Know how to reward

People learn for different reasons – whether it is for personal development, to get a qualification or a better job, to meet other people, or simply for the love of learning.

Most adult learners are intrinsically motivated by their personal goals and needs. However, the importance of extrinsic motivation should not be underestimated, particularly when things become more difficult. By offering simple, tangible rewards, you can often help learners to get through the difficult times and remain focused on their original goals and reasons for wanting to learn.

The type of reward that will work best can vary from person to person. For some, the thrill of learning a new task or acquiring new knowledge is reward enough. For others, it’s public praise and recognition. As a trainer you need to be aware of these differences and make sure you use a range of rewards to stimulate and encourage.

When talking about rewards, intrinsic rewards are those that originate from within the person, and extrinsic rewards are those that originate from something beyond the person. To cater for all learning styles in your class it is a good idea to provide both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.

Intrinsic rewards

Intrinsic motivation is simply the motivation to do something because it’s personally rewarding. People who are intrinsically motivated perform tasks and engage in behaviours because they find them enjoyable. Simply participating in the activity is reward enough.

Ask a learner to demonstrate a mastered skill or concept to other learners in the group. Not only will others see that this learner has a strong understanding of the topic but it will also encourage the learner to have more confidence and pride in these increased abilities.

Employees become more than happy when their seniors or supervisors speak few words of appreciation for them in front of peers or co-workers. With adult learners who are lacking in confidence it is often better to speak to them personally rather than in front of the whole group. However, more confident learners will benefit from praise given in front of others because of the sense of recognition it will give them.

When employees continue to make better output, supervisors may bother less to manage them. The freedom that employees receive to make their own decision and work as per their schedule is also a form of intrinsic reward.

Intrinsic motivation can fuel our creativity and sense of inner purpose, but it doesn’t negate or diminish the legitimate significance of an extrinsic view.

Extrinsic rewards

Extrinsic motivation is promoted by factors external to the individual. Individuals who are extrinsically motivated work on tasks because they believe that participation will result in desirable outcomes such as a reward or praise.

During training, trainers can offer incentives, such as afternoon teas, excursions and prizes for successful completion of learning activities, assignments and other tasks. Social events give you and the learners the opportunity to take a break from the classroom learning and get to know one another on a more informal basis. This type of interaction can encourage a more open line of communication between trainer and learners.

Have frequent breaks in the learning activities. A break can be a very simple yet effective reward because it occurs relatively immediately and everyone can benefit from the free time.

Inform learners of any awards and documentation they may receive (certificates, statements of attainment). Knowing that they’ll get an award at the end of the course will motivate many learners.

Extrinsic rewards can also be as simple as getting the better office, public recognition or awards, promotions and additional responsibility.

When a company earns profit due to the effort of an individual or group of employees, the company should appreciate their contribution by giving them additional payment as a bonus or commission. Financial rewards are always known to have received more value from the employees.

Today’s workforce is more specialised than ever. Your most talented people in sales, manufacturing, engineering, and design are not in management – they are doing their jobs. High-impact learning organisations unleash these experts and put in place programmes to promote and reward even greater levels of expertise.

This increased expertise should be rewarded. Give engineers career progression in their discipline; give people time to study and improve their own skills; publicise and promote the success of experts. Such programmes tell the organisation that “expertise matters” and “we are willing to invest in your own skills.”

Train the trainer

Train the Trainer allows you to address a larger number of employees while staying in budget. Maurice Kerrigan Africa offers a Trainer Development Programme designed to give trainers the skills and knowledge to plan and present interactive, effective training sessions. From analysing learning needs, to structuring and delivering workshops, every step of the process is covered – enabling you to implement and continually improve training in your workplace.

This is a three day, dynamic, practical train the trainer course suitable for all levels of training professional. Book your seat at their upcoming course scheduled for 10 – 12 April, 2017 in Johannesburg.

Click here to look at Maurice Kerrigan Africa’s public course training schedule.

To find out more about the training courses offered by Maurice Kerrigan Africa or to arrange an appointment, simply call +27 11 794 1251 or email




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