The most effective approach toward behavior modification is the theory of operant conditioning espoused by the noted American behaviorist, B. F. Skinner, in his book “The Behavior or Organisms" published in 1938.
Skinner's behavior modification theory holds that reinforcement, either positive, or negative shapes behavior. Providing positive reinforcement for changing behavior to desired levels through appropriate and effective rewards, and or providing negative reinforcement such as punishments or discouraging signals for undesired changes in behavior, or sticking to status quo helps employees make the appropriate behavior modifications.
One important point to note is that the theory of positive and negative reinforcement is much more than bribery. It goes beyond that and tries to effect a change at the psychological approach, by influencing a person’s behavior through attention.
A basic application of positive and negative reinforcement is a child given a candy when he behaves and restricted from watching television when he misbehaves. In the organizational context, this could extend to an employee being eligible for a reward for displaying a desired behavior, such as double the normal wages for overtime. Punishment for an undesired behavior might be a poor performance appraisal report or those who strictly stick to a 9-5 routine regardless of the work exigencies, and a charge sheet for employees who indulge in inappropriate behavior.