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Demonstrating Learning’s Value to the Business

May 11, 2021 | By David Wentworth


Demonstrating Learning’s Value to the Business

One recurrent theme we’ve heard from organizations as they look at the pandemic’s impact on learning and development in companies is that it has raised L&D’s strategic profile in the business. In a Brandon Hall Group survey on the topic, 63% of companies said that L&D had more visibility, a bigger role in decision-making and is more closely integrated with C-Suite. While this is all relatively good news, learning is going to have to deliver results to keep this new position.

A big part of that will require L&D to do a much better job at measuring the impact that learning has. Simply telling the business how many hours people spent in training or how many completions they managed is no longer enough. This is especially true now as companies have had to employ a wide variety of new digital and virtual training methods during the pandemic. To sustain these new approaches, the training function has to be able to demonstrate their value.

There are several measurement models out there that can provide guidance: Kirkpatrick/Phillips, Learning Transfer Evaluation Model, Kaufman, Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method and CIPP, to name a few. One model isn’t necessarily better than the others, but it is important to find a model that works for your organization. It may be a hybrid of existing models, or one you develop yourself. The key is to have a framework to start with.

A Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Platinum Preferred Solution Provider, EI, has developed a model that includes many elements from existing models to give companies a granular framework for successful measurement. It is designed not only to help companies determine the learning’s impact on business outcomes but also help identify the “learnability” of their programs. In other words, companies can discern how quickly and proficiently learners attain information, knowledge or skills — both initially and over time.

Using a model like this will enable L&D teams to demonstrate the impact their approaches have on both learners and the business. This is critical at a time when there is heightened interest from the business as to what L&D is delivering. To learn more details on EI’s measurement strategies, download this eBook.

– David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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