A Guide to Rewards and Recognition for Learning and Development

Learning and development programs are critical for enhancing the overall skills, competencies and effectiveness of employees. This, in turn, helps in ensuring higher and sustained business growth for the organization, thanks to a highly skilled and competent workforce. However, driving participation of employees in such programs can prove to be challenging. Organizations should look at leveraging employee rewards and recognition for learning and development programs to incentivize and motivate employees for greater participation and impact.

How can Rewards and Recognition benefit Learning and Development?

An employee reward and recognition policy that focuses on incentivizing initiatives, efforts, and achievements of employees for learning and development can prove extremely beneficial for organizations.

Here are a few reasons why organizations should look at the rewards and recognition for learning and development:

1. Creates short- term incentives

Learning and development activities benefit both the employee and the organization, through skill and competency development and career progression opportunities. Linking rewards and recognition to participation in such activities provide immediate benefits to the employees in form of monetary gratification and social visibility. These short-term benefits can drive higher level of motivation for employees to participate in such programs.

2. Makes it aspirational

Coworkers who get rewarded and recognition for their participation in learning and development programs make it aspirational for other employees to participate. Both the monetary value and the social visibility of the rewards and recognition act as incentives for the employees.

3. Makes it exciting and interesting

A good rewards and recognition program built around learning and development with the concept of gamification can capture the attention and interest of the employees. It can drive higher levels of participation and involvement from the employees as they go through their learning journeys.  

Best Practices for Rewards and Recognition for Learning and Development

A well-designed rewards and recognition policy for learning and development can maximize program participation and create business impact. 

Here are a few best practices that help organizations get the desired benefits:

Reward and Recognize employees at each stage of the learning process

1. Reward and Recognize at Each Milestone

Organizations should reward and recognize employees at each stage of the learning process:

  • Participation in the program
  • Completion of the program
  • Post-program assessment
  • Business impact of the enhanced performance of the employee due to higher skills or competencies acquired

This will motivate the learner to move from one milestone to the other.

2. Enable Timely Rewards and Recognition

Organization should look at investing in digital employee recognition platforms that can integrate with their learning management systems (LMS) and help them to reward and recognize the learners automatically after the achievement of each milestone.

Such platforms can be configured with different rewards and recognition policies based on the program and the learner’s role. They can also enable supervisors to acknowledge and appreciate the impact of the program on the employee’s performance.

3. Provide Monetary Gratification

Like regular employee rewards and recognition programs, monetary rewards create an additional impact on the motivation of employees going through their learning journeys. The monetary rewards could be in form of money credited to their salaries, rewards points that can be redeemed for gift cards of their choices, electronics, appliances, experiences, and holidays.

Digital employee recognition platforms can make the entire process of giving monetary rewards seamless. Learners could be awarded reward points through the platform for achieving different milestones. They can redeem these points for gift cards or merchandize of their choice, which will get delivered to them.4.

4. Ensure Social Visibility

Organizations should work towards ensuring that the rewards and recognition received by the employees for learning and development activities can get maximum social visibility.

Such social visibility can be created by sharing the updates on internal digital platforms such as MS Teams and Slack through integration with the employee rewards system. Additional buzz can be created by publishing the feeds on external social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

5. Gamify the Experience

Organizations should explore gamification concepts such as reward points, digital badges, e-cards, wall of fame, levels, leaderboards, and e-gift cards, etc., to the fun and excitement elements to the entire learning process. Digital employee recognition platforms can play a big role in gamifing the entire learning process seamlessly.

Such gamification of the learning and development programs make it exciting and attractive to the employees, especially to the Gen Z and millennials who constitute a major segment of the workforce. This, in turn can drive up the participation and completion rates of the programs as well as the level of involvement of the learners.

Bottom-line

Investing in rewards and recognition for learning and development can help an organization drive greater impact from these programs and enhance business growth.

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