Blog Article

Corporate learning: How to leverage purposeful learning in the workplace?

Only 10% of learning comes from formal training. You can facilitate purposeful learning relationships at your workplace.

February 2, 2023
November 7, 2023
Tina Ruseva

With remote and hybrid work increasing employment options for highly skilled people, organizations need win-win approaches that keep staff happy and support the bottom line. In this regard, corporate learning and development is gaining strong momentum, especially purposeful learning is an important part of it.

Corporate learning benefits both employees and employers. People receive support to do better at their jobs. The new skills they acquire make them more attractive to the current employer as well as potential new employers, boosting their career options. On the company level, training initiatives have the potential to increase productivity. In addition, employee training supports a culture of learning and innovation and equips organizations to better handle the challenges of tomorrow.

Of course, the degree to which the above-mentioned benefits will be enjoyed depends on the effectiveness of each corporate learninginitiative and the overall learning and development strategy of an organization. 

How to create sustainable corporate learning initiatives?

The 70/20/10 concept is a good starting point when designing L&D programs. Developed by Morgan McCall, Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombardo, the model attributes different weight to the role that experiential, social and formal training, respectively, play in supporting learning. While only 10% of new workplace skills and knowledge are effectively acquired through formal corporate learning, on-the-job experiences are most effective in helping employees learn. Social interactions with peers or mentors are the third important ingredient in the mix.

In 2018, research by the specialized publication Training Industry showed that some companies may achieve better results if they focused more extensively on the social aspect of learning. The report put forward a new ratio, the OSF (on-the-job, social, formal) ratio which, researchers say, varies across industries, organizations, roles and even learners. For example, peer learning and other aspects of social learning may be particularly attractive for large companies where employees have diverse skill sets, as well as for fast-growth companies where responding fast to changes is of utmost importance. In contrast, when small companies are looking to upskill or reskill employees they may indeed lack the needed expertise in-house and may be better off opting for formal corporate learning initiatives. 

Another ingredient for success is purposeful learning. As the name suggests, this is an approach in which learners are aware of the purpose of the learning process. 

What is purposeful learning?

The concept of purposeful learning has been gaining traction in the field of education for a number of years. It is an instructional strategy that motivates students to engage more actively in the learning process and thus achieve better outcomes. The main idea of purposeful learning is that students are more motivated to learn when they know why it is important to do so. Teachers and instructors have an important role in helping learners establish the link between what is taught in the classroom and the relevance that this knowledge and/or skill has in the world. To create conditions for purposeful learning to occur, teachers also need to encourage students to collaborate with their peers, to feel comfortable to ask questions and to participate actively in class discussions.

Purposeful learning can be applied very successfully beyond schools and universities, helping to achieve better training outcomes. Again, the central issue here is why employees are taking part in a training initiative? Is it because they have been made to attend (people who are only motivated by external factors typically fail to achieve impressive results), or because they have expressed a desire to attend in order to improve their career prospects. Some employees may just be curious to learn more about a new subject. Some may be grappling with an issue at work and hope that a training experience will help them figure out the problem. The motivation to learn is important as it is a key predictor of learning outcomes. 

How Mentessa facilitates purposeful learning relationships in a corporate environment?

Mentessa is an innovative platform which helps employees connect and learn from each other. The process is effortless and fun. With Mentessa, employees can easily get in touch with colleagues from across the company to ask for help or to collaborate on specific projects. In this way the platform empowers staff to take responsibility for their learning and career development. 

At the same time, Mentessa helps management automate and optimize guided mentoring, onboarding and upskilling, boosting morale and the employee experience. Here are some ways in which Mentessa supports workplace learning with a purpose: 

  • It connects employees for learning: We have more in common than we think and everyone has something to offer. Many organizations seem to have forgotten this simple truth, especially those that rely heavily on competition to drive high performance. While a bit of healthy competition has some utility, a host of new research shows that collaboration yields better results in terms of productivity. At the heart of collaboration is connection and here is where Mentessa plays a vital role. The platform enables employees to connect and interact with each other based on interests and skills. A simple search of the employee directory will show users who may  have the knowledge or skills they need. It then takes no time to have a virtual conversation or schedule a meeting. The main advantage of this kind of peer learning is that it is personalized, on-demand and does not feel like a burden. In addition, connecting staff through social learning is especially important for distributed workplaces where group cohesion is a challenge. By providing a tool for learning by connecting, Mentessa helps organizations build inclusive communities where people reach their full potential and the collective intelligence of the group is successfully harnessed. 
  • It scales mentorship: The relationship between mentor and mentee is the ultimate purposeful learning relationship. Afterall, mentees typically seek mentors because there are particular skills or particular types of knowledge they want to obtain from them. In the past, one problem with mentoring was that it could not be scaled easily and remained an exclusive offer for a select few employees. Not anymore. Thanks to Mentessa’s AI-powered matching solution, mentoring can be scaled easily and cost-effectively to the entire workforce. In addition, mentees are offered different types of mentoring depending on the objectives they wish to achieve.
  • It maps employees’ skills: At a time when upskilling and continuous learning are becoming the norm, companies are realizing the importance of skills mapping. For example, skills-based hiring is already a trend and has been on the rise for a few years already. Surely, the best way for organizations to figure out what kind of skills should be acquired (be it through hiring new people or upskilling), is to have an accurate picture of the skills already at their disposal. One unique advantage of Mentessa is that companies don’t need to take any additional steps to have reliable, real-time skills maps of their workforce. As the platform facilitates collaboration based on skills, it already contains an updated talent directory created by the users. Upon joining, staff are required to mention the skills they can comfortably share with others, as well as points of interest. This kind of information, along with peer reviews also supported by Mentessa’s platform, is precisely what leaders in people operations are looking for when planning training and upskilling initiatives. The best thing is the information is accurate and even includes hidden skills!
How Mentessa facilitates employee training and purposeful learning relationships?

To find out more about how Mentessa can foster a culture of connection and create a happier, more motivated and productive workforce:

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