rewards for employee completing training

How to Reward Your Employees for Completing Training

In our increasingly busy world, it can be challenging to get people to actually show up to training, let alone retain the information. Although they may know training will help, there’s little motivation to attend due to factors like time or value. 

So, how do you get people to be present and engaged? Incorporate training incentives for completing training to give your employees and make training a priority. Rewards add immense value to learning and development, and can result in high-performing channel partners, improved customer service, and increased sales. 

Organizations often notice an immediate increase in eLearning participation and engagement because people enjoy being rewarded. Here are five ways to reward your employees for completing training, and more importantly, how to reward them for implementing training.


Gamification elements, such as badges and leaderboards, make effective and inexpensive ways to reward and motivate learners. When employees reach a particular course level or complete training, they can unlock a badge to show on their online profile or brag about the accomplishment. If such electronic icons aren’t available, wearing pins, adding stickers to employee ID badges, or publicly displaying individual/team standings can foster a competitive spirit.


Research into operant conditioning has shown that such badges may be even more effective at reinforcing learning when they appear at unpredictable, irregular intervals during training. This element of surprise makes the accomplishments more enjoyable, and the simultaneous release of brain chemicals like dopamine at the moment of learning serves to reinforce that knowledge.

One-time bonuses

For a large subset of your employees, having some financial incentive to complete employee training can be a strong motivator. One-time bonuses don’t need to be large, and can take a variety of forms. For example, upon successful completion of training, an employee can be rewarded with a half-day off or a small bonus in their paycheck. And, depending on how the reward is structured, it can lead to long-term changes in employee behavior.

An ongoing incentive program allows you to accommodate for follow through in a training reward program. Not only should your employees be attending training, they should also be taking something away from it that can be applied and practiced in the workplace. After all, that is truly the purpose of training and why companies put so much emphasis on it. You can reward employees for attending and completing training and then give additional incentives to participants for demonstrating their new learned behaviors. 

For example, one company found success with awarding points to sales people for completing training on products and then taking a short quiz. When the sales people used this knowledge to increase sales of the products they received training on, bonus points were rewarded. Best of all, the training rewards were only one aspect of the company’s overall incentive program which included recognition awards, safety compliance incentives and employee performance rewards.

Dealer’s Choice

There are several reward program platforms that allow employees to choose their own rewards for completing training. These rewards include experiences, such as theater tickets and travel, or home wish list items, such as home gym equipment and espresso machines. Personal rewards make employees feel special and build excitement for training through extrinsic rewards. 

We all work in exchange for cash, but what keeps you working and engaged in the workplace goes far beyond a paycheck. Contact us today to learn more about engaging employees in training. 

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