How to Create a Collaborative Approach to Measuring Learning Impact

For delivering learning content, L&D has the luxury to choose from a list of modalities. Be it mobile learning, micro-learning, or even an ILT, each modality offers its own benefits over the other. But you prefer the one that provides long-term value despite the momentary benefits. 

So, how do you know you made the right decision? 

By measuring business impact. 

But the problem is, only a few learning and development (L&D) leaders know what and how to measure. Majority of them lack in-house data skills and resources, so their tools go unused. 

79% of CEOs believe that this skill-gap may threaten the future growth of organizations. CEOs want results and assurance to show the impact of learning and development (L&D) in preparing their workforces for future, but barriers exist. The problem isn’t learning measurement—it’s their perception of L&D’s worth in the business. 

Today, learning and development (L&D) is at the crossroads in an enterprise. It will either go extinct or become an integral part of the business. We saw this happen to a few during the 2008 economic recession. 

Sometimes, we witnessed training departments turn into “order takers.” The business ordered what it wanted, and the training departments produced. If they didn’t, businesses found another resource. When it’s time to cut budgets, Training received an ax. 

So right now, learning and development (L&D) must work collaboratively across the organization and do business, working “socially in the digital world.” Collaboration is the foundation for building the skills and models to develop learning and measure its impact. 

That’s why setting up a cross-functional team becomes the first step in building delivery models in L&D projects. Learning and development shouldn’t limit itself to back-office services. It must team up with leaders from other functions to make create impact. The first liaison should be with Marketing. 

L&D Partnership with Marketing 

Learning and marketing are share many similarities except for their audience. Marketing caters to an external audience and learning is for internal audience. 

Today, learning and development (L&D) can collaborate with marketing on aspects like content design and target-based delivery campaigns. For very long, marketing has relied on human behavior data to engage their customers. Of course, their purposes are different but the social behavior of both their audience are same.  

You can learn how your marketing counterparts measure their audience engagement and implement the same in learning. You can also use marketing’s web analytics tools to derive deep insights about your people’s learning behavior. 

Working with marketing enables you to measure a data-rich environment your learners are creating inside and outside your LMS. 

Marketing and Communications 

Your marketing team can also communicate and convince people to take immediate action. 

Unfortunately, only some learning and development (L&D) teams do that efficiently. Marketing can help you lose your “corporate-jargon” and enable you to create positive relationships with your people.   

For example, L&D leaders only spend 9% of their time championing learning programs to executives. Only 27% of workers believe that their CEOs prioritize learning. So, the communication gap is obvious. So, involving your executives in workforce development can pay off in a big way. 

An association between marketing, HR and learning and development (L&D) can help you improve your company’s brand value. 

Working with HR 

When L&D and marketing work alongside HR, finding and developing the best talent to deliver the company brand message becomes easier. You can create a unified message that resonates with your employees, applicants, and customers. 

The partnership of Learning and development (L&D) with recruitingtalent managementsuccession planning, leverages training, self-directed learning, and development of an employee at every stage. You can make it all work to support your employer’s brand voice at every touch point. 

L&D Partnership with Finance 

Bringing Finance into the mix will open your channel for communicating directly with the CFO. You will have access to the insider’s perspective towards budgeting and financial acumen within the organization. You can benefit from preparing reports and proposals that get your CFO’s attention. 

Working with KPI or OKR Owners 

For your learning and development initiatives to see the light of the day, you need your KPI and OKR owner’s approval. Your relationship with them has a big role to play. 

Begin by understanding their challenges and frustrations. As you learn more, you can discover unique opportunities to create more value to your organization. That must lay a good foundation for a positive relationship. 

After you finish your project, ask the critical question: How did the learning program perform to drive results, and by how much? 

Sometimes, you may receive complaints about how learning and development (L&D) has failed. Acknowledge the feedback and re-strategize your efforts to show better results. 

Collaboration and Governance 

Every person in your organization has something to gain from learning and development. Let their requirements drive your agenda to build a collaborative working relationship across the organization. It might take a while to generate results, but it won’t be long for your people to realize the impact of your contributions. 

Once you create that impact, you know you’ve made the right decision upfront. And that will the time for you to introduce the concept of organization-wide learning governance that positions learning as a lifelong joint endeavor. 

Chasma Place, is an independent source for solutions that will help you keep pace with changes in the way your people work without ripping and replacing your existing systems.