I was first introduced to “badging” a number of years ago when organisations started to develop their gamification strategies. In those early days badges tended to be awarded to employees as part of a fun competitive environment designed to evoke our competitiveness and pitch ourselves against our colleagues or rival teams within the organisation. Back then I certainly didn’t give a lot of thought as to whether badging could be a solution that could meet specific business needs.
As time evolved, I started to work with organisations that had regulatory or process compliance requirements, and so the awarding of badges became more synonymous with certification and the completion of mandatory training rather than the badges earned in an organisations LMS league tables.
Many organisations struggle to maintain the effectiveness of their certification programmes or their gamification strategies because they don’t succeed in effecting cultural change. Employees see such learning as something extra they have to do on top of their jobs, a chore almost, rather than create the change in culture to a state where workforces welcome a mindset of “this is how we operate now”. So, I was fascinated to hear that some organisations would again start to appeal to our competitive streaks and use digital badges to drive engagement.