Incentivizing training: Strategies that engage employees

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Most business leaders today are rightfully heavily invested in training for their companies, whether it be for compliance, upskilling or keeping teams ahead of the rapid changes brought on by technology and other influences. Gone are the days when learning one skill was all it took to enjoy a lengthy career: Today’s workforce operates in a world where technology advances constantly, sometimes even by the hour. It is no surprise that continuous learning and upskilling have become indispensable for individuals and organizations aiming to stay competitive. But the lifelong learning mindset is not as quick to catch on - motivating employees to actively participate in training programs can be a daunting task.

Almost every modern professional has clicked through mandated training as quickly as they can to check it off the list and be on with their day – and that is not a good thing. It goes without saying that traditional approaches often fall short in capturing attention and inspiring commitment. To address this challenge, organizations are increasingly turning to innovative methods to incentivize training and boost employee engagement.

If you are a business leader, there is a good chance you are already heavily invested in some form of ongoing training for your teams – Companies spend more than $340 billion on employee training and development, averaging more than $1500 per employee per year.Maybe you’ve got the right training, but you are looking for ways to ensure it is adopted and used.

Let’s look at some of the top tools for motivating your teams to engage with training:

1. Leader Dashboards

Transparency and healthy competition can be powerful motivators in driving employee engagement. Leader dashboards offer real-time insights into training progress, achievements, and rankings, enabling employees to track their performance against peers. By making this information accessible to all, organizations foster a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Recognizing top performers through leaderboards can inspire others to push their limits and invest more in their personal development.

2. Gamification

Gamification transforms the learning experience by incorporating elements of game design into training programs. By introducing points, levels, challenges, and rewards, organizations can make training sessions more interactive, enjoyable, and competitive. Employees are motivated to complete modules, master new skills, and achieve milestones to earn rewards and climb the leaderboard. This playful approach to learning not only increases engagement but also enhances retention and application of knowledge.

3. Badging and Credentials

The generation that grew up receiving trophies for everything is now solidly populating – and even leading - the workforce, so it should come as no surprise that visual proof of achievements motivates this crowd: Credentials and certifications hold significant value as proof of skills and competencies. Digital badges serve as visual representations of achievements, allowing employees to highlight their expertise and accomplishments on professional platforms like LinkedIn. By awarding badges for completing courses, acquiring new skills, or demonstrating proficiency in specific areas, organizations validate employees' efforts and encourage them to pursue further learning opportunities. These credentials not only boost individual confidence but also contribute to building a skilled and competent workforce.

4. Skill Points

A skill points system offers a flexible and personalized approach to incentivizing training. Employees earn points for each training module completed, skill acquired, or competency demonstrated. Sometimes, points can be accumulated and redeemed for a variety of rewards, ranging from gift cards and merchandise to extra time off and exclusive professional development opportunities. By allowing employees to choose their rewards based on their interests and goals, organizations empower them to take ownership of their learning journey and invest in areas that align with their career aspirations.


Incentivizing training is essential for creating a culture of continuous learning and development within organizations. By leveraging leader dashboards, gamification, badging and credentials, and skill points, organizations can design engaging and rewarding training programs that motivate employees to invest in their personal and professional growth.

These strategies not only increase participation and retention but also foster a collaborative and competitive environment where employees are encouraged to learn, grow, and excel. As organizations continue to embrace digital transformation and prioritize employee development, adopting innovative training incentives will become increasingly crucial in attracting, retaining, and nurturing talent.

The new era for learning is here. Are you ready to take your team's learning and development to the next level? Interested in learning more about how your team's training can meet and exceed your expectations? Achieve it all with myACI Learn >>

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