New hire training programs are essential in preparing new hires for job productivity. The primary goal of new hire training is to inform new employees about the company’s policies, practices and expectations and train them on the skills they’ll need to succeed. Doing so helps new employees feel more confident and engaged in their role, which can prolong their stay at the company.

But keeping new hires incentivized during training can be challenging — especially when training people new to your industry who, therefore, require more training than others at the outset. Though an effective onboarding experience can increase engagement, an ineffective one can put a damper on things. That’s why keeping new employees incentivized during new hire training is important.

Let’s examine some best practices to drive employee engagement during new hire training programs to prepare learners for success in their new role.

  1. Gamification

Training sessions don’t need to be bland. Gamification can spice up the training curriculum and promote healthy competition. For example, awarding badges to trainees for reaching certain milestones provide a sense of accomplishment, while public leaderboards foster a competitive spirit as employees may want to earn bragging rights. And gamified learning can offer built-in methods for tracking completion progress, freeing training staff from the time required to record or monitor that information manually.

  1. Create Learning Opportunities

It’s not a secret that employees who feel like they’re getting something out of their training programs are much more likely to put in the effort and even enjoy it. And while it might be easy to assume that most employees would jump at the chance to improve their skills, this is only sometimes the case. Some employees might view training programs as tedious and mandatory until they’ve checked off enough boxes to complete the course. Encouraging your employees to embrace training to improve their skills and learn more about their trade can provide dual benefits: First, it can help employees understand the benefits of training. Secondly, it can expand their knowledge base and skill sets in ways that improve their work performance.

  1. Public Recognition

Public employee recognition is one of the most impactful employee engagement tools. Commending trainees for their accomplishments is an unexpected and authentic reward and thus, more meaningful.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Managers aren’t the only ones who should provide positive feedback to their employees. It’s also important for employees to feel recognized by their peers. Knowing that their co-workers respect their job performance and are confident they can rely on them as trusted team members can be a powerful motivator. Peer-to-peer recognition in training also can promote teamwork and support a positive workplace culture.

  1. Bite-sized Learning

Long-winded presentations or coursework loaded with redundant or extraneous information are only sometimes effective. And they don’t merely risk losing trainees’ attention but also require more time and money to implement. Instead, deliver new hire training in bite-sized nuggets that employees can easily digest while on the job. This can motivate employees to finish their new hire training and apply what they’ve learned.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to train your new employees, including offering incentives for their engagement. But there’s more to it than just completing a training course to boost performance. It’s also about building engagement early on so that you can ensure they want to stay with the company long-term.

Rewarding new hires during training can help drive your company toward providing better learning experiences and maximizing workforce productivity. No matter what kind of company you work for, it’s important to ensure that new hires are ready to excel from day one.