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Incentivizing Learners

Posted on November 27, 2017

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Incentivizing Learners


40% of trainers consider incentivizing learners one of the top challenges of their jobs.


Incentivizing learners
A combination of competition, acknowledgement and reward can keep learners motivated to perform well on and complete their training.

Incentivizing learners is an important part of any successful training program. But finding motivation that works and fits in your budget isn’t always easy. In our surveys of multifamily property managers, over 40% consider having the right incentives in place to keep employees finishing their training programs one of the top challenges of their jobs (48% for incentivizing property managers, 45% for incentivizing leasing professionals, and 38% for incentivizing maintenance staff).


One way to make incentives less of a challenge is to take a broader view of what motivates employees. Rewards, as described below, are certainly one way, but they’re not the only one. A full incentives program takes advantage of competition and acknowledgement too. Try out a mix of these ideas for increasing training participation rates.




You might be surprised what some healthy competition can do.

  • Set up a simple leaderboard on the intranet, in your LMS, or even through email.


Acknowledging accomplishments can make a big difference. Here are some of the ways you can recognize employees who have completed training, attained a certain score – or simply put forth admirable effort:

  • Acknowledge in a company-wide email
  • Congratulate at a team meeting
  • Mention on Yammer or Facebook
  • Write about in a newsletter blurb
  • Send a handwritten note or a personal email
  • Encourage in a face-to-face visit


Rewards are the most familiar forms of incentives, and they can be monetary or not. Here’s something to fit every budget:

  • Opportunity to leave work early
  • Conference incentives like room upgrades or recognition at the event
  • Discounts on rent or electricity
  • Lunch with the owner or a superior
  • Bonus awards for completing training
  • Salary increases for completing training
  • Promotion based on training completion

Whichever methods of incentivizing you decide to adopt, avoid trying too many at once. Take one strategy at a time so you can assess what impact it has on training rates. Then try a completely different type of incentive to keep things fresh. Get creative and make it fun!


Amy McClellan
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