Rewards in Corporate Training and Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation

Designing Digitally


Custom eLearning

According to The Incentive Research Foundation, a robust reward program that addresses motivation to learn is capable of increasing employee performance by almost 44%. It boosts employee engagement resulting in lower turnover rates.

But why do we need a reward program for corporate training?

Well, in a perfect world, employees would enthusiastically consume training. But in reality, they need a nudge to attend training. If you offer them incentives to learn, then it adds on to the motivation of learning. Rewards work best for organizations that have performance-based issues. Tying rewards to employee learning programs can change employee behavior as desired.

Every organization has its unique needs, and they need to design the incentives to cater to their specific needs. They need to understand what motivates their employees and offer incentives that are attainable. It may be in the form of a meal voucher or a gift coupon, or simply a paid time-off. Whatever reward you decide, make sure that the amount of effort required to get the reward is in line with the value of the prize. Also, there should not be a huge time lapse in receiving the reward. In this age of instant gratification, your learners will lose interest if they receive the reward after months of completing the training.

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic motivation

There are two kinds of motivators for a learner – extrinsic and intrinsic. A learner who is extrinsically motivated will be driven by material rewards like money, vouchers, bonus, gifts, badges, and so on. Extrinsic rewards are not long-term. They can be treated as an initial nudge to the learners, but not something that will help them achieve their potential. Intrinsic motivation is something that makes the learners complete a task because they enjoy doing it. Intrinsic motivators have a far greater value than extrinsic ones, though it’s hard to achieve.

However, both of them are not completely opposite poles. Extrinsic motivation can lead to the intrinsic realm. Suppose your learners do not enjoy a specific module or a course. You can use extrinsic motivators to entice them and drive performance. Gradually, make the learners see the benefit of the content and encourage them to complete it without any bribe. Of course, your content and design should be relevant to the learners.

It is important to be able to balance both motivators. You can attain this goal by encouraging your learners with providing constructive feedback. Offer them simulations and scenarios that are relevant to their regular job role. Urge them to collaborate with their peers and build a positive atmosphere of competition.

Learners are motivated by rewards. You just need to figure out what kind of incentives your learners prefer and build it into the course. The rewards can be tangible material rewards or something as simple as leveling up in the module. The end goal is to connect with the learners and make them feel good about completing the training and applying it at work.

At Designing Digitally, Inc. we have a stellar instructional design team that will help prioritize and condense your content into ways that help the learners absorb it. We perform a thorough training needs analysis to identify the appropriate learning needs. We use gamification, stories, and themes to keep your learners engaged.

To learn more about the custom learning solutions available for your company’s training needs, contact our team today.