Corporate training or employee development programs are used to improve the efficiency of internal teams by providing new skills, experience, and knowledge. For training programs to be successful, they need to engage employees and motivate them to complete the course. Digital credentials in corporate training are used to support engagement and provide tangible rewards that employees add to their professional portfolio. Digital credentials replace insecure PDFs and costly physical certificates, and bring additional value to certificates of completion. They provide additional methods of engagement during the training program, and help to increase visibility of the benefits employees will gain by completing training.
What are digital credentials?
Digital credentials is the umbrella term given to digital certificates, digital badges, open badges, blockchain credentials, and digital certificates of completion. They are hosted online on a dedicated credential page that provides plenty of space to effectively describe the program, the issuer, the passing criteria, and the types of skills that were demonstrated. The unique URL makes it easy for recipients to link to their digital credential in their personal portfolio or resume. The shareability of digital credentials allows recipients to share and celebrate their achievement to their social media networks in a single click. Digital credentials are also embeddable, and can be easily embedded in email signatures or on webpages.
Digital credentials are easy to design, issue, and manage from the ACMS (Accredible Credential Management System). Open rate, engagement, and visibility is tracked from the Analytics dashboard within the ACMS, enabling issuers to monitor and report on the reach and impact of their shared credentials. Changes to the design, content, and supplementary details can be made with ease, including the ability to automate expiration, renewal, and simple name changes. Issuers choose digital credentials for the simplicity they gain in managing and issuing credentials, the time and cost savings, and the benefits they provide to their team members, learners, employees, or members. Learn more in our article, What are Digital Credentials?
Employee Engagement Ideas
To prevent disengaged employees, engagement strategies must be formed before launching training. These are likely to be revisited over the course of training and may require adjustments to meet the individual needs of employees undergoing training.
Design and Deliver Digital Credentials
Digital credentials are extremely versatile in their use. Issuers can choose to issue solely formal digital certificates, informal digital badges, or a combination of both. This enables organizations to create a series of digital badges to accommodate each individual module of a training program, culminating in a final digital certificate.
Where flexible learning is available and employees can choose their learning journey across several topics, a stackable digital badges framework can accommodate increasing levels across different topics. For example, levels one, two, and three in communication, leadership, and collaboration that employees can progress in any order. An individual may progress through all level one modules before moving to level two, while another individual may progress through levels one to three in one topic, before switching to another. Using digital credentials in this way lends itself well to encouraging employee autonomy, and adding an element of gamification to training.
Gamification is the introduction of game-like elements or mechanics into a non-game setting like a work environment. Research shows that the use of gamification is effective in not only engaging learners, but improving the outcomes of education or training. In corporate training, the use of gamification helps to improve engagement levels and boost motivation towards course completion. Examples of gamification include the use of leaderboards for showing top learners, mini-games that aid knowledge retention, and the use of digital badges as incremental awards. Incremental awards work well alongside flexible learning and encourages employees to pursue continuous learning in order to collect all of the digital badges available within a training program.
Encourage Employee Autonomy
Encouraging employee autonomy begins by providing employees with greater control over their learning opportunities and how they complete them. By allowing employees to take ownership over their training, they are more likely to feel invested in the process and have greater motivation to succeed. One way that employers can encourage employee autonomy is to design training programs that employees can choose which individual courses they want to take and how they progress. Digital credentials support this by providing greater visibility into the training courses available, what they contain, and to what level they will take an employee’s ability.
Customize Training Programs
To maintain employee retention during training, training programs need to accommodate the preferred learning styles of employees. This information can be determined through employee engagement surveys, or during employee onboarding when exploring the company culture around learning and development. More information on the types of training and designing a training program can be found in our article on integration corporate training into employee development programs. This is also an opportunity to find out what type of rewards help to motivate individuals and will inform how digital credentials are designed to recognize achievement. For example, do employees prefer to receive incremental awards and what would they like to be able to do with their awards?
Encourage Feedback and Communication
Open communication is essential for encouraging employee feedback. If employers don’t keep their employees involved on why training is needed, what to expect, and what will come from training, they will soon see disengagement across their teams. Communicating the anticipated outcomes of successful training, such as the award of digital credentials, will help employees to understand what they will gain and increase motivation towards completing their training. Employers should also align training outcomes to internal growth tracks and company goals so that employees can understand how enhancing their knowledge and skills will help them to progress professionally and impact the bottom line.
Offer Social Recognition
Once an employee completes their training and is awarded with a digital credential to recognize their achievement, they are likely to share this to their social media in celebration. This can be encouraged from the digital credential delivery email with a CTA button that prompts employees to “Share Their Award” or “Add to LinkedIn”. Once the employee shares their digital credential, the employer should engage with their shared post and offer their congratulations. Not only does this increase visibility into how the organization is supporting their employees' learning and development, it improves the employee experience by offering public recognition for their achievement.
Accessibility is another critical element in engaging employees during training. If the employees cannot access the training materials via their preferred platform or whenever they need it, they are quickly going to be disengaged from training. This also applies to digital credentials. Once the employee has completed their training, they want recognition for their hard work. If they cannot view their digital credential, need to create another user account, or cannot access their new credential from personal devices, they may feel like training wasn’t worth the effort. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction and even influence employee turnover, particularly if the employee has additional assistance needs that aren’t being met. Employers should check-in regularly throughout training and after digital credentials are issued to ensure there are no barriers for use. This also helps employers to keep a measure of employee satisfaction throughout the process and make adjustments or provide guidance where required.
Corporate training is essential to any organization’s growth and development strategy. However, engaging employees throughout the training process can be challenging. The use of digital credentials offers an effective way to engage employees in corporate training by delivering tangible awards for their learning and development achievements. Additional benefits for employees include a gamified learning experience and valuable career-advancing awards that are shareable and can be added to their professional portfolios. Employers that use digital credentials have an effective method of tracking training and learning progress, while motivating their teams to pursue continuous learning opportunities.
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Download our Digital Credentials in Corporate Training Guide and research solutions for secure, verifiable, shareable credentials to support employee development programs. Use the guide to inform stakeholders and decision makers on the benefits of digital credentials, and how they help organizations implementing training programs to attract and retain top talent, engage employees, and build a culture of learning.