Chief Strategy Officer
Research: Measuring the
business impact of learning
For the last three years, the annual survey
'Measuring the Business Impact of Learning'
has invited organisations from around the
world to share their insights and challenges
on measuring learning effectiveness. Here we
share the findings that shine a light on the
current state of play.
The survey, conducted by LEO Learning
along and sister company, Watershed, was
initially prompted by curiosity and by
discussions with client organisations.
Measuring the business impact of learning
was something that many aspired to achieve.
Learning evaluation methods have historically
tended to focus on the lower levels of
Kirkpatrick's evaluation model, looking at
learner satisfaction (happy sheets),
completion rates and assessment results.
These methods are easier for L&D teams to
undertake, but do little to offer senior
stakeholders any meaningful insight into the
effect on business performance.
So, what has been learned?
The first year of the survey revealed a huge
appetite in L&D to measure the the impact of
learning. Alongside this enthusiasm, it was
also heartening to discover that many
organisations were keen to use data systems
and analytics to undertake this effort.
Harnessing the power of big data is the key to
ensuring that measuring effectiveness is
achievable on a large scale.
The second year's results showed a steep
rise in the pressure felt by L&D professionals
from senior stakeholders to measure impact,
rising from 35 percent to 60 percent. But with
such pressure, it was a surprise to see that
competing priorities remained the main
reason respondents cited for not embarking
upon business impact measurement. With
increased pressure, it is reasonable to expect
that analytics would become a top priority.
This was not the case.
The 2019 Survey Results
Where are we now? At this point, we now
have three years of results to analye and a
sample size of almost 1,000 respondents.
Headline findings include:
• There's no letting up in the pressure to
Nearly 70 percent of respondents this year
said they feel pressure from leadership to
measure learning's impact.