With the global talent shortage looming over us, employers need to think proactively about how to maintain a skilled workforce. One solution professionals are turning to is micro-credentials.
Despite sounding small, micro-credentials are proving to have a massive impact on the job market for employees and employers alike by filling knowledge gaps.
Micro-credentials are born from compact courses that provide professionals with skills or knowledge that help them level up at work. They're convenient, so they are commonly offered online for short durations and can be completed outside work hours.
There are many reasons to empower your employees with micro-credentials, so let's look at the benefits and how you can bring them into your organization.
1. Benefits of Micro-credentials 👍
- Career advancement. Courses can target specific skills for high-level jobs, giving employees the knowledge they need as they work towards promotions. So, micro-credentials may be the ticket to success for people wanting to grow professionally.
- On-demand learning. Earning micro-credentials can be highly convenient. Many are flexibly structured or asynchronous, allowing participants to complete coursework on their own timelines.
- Cost-effective training. Micro-credentials allow people to bypass the significant debts associated with acquiring a traditional four-year degree. While earning a degree has merit, there's also the view that skills are more critical for success in the job market. And learning skills is what micro-credentials are all about!
- Talent retention. Offer learning opportunities to your team if you want to show them you care about their career goals. Micro-credentials are correlated with improved employee engagement and performance, two factors that impact employees sticking around.
2. How to Start 🏁
- Partner with Universities. Look into micro-credentials offered through University and College programs. Instructors will likely be experts in their field and have experience teaching. Additionally, association with a highly regarded institution brings more credibility to the micro-credential and will look good on the resume.
- Offer incentives to participants. Award your employees for their efforts in upskilling. Depending on the impact of their learnings, incentives can include gift cards, swag, honorariums, salary increases, or promotions.
- Provide consistent access to courses. Look into online programs that offer high-quality courses for your team. Some sites, like FutureLearn and edEx, offer fully accredited micro-credentials. At the same time, others provide certifications, like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera.
- Create a culture of continuous learning. An environment that fosters professional development today is working towards a more adaptable and skillful team for the future. Find ways to establish learning as a core aspect of your organization's culture. Here are three steps: 1) Establish a learning plan and set goals for your employees. 2) Measure their progress as they work their way through courses and training. 3) Award them for earned accreditations and hard work. Keep this cycle going to get the most out of the continuous learning culture!
Embracing micro-credentials will serve us well in this ever-evolving workforce. Not only does skill-building motivate employees by moving them toward career goals, but an organization also benefits from a more capable team who's more likely to stick around for the long haul. Explore the micro-credential opportunities that will best serve your team.