6 Tips To Use Extrinsic Motivators To Create More Effective Online Training
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How To Use Extrinsic Motivators To Create Effective Online Training

Extrinsic motivators are just as indispensable as intrinsic. The challenge is that, just like their internal counterparts, they are often intangible. This makes them difficult to detect and measure. For example, an employee may be motivated by the need to outperform their peers. The other obstacle is knowing how to find the right source of extrinsic motivation, as certain sources may hinder employee progress instead of helping them to achieve their goals. Below are 5 ways to use extrinsic motivators to make your online training course even more engaging and effective.

1. Find The Source

As the old saying goes "well begun is half done". A clear sense of purpose and ambition have always been the primary forces for goal achievement. The same principle applies to online training. There may be a dry or dull subject matter that has the potential to bore your corporate learners. But where there is a will there is a way, and often that ‘will’ involves monetary incentives. The thing to keep in mind is that gift cards and bonuses aren’t the root of all eLearning evil. They’re a great way to fuel employee motivation until they find their own internal drive. However, you must determine the ideal reward based on desired behaviors and employee interests. Conduct surveys to identify which incentives spark the most interest and then figure out how they can be used to reinforce favorable behaviors.

2. Provide Personal Praise And Recognition

Humans tend to seek the approval of another person, preferably a superior who has clout within the organization. Even a passing remark to recognize their efforts can encourage employees to fully engage in online training. Personal praise even has the power to bolster self-confidence and alter an employee’s point of view. For example, encourage them to think more positively about their talents and abilities. Another way to provide recognition is to automate feedback within the Learning Management System. After each online training activity, top performers receive a congratulatory note that highlights their strengths. It might even display a virtual trophy or falling confetti that adds a celebratory flair.

3. Distinguish Between Current Inconvenience And Future Accomplishments

Extrinsic motivation often involves weighing long-term vs short-term consequences of online training. For example, will the time I invest now yield any significant rewards? If I don’t actively participate in the certification online training course, will I still be considered for that big promotion? These are the questions that tend to run through your employees’ minds. Especially those who lack intrinsic motivation. Typically, they believe online training is worthy of their time and energy only if the end justify the means. For example, they earn that coveted certificate that is recognized by their manager or they surpass their peers and edge out the competition for the internal promotion. Thus, you must show employees the practical benefits of active participation. What’s in it for them, and what value does it hold?

4. Facilitate Peer-Based Recognition Through Social Media Groups

One of the perks of online training is that employees are not required to keep pace with their peers. They are responsible for their own learning and can focus on their own goals. However, corporate learners still need a source of emotional support. Even if it comes from fellow co-workers who are on the same rung of the corporate ladder. Start social media groups that allow employees to share experiences and feedback. These groups also serve another important purpose, which is to provide peer-based recognition. Members post their ideas or accomplishments and receive praise or acknowledgement. For example, the system allows them to post a notification on their wall when they earn their leadership skills certificate. They share it with the social media group, which garners them well-deserved praise in the form of comments and likes. As a result, other members of the social media group are also driven to do their best in order to take their place in the spotlight.

5. Gamify Your Online Training Strategy

Something as simple as a badge can drastically improve employee motivation. Especially when that badge requires sacrifice, such as spending a significant amount of time on coursework or passing a challenging final exam. Gamification yields a variety of benefits, such as improving learner engagement and reinforcing positive behaviors. However, you must adhere to the same rules as monetary rewards. Research your audience to identify the best intangible incentives for the task. Introverted learners might prefer levels or points, while more competitive extroverts enjoy leaderboards. For best results, give employees the opportunity to pick their own gamification rewards that cater to their personality traits and preferences.

6. Bridge The Gap

No matter how effective extrinsic motivation might be, it still falls short of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivators provide an inner fulfillment that drives employees to succeed. According to the Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”, self-esteem and self-actualization carry more weight than monetary rewards. Extrinsic motivators require an external force, whether it be personal praise or a gamification badge, whereas intrinsic motivation comes from within. As such, extrinsic motivators should be used in moderation, and only to bridge the gap. The goal is to encourage employees to see how active involvement can help them improve work practices and be more productive, thereby allowing them to reach their full potential.

Extrinsic motivators aren’t as deeply rooted as intrinsic motivators. But they still play a vital role in online training. Particularly when employees need a little nudge and aren’t able to locate internal sources of inspiration. Use this article as a guide to use extrinsic motivators in moderation and get employees actively involved in L&D.

Do you know what it takes to tap into the power of intrinsic motivation? Read the article Intrinsic Motivation In Online Training to discover how to develop online training activities that will intrinsically motivate your employees.

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