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How to Foster a Recognition Culture Using Digital Credentials

image of two employees happy and representing recognition culture at work

The Great Resignation is showing no signs of slowing down as 20% of the global workforce plans to switch jobs by the end of 2022. Just in the U.S., 4.2 million workers quit in June alone—continuing a string of more than a year in which at least 4 million Americans put in their notice each month. This high churn is costing businesses tens of millions of dollars. According to SHRM, the average cost of recruiting a new hire is $4,700, but many employees estimate the total cost to be three to four times the position's salary.

It’s clear that retaining existing employees has become a critical component in an organization’s talent management strategy. And developing a strong culture of recognition is an excellent way to keep talent engaged and fulfilled.

Earned Recognition Leads to Retention

Given the increasing importance of talent retention, it’s more important than ever to recognize the efforts of your employees and ensure they feel valued. Workers that feel valued and a part of something bigger than themselves are much more likely to stay with their current employer, rather than try their luck with a new organization. And according to Gallup, when recognition hits the mark, employees are five times as likely to be connected to company culture and four times as likely to be engaged.  

However, recognition can’t simply be given to anyone who completes a task. It has to mean something to the earner in order to provide real value. For this reason, employee recognition programs that are based on skill building and verified digital credentials can be extremely effective tools in the L&D professionals toolkit.

Today’s employers have an opportunity to tie recognition to learning and development—an approach that can work to increase retention rates, while at the same time, encouraging continuous upskilling and reskilling.

What Is a Recognition Culture, and Why Is It Important?

In the workplace, a recognition culture is characterized by employees being acknowledged internally and/or externally for a job well done or for mastering a skill. Creating this culture or atmosphere can help employees take pride in their work and feel valued, giving them a sense of appreciation and belonging. 

These feelings—appreciation and belonging—are among the most valuable psychological needs we have as human beings, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Employers can help meet those needs in the workplace by offering equitable access to learning and development opportunities and by recognizing learners regularly.

Younger professionals, especially, value learning and development opportunities. According to the Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, access to L&D opportunities is the second most important reason Gen Z and millennial respondents choose to work for a particular employer. Once on the job, recognition has been shown to improve employee productivity by as much as 14% and increase revenue by 2%, according to another Deloitte study.

What Should a Recognition Culture Look Like in the Workplace?

Recognizing employees should be both consistent and equitable. While there are many ways—big and small—that recognition can be given across the organization, it will be established into the culture most effectively if it’s incorporated into systems and processes.

That’s one reason digital credentials are an excellent way to foster a recognition culture, while at the same time improving the skill level and performance of your employees. By having an L&D program that’s tied to digital credentials, you can automate the process of recognition, as badges are issued to learners who successfully complete a course or learning pathway.

Using digital credentials to recognize employees who are taking advantage of these L&D opportunities allows organizations to drive a culture of continuous learning, gain insights into their workforce, and optimize resources on talent sourcing and recruitment.

infographic with text "How to Build  a Recognition Culture  with Digital Credentials"

3 Ways Digital Credentials Can Help Build a Culture of Recognition in Your Organization

Employee recognition through a digital credentialing program does more than show your employees you’re committed and loyal to them. It also shows them that you want to help them develop the skills to not just survive in their current job, but engage in growth and learning that leads to talent mobility. It’s this sense of belonging that makes digital credentials a powerful employee retention tool.

Here are three ways digital credentials can help foster a culture of recognition in your organization:

1. Increase visibility of achievements. 

More than just a line on a resume, digital credentials provide a verified way to prove proficiency. And, when shared within the organization’s internal networks or HR system, they bring validation and visibility to an employee for their accomplishments, skills, and capabilities. Badges can also be shared externally on social networks and in email signatures—extending the sense of pride to outside the organization. People will see the recognition and acknowledge it—boosting the loyalty benefits it brings.

2. Grow L&D programs

Recognition through digital credentials encourages employees to participate in and complete learning journeys. The resulting improved participation and completion rates enhance the value the organization gets from its L&D programs, helping them identify, map, and bridge the skills gap in a cost efficient, effective manner. Momentum matters at every stage of your L&D strategy, and the pride of achieving a digital credential can help incentivize employees to keep learning.

3. Gain insights into the workforce

Most talent management and assessment strategies rely on self-reporting by employees or feedback from managers—making it hard to accurately verify proficiency in a skill. Digital credentials put verified data behind employee recognition, allowing you to know exactly where you have proficiency in the organization and, just as important, at what level of proficiency. This makes it easier to fill skills gaps, hire from within, and make sure the company has the skills in place it needs to remain competitive in today’s dynamic business environment.

Help Drive a Culture of Recognition & Learning With Credly Workforce

Credly Workforce helps companies take a skills-based approach to talent management with access to verified skills and credential data. Create a culture of recognition and continuous learning with our digital credential issuing capabilities, and leverage our unique workforce insights to optimize L&D initiatives, engage employees, and surface internal opportunities for talent.