Towards Maturity Impact Indicator looks at e-learning effectiveness in the workplace

Mar 12, 2010 | Case Studies, Evidence for Change

This report presents the evidence for L&D leaders to help understand and consider how best to demonstrate the value that L&D can bring to business leaders and learners. We explore the tactics that lead to greater impact amongst top performing learning organisations to demonstrate value and identify how data can be used to build performance.

The rapid increase in tools for analysing learning data is allowing learning professionals to shift their focus from measuring Return on Investment / Expectation in terms of training efficiency, towards a new strategy for defining learning success, according to the level of achievement of business goals defined in partnership with senior managers.

Towards Maturity Impact Indicator looks at e-learning effectiveness in the workplace

Learning and Development departments are missing a trick by not demonstrating the value of their technology enabled solutions

London, March 12 2010 –Learning technologies are delivering critical business benefits to support organisations as they  come out of recession but managers are failing to recognise their value. The latest report from Towards Maturity, the UK’s leading independent workplace e-learning research team,  investigates the impact of learning technologies in the workplace with 200 private and public sector organisations.

The Towards Maturity Impact Indicator initial findings were announced at Learning Technologies 2010 and highlighted the extent to which the effective use of learning technologies helps hard pressed learning and development  departments to not only improve efficiency but contribute to much needed business agility.

At a time where organisations are all looking to deliver more for less, this study set out to investigate 3 main ‘impact indicators’ that would have potential value for an organisation.

  • Efficiency -This indicator looks at the basics – impact on cost, volumes delivered and time savings.
  • Business agility – This indicator looked at the ability of learning to help organisations respond productively to change, it considered time to competency; the ability of L&D to respond to business need; and overall business responsiveness to change.
  • Management perception of Value – We were interested in how we manage management perception of value and considered what do we measure and what do we report on?

Key findings

Efficiency savings reported by participants:

  • Average cost savings of 11% ( 7 different learning technology types were compared)
  • Average time savings of 28% (or 36% if you include travel time)
  • Average increase in volume of learning delivered – 47%
  • Only 29% of organisations measure basic cost comparisons between technology enabled learning vs. classroom. However those that do consistently report improved efficiency benefits. Those that estimate benefits typically are underestimating their impact.

Busines Agility benefits:

  • 69% of 153 participants reported that time for staff to reach and prove competency in their jobs was faster with 12%able to comment that staff were reaching time to competency in less than half of the time as a direct result of implementing learning technologies.
  • 82% of participants believe that they can deliver learning interventions faster with 26% able to deliver learning in less than half the time than before – an important factor when organisations need to adapt quickly to survive.
  • 59% reported improvements in ability to implement changes in products and process and 52% said that it improved their ability to roll out new IT systems faster.

Management perception of learning technology value:

  • 80% of L&D staff interviewed believe that management thinks learning is more convenient
  • 55% believe that managers think learning technologies adds additional business value but don’t know how
  • over 50% of participants do not know the impact they are making to important business measures for their own organisations ( eg revenue, productivity gains, customer service levels), even fewer report back to managers.

How to use these findings

This Impact Indicator report was developed to help businesses build their business case – it provides independently researched facts and figures which will have different implications for different organisations who are looking to engage managment and learners. We hope that you will find the research useful.

For specific examples of how organisations are actually implementing learning technologies to achieve these results go to our Evidence for Change programme.

To find out more about the Towards Maturity Impact Indicator click

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About the Benchmark

The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study is an internationally recognised longitudinal study on the effective implementation of learning innovation based on the input of 5,800+ participants and 41,000 learners gathered since 2003. Towards Maturity continuously surveys and studies how people learn at work and the impact this has on organisational performance. By turning data into insights and insights into action, this research is used to help L&D leaders assess and improve the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of their learning provision.

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