7 Interesting Ways To Incorporate Badges In Online Training

7 Interesting Ways To Incorporate Badges In Online Training
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Summary: Badge-based rewards can spark learner motivation and offer the public recognition they need. In this article, I discuss 7 interesting ways to incorporate this popular game mechanic into your online training course.

How To Incorporate Badges In Online Training

There are plenty of gamification rewards to choose from, but badges offer some unique advantages. They’re visually appealing reminders of all that your employees have accomplished and how far they’ve progressed. They can also show them off to their co-workers for bragging rights, which taps into their need for friendly competition. Due to their popularity, your employees have probably seen every badge-based incentive in the book, right? Well, here are 7 creative ways to add badges in online training.

7 Creative Ways To Use Online Training Badges

1. Recognize Employees Who Achieve The Most Certifications

Give top performers a virtual pat on the back by awarding badges to those who achieve a certain number of certifications. You can either reward employees who earn the most or create a tier system, whereby they earn a coveted badge for every 5 certification courses they complete. The caveat is that you must ensure corporate learners are working toward relevant certifications instead of choosing the "easiest" online training courses. For example, those that cater to their strong suits but don’t necessarily bring them out of their comfort zone or pertain to their job duties and skill gaps.

2. Award Badges For Social Interactivity

Offer an online training badge to corporate learners who participate in social media discourses and engage with their remote coworkers. For example, the person who posts the most helpful tips or resource links earns the coveted badge. You can also award badges to employees who answer the most questions on the online discussion for the benefit of their peers. Once again, make sure it’s not an empty victory by setting some ground rules, such as clarifying that employees must focus on the training topic or reply to every comment or question left under their original post.

3. Reward Top-Notch Leadership Skills

Recognize employees who take on the role of a team leader during a group collaboration project. Managing a team is one of the most difficult tasks, as it involves a broad range of skills. The employee must be able to communicate with peers, resolve conflicts, and manage their time effectively. Just to name a few. Don’t just offer a badge to anyone who becomes a project manager, though. Survey the group members to get their feedback and gauge their experience. Then choose the top leaders who set a great example for their team and achieved the best outcome.

4. Acknowledge Employees Who Have Bridged Crucial Gaps

It’s not just the top performers who are looking for recognition. Employees who are struggling with skill and performance gaps get a motivational boost from badges in online training. Acknowledge those who have made the most significant improvements so that they feel the drive to progress even further. For example, a corporate learner who scored low on the pre-assessment simulation but received high scores on the final certification exam.

5. Point Out Employees Who Achieve Perfect Attendance

In grade school, students often receive an award at the end of the year for perfect attendance. They showed up every day and gave it their all. You can use badges in online training to point out employees who logged in daily and participated in the online training course. This can even include accessing the moment of need library or engaging in online discussions. Don’t exclude social and informal learning activities from the badge-based criteria, as long as they made an effort to achieve their goals and expand their knowledge on a daily basis.

6. Reward Upskilling And Cross-Training

Develop an online training badge for employees who go the extra mile by upskilling and cross-training for different positions or departments. For example, a customer service employee who takes the initiative to hone their sales skills. Just make certain they don’t let the cross-training overshadow their regularly scheduled sessions. For instance, that customer service associate skips the POS refresher course in order to attend the negotiation skills workshop. Of course, there are also some activities that may be off-limits, like team leadership courses intended for upper management.

7. Pair Learner-Generated Libraries With Badge-Based Rewards

Employees who contribute to the learner-generated library earn badges for exemplary work. For example, an employee uploads a 5-minute demo that shows their peers how to perform a task or highlights the latest product features. You can also award an exclusive badge to employees who have contributed the most, such as those who’ve uploaded at least 10 online training resources to the repository in the past year. Learner-generated libraries facilitate knowledge sharing and reduce online training spending. Your L&D team doesn’t have to develop as much content for the online training repository and can dedicate their time elsewhere. Like planning the next online training course or evaluating LMS reports to improve the online training experience.

Top Tip For Using Badges In Online Training

Bear in mind that badges may not be the best choice for EVERY corporate learner or training topic. Some might prefer more competitive game mechanics, such as leaderboards. Likewise, certain topics or learning objectives may lend themselves to other incentives that support the desired behaviors more effectively. Do your audience research and reevaluate the outcomes to find the most suitable gamification rewards for your online training strategy.


Badge-based rewards inspire employees to achieve their potential, interact with peers, and take L&D into their own hands. Offer them aesthetically appealing designs so that they are even more motivated to earn them. Also, be clear about how they can accrue new badges and the criteria involved for each. Every member of your organization should have the same opportunities to earn badges in online training. Even those who are less than tech-savvy. So, you may want to provide tutorials or demos that cover the basics of your gamification strategy.

The right gamification LMS can help you maximize returns and employee engagement. Download our exclusive eBook for insider secrets to choose the best system for your gamification strategy. Beyond Badges: How To Use A Gamification LMS To Retain Your Top Talent and Boost ROI explores the surprising perks and top game mechanics to consider.