In Focus: Engaged Learners

Mar 28, 2018 | Featured, In-Focus Reports, Research

4 lessons from charity sector organisations with high learner engagement that help you improve productivity, staff retention, and organisational culture.

A lot of ink has been spilt by academics and practioners alike on employee engagement with learning; what it entails, how to achieve and why some have been successful and others haven’t.

About this report

Our research again and again highlights that engaged workforces are more productive, less likely to leave and more satisfied with their working environment. And whilst this is crucial to board members across all sectors, it is particularly pronounced for those in the charity sector.

Yet, engagement being an elusive concept has eluded many of the 291 charity sector companies analysed in this report. Indeed, out of 97% that seem to want to improve it, only one in four succeed.

For the benefit of the many, this report explores how the few charity sector companies – only 24% – are improving employee engagement. Note that whilst the focus is on the charity sector, the lessons learned are universal cutting across all sectors and industries.  

Findings from In-Focus: Engaged Learners reveal that with the pressure to do ‘more for less’, the challenge for charities is finding innovative solutions to improving engagement with learning.

Looking at some of the lessons learned, we find that those charity sector companies that are improving employee engagement with learning are:

  1. Making the most of resources

By shifting their focus from traditional face-to-face delivery methods that might be a strain on their budgets and may not provide the value they need, they have:

  • Reduced training cost
  • Greater value for money

2. Empowering learners

Organisations with good employee engagement understand that the more they involve learners themselves in designing and building content, the more likely they are to use it. They ensure:

  • Relevant and timely learning opportunities
  • Clear objectives and recommendations of how to apply what they learn
  • Support both before and after the learning experience

As a result, charity sector organisations with high employee engagement are three times more likely to have self-directed learners compared with those that have little to no employee engagement.

3. Communicating successfully!

Those that succeed in improving employee engagement have a communication plan in place, ensure that their learners are in the loop, and provide a space for stakeholders to give feedback. This involves:

  • Being clear on where, what and how learning resources can be accessed
  • Ensuring feedback is collated and understood how it will impact learning design

    4. Understanding that managers are gateways!

A clear pattern emerges when we look at our Learner Voice, which in 2017 alone collected data from over 10,000 employees. Managers are pivotal in improving engagement.

  • 81% of learners state that support from their manager is essential or very useful in helping them learn what they need to do their job.  

Those charity sector companies with high employee engagement are making sure to:

  • Involve managers in the design of learning solutions
  • Use technology to support the way they develop managers and leaders
  • Equip managers with relevant resources so their teams get the most out of learning

Read this report and explore how data-driven lessons, tips and tactics can help you improve your employees’ engagement with learning. Those that are making improvements are seeing, among other things:

  • 16% increase in organisational productivity
  • 30% increase in employee satisfaction

Data for this report is drawn from

  • The Towards Maturity 2017 Benchmark research with data from over 700 global L&D leaders, reported in the Transformation Curve (www.towardsmaturity.org/transformation2018) which is free to download thanks to the support of Towards Maturity Ambassadors.
  • Longitudinal data from 291 charities that took part in Towards Maturity’s Benchmark research from 2015 – 2017. These include 48 members of the Charity Learning Consortium. This data was analysed to compare those reporting high and low employee engagement.
  • Data from the Towards Maturity Learning Landscape research, gathered online during 2017 from a sample of over 10,000 learners.

This In-Focus Report is free to download thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Ambassador, Charity Learning Consortium.

This report is sponsored by Charity Learning Consortium. By downloading this report, you confirm that you’re happy for your details to be passed to the report sponsor, for the purposes of receiving information on relevant products and services. If you do not wish for your details to be passed on, simply contact us for a copy of the PDF.

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About the Benchmark

The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study is an internationally recognised longitudinal study on the effective implementation of learning innovation based on the input of 5,800+ participants and 41,000 learners gathered since 2003. Towards Maturity continuously surveys and studies how people learn at work and the impact this has on organisational performance. By turning data into insights and insights into action, this research is used to help L&D leaders assess and improve the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of their learning provision.

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Download this report

Create an account or sign in to download this report and get instant access to:

  • L&D Benchmark Reports
  • In-Focus Reports
  • Sector Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Free Resources

This report is sponsored by Charity Learning Consortium. By downloading this report, you confirm that you’re happy for your details to be passed to the report sponsor, for the purposes of receiving information on relevant products and services. If you do not wish for your details to be passed on, simply contact us for a copy of the PDF.

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