“So, how does that work around here?” Travis asked. Using the analogy of video games and expert levels made the reinforcement process understandable, but we were running a loading dock, not playing a video game.
“Travis, the guys loading the trucks, have you noticed the different colored t-shirts they wear, the ones with the company logo on the front?”
“Yeah, I noticed. We started that about three weeks ago. The new guys get a white t-shirt to start. We had a meeting about it.”
“And when does the new guy get his white t-shirt?”
“The first day,” Travis smiled.
“No, the first day he punches the timeclock reporting for work on-time,” I clarified. “What is the most important first behavior?”
“Showing up for work on time,” Travis said.
“And when does he get his second white t-shirt?”
Travis was catching on. “The second day he punches in for work on time.”
“And when does he get a yellow shirt?” I continued.
“Five days on time, consecutive days on time.”
“And when does he get a green shirt?”
“When he passes forklift training.” Travis stopped. “I think I get it.”