Engaging Employers

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Guidelines for engaging employers and industry sectors in developing and consuming badges.

Business Value of Badges at Work

Digital credentials - in this case, digital badges - offer a variety of possible benefits to employers and their employees. Employers have offered up evidence - some anecdotal, some measurable - in support of this theory. For example, IBM has touted its success with a digital badge program:

IBM’s human resources department found a correlation between badges and engagement. Employees who earn digital badges show higher engagement scores than employees who do not. Among IBM badge recipients, 87% said they are more engaged because of the digital badge program. A full 72% of IBM managers now employ badges to recognize employees for achievement.[1]

Identifying a Strategic Purpose for Badges at Work

Before developing and consuming badges, an organization's leadership should first identify the strategic purpose(s) that these badges will serve and the metrics by which the badging initiative(s) will be measured. For example, an organization may have a strategic goal of developing and empowering their teams; a measurable strategic objective could be using badges to:

  • Verify the completion of 100% of assigned training through assignment of digital badges
  • Establish learning pathways for all assigned training by creating badge dependencies
  • Ensure that 100% of required re-training occurs before badge expiry dates

Possible Uses of Digital Credentials at Work


Badges can be used as evidence of professional knowledge transfer and/or skill mastery; for example, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses offers a badge as evidence of completion of their Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) certification program.[2]


Badges can be used as evidence of goal achievement or project completion; for example, an employee could be awarded a badge[3] upon completion of their new hire onboarding process.


Badges can be used as evidence of participation in an event, project, etc.; for example, an employee could be awarded a badge after participating in a strategic planning session that falls outside of their typical work duties.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Badges can be used to identify and promote the diverse talents, abilities, and characteristics of employees; for example, IBM awards the "Be Equal Ally" badge to employees who demonstrate a level of learning, volunteer effort, and advocacy representation which support IBM's diversity, inclusion, allyship, talent and business priorities.[4]