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How One Environmental Nonprofit Leverages LinkedIn Learning for Talent Attraction and Development

1% for the Planet was founded in 2002 with a clear goal in mind — to inspire businesses to donate 1% of annual sales to environmental partners around the world.

Since then, the membership-based nonprofit has grown into a thriving network of member businesses and environmental partners, all of which are vetted, connected, and supported by 1% for the Planet’s staff of full-time employees. As 1% for the Planet continues to grow its network and impact, it’s critical for the organization to continue to hire, engage, and retain a dedicated, skilled staff committed to its mission.

One way that 1% for the Planet does this is by leveraging LinkedIn Learning to help employees grow their careers at the organization. Seeing how much staff love having access to LinkedIn Learning’s vast library of on-demand, expert-led courses, the organization recently rolled out a new professional development program that integrates LinkedIn Learning content to help employees get the most from this resource.

“Not having access to continued learning can be a major barrier in your career,” says Tatum Robinson, Communications Manager at 1% for the Planet. “So it’s a huge perk to be able to offer employees — especially now, when technology and marketing are moving so quickly.”

For other organizations looking to lean into learning to foster an engaged and thriving workforce, here are three steps Tatum recommends.

Step 1: Build personalized employee development plans

To help employees achieve their career goals, 1% for the Planet encourages managers to work collaboratively with their direct reports, leveraging LinkedIn Learning both for exploration and next steps. 

“Every employee works directly with their manager to find the right professional development opportunities to suit them,” Tatum explains. “Whatever the employee wants to achieve, managers can find and recommend LinkedIn Learning courses. Or, employees can go straight to the source and find some courses they want to take, and then we’ll build a program around that to help them reach their goals.”

Sometimes, this involves learning something new. But 1% for the Planet employees also use LinkedIn Learning to strengthen and refresh their existing skill set. 

“LinkedIn Learning makes it easy to be able to brush up on things and keep your skills current,” Tatum says. “It’s really nice to have those courses at your disposal, even if it’s something you went to school for, because it’s still moving, still evolving. It’s better to chip away at something over a few years than get five years down the line and feel behind.” 

Step 2: Encourage self-exploration while embracing standardization

1% for the Planet employees have unrestricted access to LinkedIn Learning, and managers encourage their teams to explore the full range of courses available to them, even ones that fall outside of the needs of their current role. 

“Our team really likes the flexibility and the ability to go in, browse courses, and figure out what they’re interested in,” Tatum says. “The diversity and length of classes means they can pop into a 30-minute course and just do the basics to see if they want to dive into a longer, more detailed course.”

Tatum says that 1% for the Planet employees often enjoy taking courses that are “totally out of left field.” But they also find it valuable to take the same courses as their coworkers to create shared understanding among teams.

“Even though we’re all professionals, we all come from different places and experiences,” she explains. “On the marketing team, for example, we have different educational backgrounds, which means we sometimes have different words or phrases for things. Taking LinkedIn Learning courses has helped us all get on the same page and have a common language.”

Step 3: Emphasize development opportunities throughout the hiring process

Having access to LinkedIn Learning has empowered managers and employees alike to nurture a culture of continuous learning at 1% for the Planet — and prospective candidates are taking notice. 

“As someone who has been on a hiring committee, I’ve seen firsthand how important it is for our applicants to know that they can continue to develop in their roles,” Tatum says. “One of the most common questions I get is, ‘What happens once I’m in this role? Where do I go from there?’ It’s awesome to be able to share that we use LinkedIn Learning to help build our team’s portfolio of knowledge and continue leveling up their skills in a really concrete way.”

With the 1% for the Planet team growing rapidly, Tatum says that LinkedIn Learning has helped to smooth the transition.

“The biggest thing for us is that people enjoy it,” she says. “The difference between something taking flight on a team versus being something that people check off their list just to tell their manager that they did is how much it helps them, how accessible it is, and how enjoyable it is. Having team buy-in is huge.”

To learn more about LinkedIn Learning and access special discounts for eligible nonprofits, contact our team.