digital badges education

Taking down the biases against Digital Badges

Giovanna Pergher
Inês Oliveira

Marketing Manager

Jun 30, 2021
5 min

How issuing Digital Credentials goes beyond Online Courses, and should be used to boost employee engagement.

When thinking about employee engagement, we are immediately brought to the idea of “increased productivity”.

Even though this association is not wrong, the concept behind employee engagement already tells a story by itself that goes beyond the output an employee gives.  

Examples of other results that can be traced back to higher engagement include lower turnover, increased in-job happiness, improved professional relations, and better workplace culture, just to name a few.

Engaged employees will deliver beyond their responsibilities in thriving settings. This is not to impose that you should expect extra hours of work, but rather that they will be motivated to re-invent their job to fit their own personalities.

Instead of expecting employees to adapt to the position, you should be showing support by offering them the freedom to change and adapt the job to their needs and skills. In fact, when posed in the right environment, people tend to be more creative, re-invent themselves and strive to accomplish more, both in their professional and personal lives.

As we tend to grow throughout the years and change our values, our ambition tends to grow along with us. And so, it’s only expected that we surround ourselves with a healthy environment that enables it.  

Data from the past few years shows that companies’ turnover is getting higher, and most people are starting to shift from the traditional 17-year-old same-company job to a 1 year/ 2.5 years-old positions, until they can no longer gain more from it. And the reason is because they outgrow the company and their job.

We can’t turn a blind eye to the shift in priorities we’ve been feeling lately. Time, happiness and growth have become a decisive factor when looking for a job. To match this, companies are fighting for the right candidates by offering benefits that take all sorts of formats, bonuses, and perks. But ultimately, people will always be drawn to a healthy and thriving work environment.

The approaches one can take to improve engagement in the workplace are endless, from offering more perks to organizing socials. And although these all serve a specific purpose, today we’ll be focusing on one aspect that is sometimes overlooked by employers: Digital Badges.

What are Digital Badges?

The growing concept of Digital Credentials is well-known for most people, and normally associated with the field of education and events. Badges are mainly used to reward students in their accomplishments or, more recently, to recognize participation in events.

Because of the above association, the negative connotation given to Digital Badges and its use in the workplace is a factor that turns down most companies from using it. Consequently, its benefits and purposes as a helping tool are often overlooked.

Yet, when we think about it, Digital Certificates can be a pass into promoting a better workplace environment. However, even with several improvements made on the topic of employee engagement, companies are still a long way to consider this recognition and reward system as one of its contributing factors.

And although the strategies to reach a higher engagement may require a whole department to work on them, implementing Digital Badges is something that can be put into practice with significantly less effort.

To deconstruct the bias and the negative significance given to it, we’ll go through the two main reasons why Digital Badges should take a relevant place in a company’s strategy.

1. Support employee career progression, while promoting skill advancement inside the company

Following the idea from mindforest, Digital Badges “create heat maps of the talent and skills really developed by employees”.

Using credentials is a way of enticing the growth of your employee as an individual. Digital Badges can be used to celebrate your employees and to recognize them as active partners of your company. Not only are you allowing them to develop new skills, which will consequently improve their on-job performance, but you’re also offering them an opportunity to showcase their talent.  

As we stated above, supporting employees’ career progression and recognizing the learned skills throughout time, is setting your values, mission and vision focused on their happiness and well-being.

2. Proving advancement inside the company and growing its reputation

As Digital Badges are meant to be shared on social media, you can expect your employees to be sharing them with their network, and mainly on LinkedIn, which will create organic user-generated content for the company.

Being part of the change and showing that you are building a healthy and thriving environment that fosters growth, will be enticing for future employees too. The company’s reputation will grow, while your employees will be showcasing the skills and achievements that they gained from working in the company. In the long run, this strategy will pay out, as you’ll be positioning the company as a great place to work at.

On the other hand, practicing and implementing such a culture will ensure a higher engagement on the employees’ side, and consequently, more in-job satisfaction and the most wanted, increase productivity.

It’s important to note that all these changes should be applied with the employees’ best interests in mind. This strategy takes an advancement in the current workplace rules, while aiming to disrupt them, by recognizing that employees are also human beings with needs that go beyond having basic equipment and an extra bonus.

Conclusion

A company’s mission, vision and values shouldn’t be omitted, but rather practiced daily. These are active and dynamic statements that should become the rules of conduct for any company, especially when it comes to employee engagement.

Recognizing the need to shift the line of thought behind workplace rules is essential for companies. Last year, we saw a positive change in this direction, with more flexibility being introduced into work procedures, or with the acknowledgement of employees’ needs, but this is still not enough.  

Instead of providing a fulfilling and prosperous environment, companies are still focusing on the perks, and not on growing together with their employees. The solution is simple, but not all are equipped to do it yet.

To head in the right direction, Digital Badges can be a great addition to the company’s current strategy. Besides building up your reputation, it will help boost your employees ' morale and invite them to participate in the company’s activities as active and vital members.

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.