3 Tips for Implementing a Digital Badge Program at Your Organization

This is a great post from Credly, the reason for guest posting here on my blog is that it references two majorly successful programs I created and built.

Here you go:

Today, more than 73 percent of American adults consider themselves “lifelong learners,” according to the Pew Research Center. Increasingly, responsibility for delivering that learning falls upon employers; 89 percent of millennials think it’s important to be “constantly learning” at their job. If they don’t learn, they’ll leave. Faced with the reality that training is a necessity but trainees are highly mobile, companies are struggling to act on Virgin founder Richard Branson’s classic admonition to “train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

As organizations pursue innovative approaches to treating employees “well,” they seek to create thriving cultures of achievement and recognition. Many are discovering that investments in recognition technology pay dividends, with O.C. Tanner reporting that such investments can yield significant improvements in key business outcomes, including a 20 percent increase in revenue, a 26 percent increase in employee retention and a 36 percent increase in customer satisfaction.

To achieve those returns, employers are seeking new ways to memorialize, validate, make use of and share the skills of their employees. They are using digital badges to honor existing employee skills and to publicly recognize new abilities.

Digital badges are portable, data-rich representations of demonstrated skills and certifications. They offer organizations and individuals alike the potential to convert workforce-relevant knowledge and skills into an interoperable currency for the labor market. The best badges offer transparency into the relevant achievement, offering meaningful performance insights that are fully integrated into day-to-day enterprise decisions and activities. Here are three tips to keep in mind when implementing a digital badging initiative at your organization.

Make it Meaningful.

Before getting into the “how” of digital credentials, it’s important to also focus on the “what”: For what skills or competencies will you offer badges? How will you determine when someone meets the criteria to receive a badge? And how can third parties add even more weight to badges through endorsements and standards alignment?

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) engaged regional employers to identify and define the most in-demand skills and competencies in the advanced manufacturing industry. To further solidify the value of the credentials, some are aligned to industry standards, such as the National Institute for Metalworking Standards. In taking this strategic approach, CCCS worked with the people who would ultimately review the badges to ensure they would carry the most value possible in the markets for which they were intended.

Make it Measurable.

Management guru Peter Drucker famously said that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Where a typical resume might list sales responsibilities and even the size of the budget managed, innovative companies like IBM are measuring precise levels of performance and then recognizing that performance with portable, digital and verified evidence in the form of digital badges. At IBM, sales teams review a personal dashboard of over 60 different metrics that track progress toward pre-identified goals and allow individuals to distinguish themselves in the context of a large organization.

PwC has gone one step further with its own “success tracking” program, which makes various employee metrics publicly visible. Team members from both IBM and PwC can be spotted on Twitter on a regular basis sharing their achievements, generating actionable data and marketing value back to both companies.

Make it Interoperable.

Early railways in the U.S. and Canada used six different track widths called gauges. This structure meant tracks were often unusable by other railway operators. As a result, trains – and therefore the flow of people and goods – were limited to certain geographic areas. The standardization of gauges after the Civil War made everything simpler. Trains could travel further, tracks could be shared, and commerce and travel became more efficient.

Standardization in digital credentials provides many of the same benefits, enabling the use of credentials across a wide variety of environments, including social and professional media, learning and talent management systems, and everyday communication media like email and blogs. The IMS Global Learning Consortium today leads the technical specifications for the Open Badges Standard and helps ensure that the emerging labor market currency is accepted wherever opportunity awaits. Make sure the badges you offer your students, employees and members align with these standards, and they will be easily transferrable, providing a plug-and-play experience across a broad digital ecosystem.

Read the original article from Training Industry here

 

Leading with the score – how great leaders keep focusing on the goal by Toby Beresford

keeping-score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

One approach in every leader’s toolkit is to own and share “the score”.

“The score” means how you have decided everyone will measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score. Indeed, if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own.

This can have hideous consequences, as people chase after the wrong activities – look at people who stay late at the office because they think “total amount of time at work” is the score that matters.

Instead of leaving their team or group guessing, great leaders take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them relevantly and regularly.

Leaders identify the scores that matter and communicate them in a relevant way

STEP 1
Identify the important digital signals for your goals. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

 

STEP 2
Next you need to share the score in a relevant way. Your options are:

personal scores – a score for each individual. This approach works best in a ‘group’ setting where everyone is fairly independent – e.g. a conference or a very large business
team scores – a collective score. This works best for internal teams – e.g. focus on a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more relevant to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.
STEP 3
Finally, it’s not enough to communicate relevantly, you must also communicate regularly.

Whether a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. You must tell people the score, and keep telling them.

The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a great looking leaderboard emailed around once a week with their photo next to their name, than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper and stapled on a busy noticeboard.

Why add scorekeeping to your leadership skills?

