Professionals want to showcase their achievements, and employers want to find workers with the knowledge and skills they need. Digital badges serve both goals, says Ashish Rangnekar, CEO of the online learning platform BenchPrep. He has some tips for how to get a digital badge program started.
Why do digital badges matter? Many of today’s workers are digital natives. If you want to look at someone’s profile, you don’t look at their resume, you go to LinkedIn. Today’s employees also want to share what they know and what they have achieved beyond a four-year degree. Most professionals want to keep improving their profile as they go along in their career.
How does an organization start a digital badging program? Work backwards by starting with the end goal in mind. Ask: Who are these digital badges for? How will they be used? What value will your members derive from them? Think about the best badging structure and easiest way for members to share badges, as well as the best pathways for members to stack them. The “why” and “how” questions should also be driven by what you want to do with badges. These answers are critically important to answer before starting implementation.
What’s one thing to consider after launching a digital badge? Acknowledge that there are multiple stakeholders. Members getting the badges are the key stakeholder, but employers and the labor market are another. Have plans in place to measure both the efficacy and value for all stakeholders, including a one-year plan with multiple checkpoints every few months to measure results. Find out if members are aware of the badge. Gather feedback on program design. And ask employers if they have seen value in hiring those with the badge.