How Losing is Good for Your Employees

Guest Contributorby Carl Crisostomo | Posted | Learning

How Losing is Good for Your Employees

There are a few "outside-the-box" methods for promoting employee learning and employee training. A good example: loss aversion. Did you know that the emotion of loss is so much more powerful than that of gain? The trick is to know how to use this as an incentive to help your employees better perform and develop.

Learning leaders can leverage the power of neuroscience to improve learning uptake, adoption and engagement. By keeping the way people think and feel at the forefront of your strategy, you can help them create challenges or objectives that align with their goals and the company's goals that resonate with each individual's unique personality, interests and competencies. Add all this up, and you can expect improved business outcomes for your organization.

Loss aversion

As mentioned, one of the interesting ways people are incentivized is through their fear of losing something or through fear of missing out. We feel losses about twice as strongly as we feel gains, and although this may sound harsh, focusing on losing gives people more of a drive to avoid it. In this short video, I explain how loss aversion is used in disciplines outside of employee training - marketing in particular, and I'll be going into more detail about this in my upcoming webinar, "Nine Practical Tips for Using Neuroscience to Power Learning."

This doesn't have to be a negative experience. Some organizations gamify learning by awarding points for completed training. By starting employees off with points they can lose by not engaging with learning, we create the psychological effect that can increase learning adoption. Starting off with something important gives people something they don't want to lose. Incorporate this into employee training and employee learning for faster compliance training completion and building continuous learning habits into employees' day-to-day!

Try applying these three loss aversion principles in your learning strategy:

1. Use risk and loss

Employees don't want to lose anything or miss out, so entangle this idea with learning, training, and development. Tie opportunity to progress, and inaction to loss. If you're not working on something, you're falling behind your peers.

2. Make it personal

Use people's positioning - for example, where their hard work to date has gotten them - as motivation to do everything they can do to avoid taking steps backward. Entice them to push forward instead.

3. Encourage people to be brave

Everyone is conscious of how they compare to their peers. Everyone has an innate competitive side. Help people step out of their comfort zone to accomplish new things and compete amicably with your coworkers. The fear of losing or falling behind or denting your reputation can hold people back. Use that as fuel to push your people to do the opposite.

See these tactics leaving your company with an establishment of a learning culture where employees are engaged in learning that closes competency gaps, improved customer service, talent mobility, and more.

Just the tip of the iceberg...

Loss aversion isn't the only way to increase employee engagement. If loss aversion appeals to you and you want to hear more tips for incentivizing in the name of employee training and learning, then check out my upcoming webinar on June 12: Nine Practical Tips for Using Neuroscience to Power Learning.

Nine Practical Tips for Using Neuroscience to Power Learning

Learn nine straightforward and practical neuroscience tips to empower your people to learn new things


Register Now
Cover of the book
Cover of the book

Nine Practical Tips for Using Neuroscience to Power Learning

Learn nine straightforward and practical neuroscience tips to empower your people to learn new things


Register Now


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