The majority of us are already leveraging mini perks as a way to get things done. People comment, “If I can get my work done by evening, I can watch the remaining episodes of XYZ show.” And, at least initially, rewards can work. But when it comes to organizations, have you considered employee upskilling? When it concerns corporate learning, are employee training rewards a good idea?

Staff members may well not put training at the top of their priority list. Why? Because they are busy at work and have taken “boring” classes in the past. Employee training rewards are a remedy, true. However, it does bring up some serious questions.

  • Do programs that offer employee training rewards have long-term effects?
  • Are they simply a quick fix that keeps you from reaching your fundamental learning objectives?

This article will discuss whether you should have a reward program for employee training. If yes, how to properly use the system and get people interested in learning and engaged in their work.

What’s the purpose of employee training rewards?

employee training rewards

Incentive Federation Inc. says 84% of businesses use non-cash perks to recognize and reward key audiences in the form of award points, gift cards, incentive travel, and merchandise.

In fact, the Indian loyalty program market, currently constituting 4%-8% of the global market, aligns with the estimated $65 billion global market size by Wise Marketer. Epsilon attributes this growth surge to a rising trend of people embracing digital platforms for both shopping and financial transactions, fueling the rapid adoption of digital rewards.

It’s because reward systems work. Here are a few examples:

  • Rats enter into traps for cheese.
  • Pups learn good behavior for treats.
  • Sports professionals perform well in high-stamina sports for a medal and a trendy t-shirt.

Our workplace staff will alter their actions if they get something they want. Or for the privilege to boast that comes with it.

Organizations should devise ways to motivate people that resonate with the brain’s social side and help people feel like they belong. Interpersonal motivators turn on dopamine, which depends on employee training rewards systems within the brain.

Which types of learning programs should have employee training rewards?

That depends on your organization and what end goals it wants to achieve. Employee training rewards programs should concentrate on possibilities that make an employee more valuable to the firm. By incentivizing employees who use what they learned in real-world situations, you can be confident that your learning course has a natural effect.

Have few people who finish your training? Then, upon the completion of the activity, reward the behavior.

Businesses with performance-based difficulties may do better by linking employee training rewards to how well workers use their knowledge – acquired via quizzes or simulations – to fix an implementation problem.

Depending on the circumstances, you can get employees to act how you want them to by attaching rewards and praise to a mix of training and observable results within a reasonable timeframe.

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Ideas for employee training rewards

evaluation techniques

So, what would your program for employee training rewards look like? An organization has to make its program based on its necessities, but we recommend picking rewards that fulfill the following objectives:

  • Your learners want rewards that are easy to get and can be redeemed right away. The linkage is lost if it takes weeks between winning and getting the prize.
  • Even though the rewards themselves can be very different, they must represent your team, its value systems, and that staff members want them.

Funding concerns? Here’s what you can do: Employee training rewards like being able to work remotely from their homes per week, getting an extra day off, or having a casual attire day are low-cost rewards that make a big difference.

Next up: Should employee perks be tenure-based?

During someone’s two-decade service in a company, s/he might be scanning through their rewards list — including clocks, timepieces, knives, and other things. Tenure-based rewards systems are a holdover from the 1900s when labor union laws compensated people for staying with the same company for a long time. In the most literal way, they are so 20th century.

Forbes says that 87 percent of employee reward systems incentivize length of service, but initiatives based on the tenure of service have almost no effect on how well a company does. After all, workers don’t need to do an excellent job to get a 20-year bonus. All they should be doing is staying within the payroll!

Therefore, you should focus on concrete outcomes and behavior patterns, making acknowledgment simple, regular, and social rather than coming from the top down, and linking employee appraisal comments to the goals and values of your corporation.

So, this prompts the concern: Does your company reward employees just because they’ve been there for a long time, but because it evaluates outcomes and attitudes, like taking full advantage of training opportunities, which help the company do well? By linking your employee training rewards program to learning, you can get people to act in ways that benefit the company.

