1-877-689-7977 [email protected]

How to Motivate Employees to Complete Training and Certifications


 “For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” – Benjamin Franklin.


Continuous learning and development helps companies maintain a competitive advantage, particularly in retail and service businesses. Investing in employee training and certifications not only enhances the expertise within your workforce but also projects your organization as a bastion of competence and professional growth.

Moreover, motivating employees to complete these training programs can be a challenge. This article provides actionable strategies to encourage employees to engage with and complete certifications and training, ensuring a competent, highly skilled, and professional workforce.

Why are Certifications and Training Critical to Employers?

Certifications and training are vital to employers for many reasons. Firstly, they serve as tangible evidence of an employee’s expertise and competencies, allowing them to demonstrate their skills to colleagues, clients, and customers. This not only boosts the individual’s confidence but also enhances their overall performance, contributing to a more proficient and productive workforce.

Moreover, certifications and training are essential for building a strong employer brand and creating a culture of continuous learning and development within the organization. When employees hold certificates and are encouraged to pursue further training, the company gains a reputation as a place where learning thrives.

This brand image not only attracts top talent but also instills a sense of value and recognition among existing staff, leading to higher job satisfaction, engagement, and improved customer trust. In today’s competitive job market, investing in certifications and training not only equips employees with the skills they need but also positions the employer as a leader in their industry, nurturing a more skilled, engaged, and trustworthy workforce.

Certifications and Training 

“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.” – Jack Welch.

How Can Employers Motivate Employees to Complete Certifications and Training?

The following are six actionable methods employers can use to motivate and encourage employees to complete their certifications and training: 

Making Training Relevant

Ensure that the training aligns with employees’ career goals and the organization’s needs. If an employee’s goal is to become a project manager, offer project management training. This makes the training directly beneficial and motivates employees to achieve their aspirations. 

Lowe’s: Lowe’s provides personalized training paths for employees based on their career goals. For example, if an employee wants to become a certified electrician, Lowe’s offers tailored courses and certifications to support that journey. 

Gamifying Training

Integrate gamification elements like certificates, badges, and leaderboards into the training. For instance, employees can earn digital badges for completing different modules or courses, creating a sense of accomplishment and encouraging them to progress. 

Walmart: Walmart uses gamification in its training programs by incorporating interactive simulations and gamified scenarios. Employees can earn virtual badges and rewards as they progress through their training, creating a sense of accomplishment. 

Active Participation

Engage employees in the learning process through interactive activities and simulations. For instance, in customer service training, employees could participate in role-playing scenarios, actively applying what they’ve learned and improving their skills. 

Starbucks: Starbucks encourages active participation by incorporating role-playing and real-world scenarios in its barista training. Employees actively practice making coffee, which enhances their skills and confidence. 

Providing Regular Feedback and Rewards

Give employees continuous feedback through quizzes and reward their progress with certificates or recognition. An example is offering employees a digital certificate when they pass an assessment, acknowledging their achievements. 

Amazon: Amazon’s fulfillment centers use regular feedback and rewards to motivate employees during their onboarding and training processes. Employees receive digital certificates and badges as they complete different training modules. 

Recognition and Peer-to-Peer Acknowledgment

Recognize and reward employees for their training achievements. For example, you can showcase an “Employee of the Month” on a bulletin board, highlighting their success, and encourage coworkers to congratulate and acknowledge their efforts. This boosts motivation and engagement as employees seek recognition. 

Best Buy: Best Buy fosters peer-to-peer acknowledgment by creating an internal recognition platform. Employees can publicly celebrate each other’s training achievements, creating a culture of support and encouragement. 


“If learners think it looks bad, you may have lost a good percentage of the battle in getting them to pay attention.” Patti Shank, President, Learning Peaks.

How Does Employee Training Benefit Businesses?

Workplace studies conducted by public organizations, academic institutions, and private sector organizations have found that:


“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” — Henry Ford.


Enhancing your company’s training and certification strategy can significantly drive employee engagement and reduce turnover. Your investment in your employees’ development today will reap the rewards in the form of a highly skilled, confident, and productive workforce tomorrow.

Remember, a motivated employee is not just a productive employee, but a brand ambassador for your company. Stay committed to developing a culture of continuous learning and watch your organization thrive.


About TimeWellScheduled

Thank you for reading our article! TimeWellScheduled is a secure online time and attendance software 100% tailored to meet your employee scheduling needs! In addition, our cloud-based solution facilitates attendance tracking and payroll processing and enhances workforce management capabilities. Plus, our service is free for up to 10 employees.

Click here to download our (Excel) employee scheduling template: It’s free!

Scheduling and Time-clock Software for Today’s Needs

Quickly create, edit and oversee scheduling with ease.