Engaging in professional courses can deliver incredible benefits for many employees and organizations. From expanding skills to increased creativity, ongoing education leads to workplaces that are constantly improving.
Offering courses to your employees is a great step toward increased learning. But without proper incentives, many employees lack the motivation to add a course to their busy schedules. Then what? Some organizations choose to offer a reward for employees who sign up for a course, but this often results in an increase in initial participation that quickly drops off.
To truly encourage your employees to start and finish courses, your organization first has to establish a culture that prioritizes learning. One of the best ways to achieve this is to offer appropriate incentives that communicate the high value you place on course participation and completion.
Here are a few ways to incentivize and reward employees for completing courses.
Offer dedicated time to complete courses
For many employees, time proves to be one of the most significant barriers to course completion. Facilitating an environment that prioritizes continuing education starts with removing blockers and creating opportunities.
Blocking out time during the workday to dedicate to course completion provides employees with necessary time for learning without the pressure to commit their personal time to work matters. And by having employees complete their courses on the clock, you demonstrate that your organization values their continued development enough to compensate for their time.
Demonstrate the value of course experience
Experience is a valuable tool to have in the workplace. With experience comes increased skills, responsibility, and opportunities for career advancement.
Career development is consistently regarded as a high priority for many employees. In fact, according to a recent study by SHRM, 39% of employees consider career development opportunities for learning and professional growth very important. Opportunities for growth within their organization was also ranked as highly significant by 41% of employees surveyed.
A great way to prompt your employees to complete courses is to show them the results. Make it a point to share that team members who have finished multiple courses are even more likely to be considered for promotions, and point to employees in coveted positions as examples of a dedication to learning.
By showing your employees that courses lay the groundwork for career advancement, you help dispose of the notion that professional education is just another time-consuming item on their to-do list. And by selling your employees on the tangible value of your courses, your engagement is likely to increase sustainably.
Make a game of it
Making learning fun — and even encouraging a bit of healthy competition — is widely considered one of the most effective incentivation strategies. And it’s not just for students in the classroom. A survey by FinancesOnline Research Center found that 80% of US employees believe that game-based learning is more engaging.
Many of the leading e-learning platforms offer badges as a way to mark milestones in the learning process. Challenge employees to collect the most badges by the end of the quarter to win a gift card, or encourage teams to be the first to all pass a course exam and win a free lunch.
Encouraging your employees to have fun with learning removes pressure while boosting engagement. And the results are clear. Survey results from FinancesOnline show that gamification leads to a 60% increase in employee engagement.
Interested in learning more about encouraging course participation for your employees? Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to try something new, incentivizing and rewarding your employees is key to obtaining desired results. Contact us today to learn more.