88% of employees want their employers to deliver purpose in the form of meaningful experiences and CSR.
86% of millennials would consider leaving their job if their company's CSR values no longer match their expectations.
It's clear that employees crave purpose, but how does this relate to learning and development? What if we told you that it unlocks a whole new aspect to L&D as you know it...
Read on as we explore the top 5 ways of introducing purpose into your L&D strategy, providing you with a comprehensive strategy to provide your employees with what they crave, purpose-led L&D.
1. Exposing Employees To Real World Learning
For too long businesses have relied on traditional one-size fits all ‘workshop’ training days. We can’t expect employees to be inspired by these and never mind carry-over skills into day-to-day business. By exposing your employees to real-world experiential learning you provide reasoning to their training. Real-world learning is personalisable to employees' specific needs whilst also being deeply meaningful. This combined allows their learning to be an engine for good supercharging both their purpose and learning habits. You will start to see employees pushing the ‘learning boundary’ and start to explore how their interests align with the global community. Real-world experiential learning isn't just about growing skills to push targets, it's about providing purpose to learning, which provides greater results than learning that is purely focused on business gain. A recent study from Deloitte said that: Purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving higher workforce satisfaction.
2. Measuring Purpose
It seems straightforward, and almost elementary, but one of the best ways of building purpose into your learning strategy is by measurement; not just the successes, but the shortfalls as well. By having that holistic view of purpose in your business you can understand what strategies need implementing or even detracting. Here at Ethical Angel, our purpose-led learning platform tracks the positive actions that occur from learners providing your company with a clear perspective of the projects your employees are undertaking and subsequently the purpose that stems from this.
3. Give Your Employees a Voice And a Choice
The first step to implementing purpose into learning is through the people. Don’t underestimate their voice and subsequent choices in learning solutions. A recent EY Beacon Institute study found that many executives believe their companies are more purpose-driven than their employees actually experience. By implementing a top-down approach you risk introducing what suits the c-suite and not the employees. In most other aspects of business, this is the best approach. But, purpose is different. It comes from the employees. Progression comes from giving your staff a voice and allowing them to actually say what they think.
By having this clear avenue of communication, you, as the executives, can fully understand what they, the employees, want. Allowing for greater effectiveness in implementing purpose into learning. Furthermore, by having this holistic view of what your staff want when it comes to learning, prospective employees are more likely to resonate with your actions leading to greater talent joining your business. An added bonus!
4. Implement Purpose Into Your Culture
Authenticity is paramount… "Is it real or is it rhetoric?”. Implementing purpose into your learning strategy comes from more than just actions. In order to see tangible results you must fully embed purpose not only into your L&D programme but into your overall company culture. This can subsequently provide the perfect ‘breeding ground’ to implement the other key points mentioned above. Companies can’t just ‘talk the talk’ through the medium of CSR reports they must now ‘walk the walk’. Brand authenticity is deeply rooted in what a company actually does. Proctor and Gamble is a great example. They have pushed to be “a force for good and a force for growth” through their campaigns and commitments. And, it's resonated. When a company provides a deep-rooted, authentic purpose it can have a huge impact on its employees and thus their learning habits, it allows them to voice their opinions, and concerns, whilst providing a learning and development strategy which is effective and bulletproof.
At the centre of implementing purpose sits partnership. Companies cannot commit to a purposeful learning strategy by themselves. They must break the boundaries and partner with charities, NGOs and social enterprises (or causes as we call them), who may need some external assistance; with charities saying staff skills are their biggest barrier to growth. Companies who want to develop their purposeful learning strategy can assist with a variety of remits whilst creating a learning strategy that is personable, experiential, and most importantly, purposeful.
Here at Ethical Angel, we provide a platform which connects businesses with the third sector, providing employees with meaningful learning opportunities to practice the skills and behaviours that matter, all whilst being an engine for good around the world. This results in purpose being installed in both employees and the business, which we think is a pretty special outcome.
Instilling purpose into learning is no longer about ‘why’, it’s about ‘how’. Businesses must adapt to the 21st century and give employees what they crave - this leads to a culture where employees want to learn, develop and ultimately grow.
If you’d like some one-to-one advice on delivering purpose-led learning, book a quick call with our team.