How to reward your employees for upgrading their training
In the early 1950’s, a Japanese word was adopted that would transform human productivity. The word is kaizen and its literal translation is “good change”. It was used to describe a new process of creating small, incremental improvements to a company’s workflow. This concept became so popular, and so effective, that it birthed an entire quality management industry, rejuvenated Toyota’s production line, and inspired the personal development revolution.
In 2003, The British Cycling organization hired coach Dave Brailsford to end a century-long drought of Olympic medals and Tour de France failures. He called his strategy 'marginal gain aggregation’ — a focus on finding a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do. Within nine years, British cyclists had broken 16 Olympic and World Records.
More recently, billionaire philanthropist and über-nerd Bill Gates noted that “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
The connecting thread to these 3 ideas is the power of focused, incremental training. A few hours in a conference room with thick binders, PowerPoint and stale muffins may not seem like an ideal learning environment, but even the smallest morsel of knowledge can unlock record-breaking ‘good change’.
Better, faster, smarter… and more valuable.
Few employees yearn to go back to school, even if it is just a few hours in that conference room. But training, skills upgrading and professional development are critical for both employee and company.
- For employees, it keeps them (and their resume) current with the very latest trends, technologies and techniques. Whether it’s new software, more efficient processes, or new sales strategies, learning keeps us all relevant and employable.
- For companies, it means being able to run at close to maximum efficiency with employees who are at the top of their game. In competitive industries (and which ones aren’t?) talent is the difference-maker.
Your employee recognition program plays a key role. If well communicated, your employees already know the value of the program and what rewards their points earnings can deliver.
But the Society for Human Resource Management recommends that you only reward training that increases the productive value of the employee for the company. For example, there’s no need to offer rewards for completing an orientation course, but you should reward a salesperson for sharpening their customer prospecting skills.
Whether your program uses points, tokens, badges or another currency, there are many creative ways to motivate training. Here are some of our favorites:
- Points for completion: the simplest and most direct route awards a certain number of points for successfully completing a training course.
- Points per level: for longer curriculums, points can be awarded as stepping stones, so employees don’t need to wait to reap the rewards.
- Points per grade: this strategy creates a pool of points that are awarded based on how well an employee completes their training. For example, A-graders get more points than B or C-grade employees.
- Gamification: if your training curriculum can be gamified, introduce a little friendly competition with a strategy that awards points based on who lands in first, second, third, fourth place etc. Everyone can still win, and everyone will still learn.
Upgrade your team from within
You’ve spent months attracting, interviewing and negotiating. You’ve hired the most talented people you can find. And now that they are here, they’ll look to you to help them grow and stay current and stay motivated. Training and personal development go hand in hand with a strategic employee engagement program.
With Power2Motivate, you can build a program that’s tailored to match your company size and culture, and directly link positive behavior and achievement to tangible, attractive rewards. Contact us today to find out how we can help keep your team members focused and motivated. We can set up a demo of our highly configurable engagement platform, so you can see for yourself just how impactful it can be