Skip to main content

5 Ways to Encourage Employee Learning and Development with Digital Credentials

colleagues talking at work about employee learning and development program

The race is on to transform companies into skills based organizations. No longer are hiring managers looking to fill roles. Instead, they're looking to help their organization acquire the skills they’ve identified as critical to the success of the business.

As a result, internal learning and development programs have become an essential component of employee hiring, career advancement, and retention.

However, rolling out an employee learning program and ensuring its success through adoption and momentum can be difficult. Humans are creatures of habit and are notoriously reluctant to try new things—even when the benefits are obvious, such as learning a new skill. Incentives and motivation are key to turning your company into a skills-based organization.

Digital Credentials Provide Incentives for Employee Learning

Everyone likes to be recognized for their efforts, and digital badges can be a point of pride and accomplishment for colleagues, customers, and prospects. Badges can be shared on social media, email signatures, and marketing materials—serving as verifiable proof that the employee has mastered a skill and is qualified to do a job or provide a service.

Digital badging also provides instant insight into the skills spread across the organization. Leadership can instantly get a snapshot of what skills exist, who holds these skills, and where they are located (physical location, business unit or department). This data can be fed into HR systems, identifying internal candidates for open positions. HR can also use this information for employee recognition and retention programs—empowering employees with upskilling and reskilling opportunities and career mobility benefits.

But some employers may feel that building a digital credentialing program is too great of a challenge. With the right approach and partner, however, you can roll out a digital credentialing program in your organization and successfully improve your employee learning and development efforts.

5 Ways to Encourage Employee Learning & Development with Digital Credentials  

infographic with text "5 Ways to Encourage Employee Learning & Development with Digital Credentials"

1. Create employee learning journeys

Upskilling shouldn’t be a one and done activity. Encourage a culture of learning by creating learning journeys that build proficiency. You can distribute badges throughout the journey as milestones and established levels of proficiency are met. These badges encourage proficiency by building additional incentives for employees to continue their certification journey past the initial stage.

2. Achieve quick wins that deliver immediate value

Building a digital credentialing program requires patience, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make employees wait to see the value that badging brings to the organization.

Insights into these learning programs provide data-driven proof points that show people the potential value of a full-scale program while feeding them the all-too-critical endorphins that get people excited about something. It also gives you a low-stakes way to work out the kinks and build processes and best practices for rolling out future programs.

3. Tie learning and badging to career advancement goals

One way to prove the value of an employee learning and development program is to tie badging to employees’ career goals. Show them how learning a new skill can help them get a promotion and grow their career with your company.

But don’t stop there. You should also tie digital credentialing to other business goals and KPIs. Show HR that promoting internal candidates is much less expensive than recruiting outside hires and often leads to better results. Show hiring managers that they can optimize their employees’ performance and skill set by promoting employee learning and development through badge recognition and support.

4. Communicate the value of upskilling and reskilling

Having a single credentialing hub can centralize all the information learners need—providing details, value, and incentives all in one place.

With today’s highly distributed workforce, it’s important to make sure the word gets out through digital channels such as published case studies, learner spotlights, internal communications, and blogs posts. A creative PR campaign in the media and on social media can help build credibility as well.

Targeting can also be pushed out based on digital credentialing analytics—identifying learners who may be a good fit for a course based on demographics, location, or job role. You can also retarget people who may have abandoned an employee learning journey. Most importantly, however, is the learning experience. Make courses engaging and relevant.

5. Leverage the expertise of a trusted partner

Designing a handful of digital badges and issuing them to employees may seem straightforward, but a successful certification program needs to be more than that. Building and maintaining momentum, tying digital credentials to career goals and business value, and communicating with learners requires nuance.

Credentialing experts can provide you with the research, guidance, and expertise to create a badge recognition strategy, develop a competency framework, and build out governance and communication processes.

Drive Employee Learning & Development With Digital Credentials

Our team of credentialing experts have experience working with top organizations around the world designing and implementing digital badging programs around learning and development. From best practices and onboarding support to a range of professional services, you’ll have all the support you need to start your credentialing journey.

Schedule a demo today to learn more and get started.