According to a recent Fortune article, paying employees a small stipend upfront for taking training classes resulted in employees taking more of the offered courses.
The study, conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, concluded it is not exactly how much money is given to employees, but rather, how they are told the reasons why it is being given to them.
One group of workers was given a one-time cash “reimbursement” of $60 for attending two classes over a four-month period. They were then asked to sign a contract to attend two sessions, something another group was not required to do. In contrast, the second group was also given $60, but was told the money was an “incentive” for attending the classes, and not a reimbursement.
Those that were told the cash was an incentive went on to take six times the amount of training courses as the other employees. This difference could indicate an employee’s willingness to invest in their own future, when employers make the first move in asking what they would like to learn, achieve or accomplish.
This created an overall long-term mindset toward their future, something the “reward” didn’t do for the other employees.
Workplace incentives don’t always have to be cash. Employees appreciate a multitude of incentives because it depicts an environment of both production and reward. Make changes in your employees workday such as free courses, a catered lunch or paid for outside excursions.
Happier, more engaged employees will often remain longer in a company and move up the corporate ranks as well.
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