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Piers Lea

Chief Strategy Officer

LEO Learning

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

measure

Nearly 70 percent of respondents this year

said they feel pressure from leadership to

measure learning's impact.

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