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Insights from eCom Scotland into making flexible working work
By: Bob Little PR
Linda Steedman, Chair of the digital learning and assessment specialist, eCom Scotland, believes that, for private sector firms to maintain a competitive advantage and for public sector organisations to provide value for money for all their stakeholders, employers must instigate systems to provide mental and physical well-being support for their dispersed workforce, as well as providing for this workforce's acquisition of new skills to meet the demands of the new workplace.
"As organisations operate in this 'new normal', with more remote (hybrid) working, the key pressures on learning and development (L&D) professionals will be to ensure that these remote workers are continually upskilled to meet the challenges of the new normal," Linda argues.
To meet this challenge, L&D professionals could find it helpful to use digital badges as a key part of their strategy. Digital badges, along with licensing and certification, form part of the 'micro-credentials portfolio' which provides recognition for those participating in any form of structured informal learning. These micro-credentials, based on assessed proficiency - rather than time spent learning - widen adults' learning horizons.
"Using micro-credentials, especially badges, give employers – and L&D professionals overseeing the learning process – leverage to improve, motivate and engage students in the learning process," said Linda. "Moreover, they create common principles and frameworks with employers, with verifiable outcomes; help learners stand out against their peers; build the organisation's brand for valuing learner achievement, as well as demonstrate what being 'digital' in the 'new normal' brings to all stakeholders."
According to Linda, "The last five years or so has seen the rapidly increasing use of micro-credentialing, including digital badges – with eCom Scotland alone delivering over one million open badges to learners in client organisations since 2015.
"If you need to up-skill your organisation's workers, then including a micro-credentialing strategy in your workforce planning should pay dividends, particularly in the light of the current digital transformation that's taking place in the modern workplace – for all an organisation's stakeholders, including the organisation's leaders, learners and L&D professionals."