consequences. That’s right – consequences.
As I have stated before, the words we use and how we use them are important. So let’s take a moment to review the word consequence. The word consequence is often interpreted to have a negative connotation. Most people believe that a consequence is something negative or bad. But consequences can be negative and they can also be positive.
So what is a consequence? According to Webster’s dictionary (1985), a consequence is something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions; important with respect to power to produce an effect.