Corporate learning’s role in ESG

ESG

EFMD survey shows that corporate learning is deeply involved in the embedding of ESG in organisational mindsets, practices, and processes.

EFMD occasionally runs a quick global survey on topical issues of corporate learning. In September, we conducted a five question-survey on how learning functions support Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) priorities in their companies: either by reinforcing and cascading them into the organisation or by complying with external reporting requirements.

The survey shows that when it comes to external reporting on learning, most often, details of key training programmes are disclosed, followed by average learning hours per employee and total learning spend.

Reported learning spend most often comprises learning supplier cost, travel and hospitality cost for learners, delivery cost including facilities and learning technology, administrative cost, and tuition reimbursement.

Almost all responses listed their online learning platform as the number one driver of inclusive learning, accessible from anywhere at any time. The importance of convenience and ease of access got pointed out several times, best through an app that would provide a one-stop shop for all learning, be it access to external content or knowledge sharing with colleagues.

Almost all responses listed their online learning platform as the number one driver of inclusive learning, accessible from anywhere at any time.

One respondent explained their online skills assessment tool, with guidance on upskilling in line with peer profiles and career preferences (talent marketplace). Another company measures learning KPIs for all employees and managers. Yet another company runs employee surveys to understand the learning preferences of their workforce. Lastly, the opportunity for employees to enlist in external learning experiences of their choice got reported, subject to manager approval.

More than 70% of respondents report that they pay attention to gender in selection for leadership development programmes. Several mention that they have dedicated women leadership programmes.

Most responding companies run ESG or sustainability awareness trainings for managers and all staff. Some provide respective certificates, others sustainability learning pathways and specific upskilling programmes e.g., on decarbonization. One company plans even the launch of a sustainability academy. One respondent mentioned the financial incentivisation of reaching ESG KPIs, including learning KPIs. Lastly, considering ESG in learning governance and operations itself got mentioned.

To sum up, the survey shows that corporate learning is deeply involved in the embedding of ESG in organisational mindsets, practices, and processes.

For more information about ESG, see “Does ESG really matter—and why?” via McKinsey Sustainability.

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