Over the last few weeks we’ve shown you what a ‘Brilliant’ youth-engagement strategy looks like and helped you better understand what stage of the journey from ‘Good to Brilliant’ your business is at, using our ‘Three Generations’ model. The logical next question is, ‘how do you get to ‘Brilliant’?
How do you, from where you are now, deliver a more advanced and effective approach to youth engagement, and reap all the rewards that can come from it. Here’s an approach we know works and that we recommend to clients:
Step one: Identify & clarify three things that really matter
- Success: Getting specific about your ambitions and objectives for each of the four critical impact areas – social, brand, corporate and people – is not always easy, but will help drive success. At National Schools Partnership, we talk about CPOs (Clearly Prioritised Objectives) which show where you want the greatest impacts.
- Needs: What are the relevant needs of young people, of educators and of those who support them? What are the needs of your business
- Strengths: Identify your company’s strengths – these are not always obvious. Look to your people and think not just what you do or make, but what you are truly great at and what makes your business different.
These are your three essential building blocks for success.
Step two: Engage your stakeholders
The second stage is to engage your stakeholders. They are the cement that hold the building blocks together. You cannot do this alone. You cannot create a ‘Brilliant’ youth-engagement strategy and gain the biggest impacts, without the support of all the stakeholders who will be affected.
Bring together all the business units who care about engagement with young people – consider HR, brand, CSR, R&D and more. If you want to keep it simple, ask them:
- In what way, may young people be important to your role and objectives?
- What do you currently do to engage them?
- What more to you want to achieve?
Step three: Strategy development
You now have all the key components of a ‘Brilliant’ youth-engagement strategy. You now know what success looks like. You know the needs of young people you can help to meet. You know the strengths of your own organisation which you can bring to focus on the challenge. You also have the understanding and, hopefully, the buy-in of your key stakeholders. You have the tools to develop a sustainable strategy and plan that meets the needs of your business and young people.
Step four: Implementation
The fourth and final stage is implementation. After you’ve created a robust strategy you need a robust process to deliver the plan. At National Schools Partnership we always look to simplify – our approach to is Think. Create. Deliver. It works well for us, and our partners.
Within this implementation stage, a key area is measurement. Decide early what you intend to measure and how you will do so and link this to your ambitions and most important objectives. You should consider:
- Tracking brand viewpoints amongst young people and their parents
- Changes in diversity of graduate and apprentice recruitment
- Social or education impact studies
- Staff feedback on ‘pride’ in the organisation they work for
An effective ‘3rd Generation’ approach will see positive shifts in all of these critical areas.
Of all of this, what matters most is the start point – identifying what success looks like, what the real needs are and what strengths you can bring to it all. You can use our checklist below to keep on track.
This is the last in our series of four bitesize guides where we’ve shown you how to take your work with young people from ‘Good to Brilliant’. You can find the first three guides in our News section.