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TD Magazine Article

Seal of Approval

Companies invest in certifications not only to upskill current employees but also to add value to the organization now and in the future.


Fri Jun 14 2024

Seal of Approval

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development. The winners use learning as a strategic business tool to get results. View the entire list of 2024 BEST Award winners.

Companies invest in certifications not only to upskill current employees but also to add value to the organization now and in the future.


For skills ranging from those technical in nature to soft to business communications, organizations and third-party entities are creating programs to upskill individuals on the capabilities that people need to move forward in the world of work. Indeed, Udemy has introduced an Integrated Skills Framework methodology "designed to help organizations make sense of the complex skills landscape so that they can future-proof their workforce and keep pace with innovation," notes a 2023 press release.

To ensure their employees are getting the professional development they desire—and have the proof to show it—businesses are using certifications.

All in

Healthcare talent ecosystem Medical Solutions, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, uses DiSC—the dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness model that helps individuals understand themselves and others—to improve its workforce's communications capabilities. The ability to communicate effectively is key to Medical Solutions's business, from sales to change management to leadership.

"Everyone has different preferences when it comes to communication," says Dana Coonce, chief HR officer. "That's why it's important to understand how to navigate those preferences. Making the most out of every conversation, virtual or otherwise, is crucial to our business."

To kick off the company's certification initiative, a TD team member earned a certification in DiSC. The TD team then created a blended learning experience for all new employees to help them understand how the company uses DiSC and how it ties in with the organization's core values. Those values consist of owning it (being a difference maker); connecting (engaging and collaborating sincerely); and wow (inspiring with humanity).


New employees complete an e-learning course on communication in their second week as well as virtual instructor-led training in the fourth week of their employee journey. The TD team also curated a communications strategy; established a path for established team members; and created a DiSC activity guide for leaders to continue the transfer of training, DiSC sessions for sales, and management sessions for leaders.

The TD team uses Kirkpatrick's levels 1 and 2 to measure the program. In one year, TD has trained 943 employees, with 94 percent of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they can immediately apply what they have learned on the job.

As Coonce explains, "Our approach to learning and development aligns with our purpose of connecting care, our core values, and our 'human first' principle. We care for the whole person, provide the tools and resources to be successful, offer dedicated support, and provide opportunities for continued growth and development throughout the employee journey."

On cloud nine

As their clients' "partner for progress," DataArt, a global enterprise software development company based in New York, uses alliances with technology giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. DataArt's cloud-certified engineers are key to those relationships.

Through partner collaboration, DataArt has access to state-of-the-art tools and knowledge, which help the organization serve current and prospective customers. "Our collaborative efforts drive the development of innovative solutions," explains CEO Eugene Goland. "Engaging with these technology leaders brings us new experiences and improves our skills and competencies to address global issues and impact business operations."


The company's cloud certification strategy encompasses diverse learning opportunities for individuals who are ready to become certified. It also includes promotional activities targeted at staff who haven't thought about certifications yet.

To fill the awareness gap of cloud certification preparation, the L&D and HR teams launched a self-paced course. The training program covers the all-around support DataArt offers to employees pursuing cloud certifications, including mentoring and facilitated learning opportunities on external partner platforms. In addition, the course gives staff the autonomy to chart their own paths forward, highlighting the criteria for choosing a specific certification.

With a rating of 4.8 out of 5 and a 70 percent completion rate, the course has become a true catalyst. After program launch, employees have demonstrated an increased interest in getting certified, especially from individuals in locations where cloud certifications haven't previously enjoyed popularity.

"Our learning strategy for cloud certification has confirmed the effectiveness of our approach to designing learning experiences," says Maryna Melnik, the head of L&D. "Whenever possible, we use ready-made, high-quality materials that are out there already and add our specifics and expertise through mentoring and custom self-paced content."

Leaps and bounds

Accelalpha is a Bellevue, Washington-based, global Oracle consulting services company that has implemented Oracle Cloud and Manager excellence programs. When talking about the growth opportunities Accelalpha has offered its employees in the past year, CEO Nat Ganesh extolls, "Introducing our learning and development function has been a game changer for our organization's talent development and business strategy. When I look at our talent development strategy and offering to employees, I cannot recognize it compared to where we were a year ago."

Among those offerings is ongoing employee learning and growth through skills development and certifications. Part of that effort was the TD team's introduction of technology-specific asynchronous learning paths for the company's major practices. The ini­tia­tive created cost savings, reduced lost work hours that staff would have incurred while attending or conducting training, and improved employee readiness.

The number of cloud certifications has increased from 98 in 2021 to 244 in 2022 to 469 in 2023, which has led to increased revenue because the business can factor into client billing employee contributions evidenced by their certifications. In addition, 129 leaders completed certifications in a third-party brain science-based initiative, resulting in higher employee retention and engagement.

Accelalpha also encourages development of its talent and leadership teams so they can coach internally. Bob Bednarz, global L&D director, states that "recently, the team has been exploring the different areas of \[artificial intelligence\] and how we can incorporate it into our normal process, including taking an AI certification course." During the past year, senior leaders have completed certifications including Senior Professional in Human Resources and in Insights Discovery, Bednarz adds.

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