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. By communicating the score in a relevant and regular way, you go beyond mere measurement into providing actionable scorekeeping. As a leader you can use the score to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

 

So, how do you use scores in your leadership today? What scores are your team really focusing on right now? Have you communicated the right ones? What challenges have you faced when leading with the score?

 

Toby Beresford can be found on LinkedIn and is the CEO/Founder of Rise

Employee Recognition Through Gamification

The IBM Connections ecosystem gets better and better! Check out this employee recognition system. This is being rolled out to Connections customers today. Could this drive better motivation and engagement with your employees?

The Hive is social recognition program that changes how you motivate and retain employees, how your company celebrates success, and how you reinforce your corporate culture and values.

What are your thoughts?

Social Gaming – a Growing Trend

I found this Infographic very interesting. Whilst I consider myself an Xbox addict I tend to play shoot ’em ups. The Infographic below suggests that the fastest growing social games are word games with friends creaing friendly competition. Since 2010, social gaming has been expanding the gaming market and broadening the impact of gamification on business. And with sites like Zynga attracting 148 million unique gamers monthly, the trend is only growing.

 

Created by Flowtown

Gamification: Unlocking hidden collaboration potential

By Tim Royle, Guest Blogger, Executive Director, ISW

 

“If you can measure it you can improve it” is an old business adage that is easily applied to performance criteria such as manufacturing output levels or sales quotas. But, how can you apply measurement metrics to the more subjective sciences of collaboration and business success? Simple, the answer is “gamification.”

The following chart assumes an organizational performance level of 30 percent. By encouraging users to adopt social software through gamification, we have the opportunity to improve performance and drive bottom-line returns.

image

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game design techniques to business processes aimed at encouraging user adoption and participation. This is typically achieved by:

  • Achievement badges
  • Achievement levels
  • Reward systems
  • Leader boards

Why gamification?

The reasons are:

  • Gamification has the potential to unlock wasted talent and streamline business processes through enhanced collaboration.
  • Work processes rely increasingly on interacting with colleagues, partners, and customers in social networks; to manage performance, new performance management metrics are needed.
  • Younger and older generations alike identify with gamification and reward systems.
  • The gamification of business objectives and their breakdown into key performance indicators provides a new way for organizations to drive performance improvement.

The term gamification in some way perhaps trivializes what we are trying to achieve. Take the point of view of an inflexible or unprogressive manager: “I don’t want our people playing games on work time!” This is the same person who objected to the introduction of instant messaging saying “I don’t want our people chatting and wasting time.” The benefits of instant messaging, presence awareness, and screenshare are now universally acknowledged. So, nothing is new here, other than gamification, which simply faces the technology adoption curve.

 

How do we get started with gamification?

Go to gamification.org and to the gamification blog (gamification.co), which also provides useful reference material. IBM Connections users can visit kudosbadges.com site.

Having decided that the idea of implementing social software makes sense, next ensure that your social software strategy includes ways of measuring and rewarding users for their participation. The alignment of collaboration goals with business objectives is key. Having gamified collaboration goals, any business process can be similarly gamified.

For example, a marketing/sales process could be engineered in the following way: 500 letters – Direct Mail Badge

500 follow up phonecalls – Telemarketing Badge

50 meetings – Meeting Badge

20 proposals – Proposal Badge

1 order – Sales Badge

5 orders – Sales Guru Badge

The measurement of performance across this simple sales/marketing process may draw on data from disparate systems. For example, if the organization uses SAP, the lodgement of a purchase order attributable to the sales person will click the counter on the user’s Sales Badge. The integration of these systems is achieved through a gamification engine that displays progress in the place where it’s most needed, the social portal:

image

Organizations that are invested in business process management, Balanced Scorecard, or Six Sigma principles will have a head start in that much of the performance metrics for gamification will already be in place.

2012 gamification predictions

These are several predictions:

  • Organizations will embrace gamification.
  • Gamification will continue to thrive in the social software space.
  • Gamification will penetrate all business processes and systems.

Summary

Gamification offers a serious capability to improve organizational performance. Early adopters will benefit most; those who choose to be laggards will face increasing competitive pressure from those who embrace gamification and invest in the analysis of their business processes and structured measurement and reward systems.

Tim Royle is an Executive Director of ISW, Australian based IBM Premier Partner. ISW is an award-winning, pure-play IBM Business Partner that designs, implements, and supports solutions based on WebSphere, ICS, Tivoli, Rational, Information Management, and Cognos technologies. He has worked with IBM Collaboration Solutions since 1992 and has spoken at events such as Collective Intelligence, LCTY, AUSLUG, and Lotusphere. Tim is a member of the IBM Social Business social media IBM Redbooks team and spends his time focused on implementing successful social software solutions.

Tim is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader image Read further blogs from Tim and others here

Twitter: @twroyle