Why should training be rewarded?

Is it reasonable to try to persuade people to attend training sessions? Should you try to get people to participate if they don’t see the many benefits of learning more?

You must, yes, since a supportive learning environment can have a significant impact on your business’s bottom line. In an ideal world, staff members eagerly go through online courses but want a little push. The best approach is to use attractive incentives to boost their enthusiasm and make it almost impossible for workers to reject the pull of learning.

The goal of incentive-based training is to boost employee engagement and make it difficult for them to say no to learning.

How should employee training rewards be given?

performance appraisal examples

People decide what to do based on the question, “What does it do for me?” There are two types of incentives that affect the answer:

Intrinsic rewards

Often, the natural rewards would be enough to get people to do something. Some people might adhere to their weekly fitness routine since staying fit enough to experience a healthy lifestyle is a gain in and of itself.

Extrinsic rewards

You sometimes require assistance from the outside to get people to do things. Somebody might know that exercise is good for them, but following a long working day, it may seem more appealing to sit on the sofa and do nothing. They might use an outside reward to get them to move, like halting for a drink of choice on their way back.

When it concerns employee training rewards, you can choose from many different things. These can be things like positive and negative reinforcement. A few are more strict, and some are lenient.

Well, here’s a checklist of the best 4 motivating factors that will complete the project (and aid with both completion and outcomes) to help you determine which employee training rewards program will perform effectively for your program. We also explain how they work.

4 crucial elements for your employee training rewards program to give the best results

1. Make sure the competition is fair

Whether you believe it or not, a competitive atmosphere helps you finish your courses and learn more. In research by Brand Wilkerson and James Banfield, people who played study-based games were almost 20 times more likely to organize new information and connect it to what they already knew than those who enrolled in a conventional lecture-based class.

When the brain releases stress-inducing hormones at the correct time, people become more focused and recall more. The pressure of knowing that an employee’s colleagues will also see the results of a particular quiz causes the brain to release stress hormones as soon as a trainee sees the information they ought to remember.

When there is pressure to be quickly judged, wanting to avoid embarrassment could be a reason to concentrate more on the learning session.

Badges and scoreboards are two examples of gamification techniques that incentivize and encourage learners inexpensively and effectively. When a worker progresses to a certain level in a curriculum or finishes training, s/he can activate a badge that they can put on their profile or talk about.

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Suppose these kinds of digital icons aren’t accessible. In that case, employees can show how they’re doing by wearing pins, stickers on their Identity cards, or putting their or their team’s standings somewhere public.

Such badges may help reinforce knowledge acquisition even more if they show up randomly during the training instead of at set times. This surprise element makes the achievements more fun, and releasing dopamine and other neurochemicals simultaneously help cement the knowledge.

2. Encourage certifications in the industry

how to evaluate

Earning a recognized certification from a third-party organization is an excellent way to motivate yourself to train. Adding certificates to a business card and resume gives the holder a sense of confidence and a valuable professional benefit they can retain.

These accreditations are also helpful for the companies that hire those who have them. In some instances, industry rules require these kinds of certifications. Having accredited employees is also a way to stand out from the competition. Certified staff members may even give you a chance to make more money through higher consultant rates that are fair.

Certifications encourage people to learn by giving them a clear, measurable, and achievable goal. They furthermore make learning better because you have to pass a test. Tests and questionnaires help you remember what you’ve learned more than reading the content in-depth.

Another effective way to enable people to remember what they’ve learned is to show them how important it is by clarifying how the training relates to their job. If you can convince learners of the significance of what they will be learning, they are more likely to boost their memories and keep trying to use what they have learned.

3. Offer reimbursement and not a prepayment

This is perhaps the most unexpected and questionable learning reward since it implies that it might be better to remunerate employees rather than paying for instruction or credentials upfront.

Among the most important ways to get more people to finish training is to make them responsible for it. One critical element of imposing this responsibility is for management to help in and watch over the training procedure.

An inclusive learning management system (LMS) has dashboard tools that simplify monitoring and accomplishments and keep trainees on the correct path. But if a student doesn’t complete the course, a monetary penalty is one of the best ways to make them take responsibility.

Some businesses use financial incentives, like bonuses, to get people to finish their training. But do these kinds of employee training rewards help people learn? As per research, completion rates are higher when the reward is reimbursement of employee training expenses instead of a prize for finishing the training.

Whenever validated psychological methodologies are used, a one-time, result-oriented cash benefit can get employees to dedicate to instruction for the long run.

People are inclined (pushed by the psychological science of loss aversion) when they have a real connection to the results, like when they pay for training in advance.

L&D sessions are often given as employee training rewards for staff performance evaluations. The duration people spend learning would be considered if they need a good review, an increase, or a promotion.

4. Publicly acknowledge your learners

Publicly acknowledging and recognizing learners for their training achievements is a strategy that leverages the power of positive reinforcement within an organization. Here’s a breakdown of why this approach is effective:

  1. Motivational element:
    • Public acknowledgment serves as a motivational element by celebrating the accomplishments of employees. When individuals receive recognition for their efforts in training and development, it reinforces a sense of achievement and validates their hard work.
  2. Cultural impact:
    • Establishing a culture of recognition within the organization is crucial. When training achievements are publicly acknowledged, it sends a clear message that the company values and prioritizes continuous learning. This contributes to shaping a positive workplace culture centered around personal and professional growth.
  3. Communication channels:
    • Recognition can be communicated through various channels, such as company-wide announcements, newsletters, or team meetings. The choice of communication method depends on the organizational culture and the preferred means of disseminating information. Regardless of the channel, the goal is to amplify the acknowledgment to a wider audience.
  4. Reinforcing continuous learning:
    • Regularly acknowledging learners reinforces the value of continuous learning. It communicates that the organization recognizes and appreciates the ongoing efforts of employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. This reinforcement encourages a mindset of continuous improvement and a commitment to staying updated in a rapidly evolving professional landscape.
  5. Positive environment:
    • The act of public acknowledgment contributes to fostering a positive environment within the workplace. When employees feel appreciated for their dedication to self-improvement, it enhances job satisfaction and overall morale. A positive workplace culture, in turn, can lead to increased engagement and a sense of belonging among employees.

Now, it’s essential to consider evaluation techniques as rewards instead of something that can be taken away (or ordered) because of underperformance. Penalties often make people angry and stop them from taking creative risks. Instead of threatening employees with punitive action, you should tell them it will look good on their assessment.

These rewards also get people going at work. When staff members get accolades or rewards for their hard labor, they put more effort and are more interested in their jobs. The same could be said about how you train people at your corporation. Employee training rewards can be an excellent way to get staff members started in the right direction.

But only when it’s done right. So, how to evaluate correctly?

Employee training rewards could sometimes send a false statement

Think carefully about how you set up programs to reward employees. If you don’t use employee training rewards in the right way, they can hurt learning; for instance:

Make it a real challenge to learn. Installing employee training rewards instantaneously for training completion could send the message, “If I require a reward, the instruction shouldn’t be valuable on its own.”

Get your mind off of education. When the award is more important than the task itself, it takes your attention away from what you’re trying to do. If you say something like, “Staff members who get three accreditations would get a gift voucher,” they may count their certificates and rush through instructions to achieve the reward.

In either case, staff members may complete their training, but they won’t be interested in what they’re learning. They probably won’t remember what they’ve been taught, so when it’s time for more learning, they’ll always be slow to move.


So, do employee training rewards work? Yes. Well-designed reward programs that focus on motivation and performance can boost job performance. Greater employee engagement is a secondary benefit that could lead to a lower attrition rate.

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