In-Focus: Making an Impact: How L&D Leaders Can Demonstrate Value (2016)

by | Jun 13, 2016 | In-Focus Reports

Technology is changing the way we work and the speed at which we work. Data is now widely available to inform decision-making, improve operations and increase customer loyalty. How does the modern L&D leader demonstrate value in this new world of work?

This brand-new In-Focus report explores new measures of learning impact, how employees want to learn, how top performing organisations are demonstrating impact and why it is imperative for L&D to act now.

This report is free to download, thanks to the support of our Ambassador, LEO.

Download the report at the bottom of this page.

Towards Maturity’s previous reports have highlighted how to make learning more relevant to the needs of modern organisations and their workers but now we turn to how we can improve the way that we demonstrate value back to the business. To date, too much energy has been spent counting training numbers, tracking course completion for compliance purposes and worrying about budget.

Traditional ‘measures’ of training success do not help build credibility and profile when L&D leaders are under increasing pressure to add real impact. Neither do they help to strengthen the business case for greater investment in new L&D approaches, technology tools and platforms.

Measurement models such as Return on Investment or Return on Expectation have been widely debated and are often considered as part of an evaluation phase, neglecting the fact that conversations about learning impact need to start long before a programme has completed.

“Reaching a certain stage of maturity myself, I now see watertight business cases being presented to boards for almost everything, apart from learning. With new technologies and processes, there are no longer any excuses.”
– Piers Lea, Chief Strategy Officer, LEO

In this report, we take a holistic look at how L&D can not only make an impact, but continually demonstrate the value they are adding to all stakeholders.

What you’ll learn in this report:

  • What is important to L&D leaders
  • What is important to stakeholders
  • What evidence we currently gather to understand impact
  • How to get started with measuring impact
  • How to have a different conversation about Return on Investment
  • How to make an impact in the changing learning landscape
  • How to establish a data-centric mindset

Fast Facts from this report

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

Impact is central to L&D activity. Over nine out of ten L&D leaders want to deliver impact on the business, but few are achieving their aims:

  • Provide a faster response to changing business conditions
  • Improve talent strategies to keep the best people
L&D are still struggling to get to grips with some of the basics:
  • 24% know how long it takes for learners to become competent in their job roles
  • 17% know the opportunity costs about the different ways that staff learn
  • Reducing time to compentecy
  • Ability to respond faster to business
31% of L&D leaders identify KPI’s they want to improve in collaboration with senior business managers. Those that do are also more likely to report ongoing collaboration with the business. They are:
  • 3x as likely to agree line managers actively support learning
  • 4x as likely to measure KPI’s when evaluating impact
  • 2x as likely to communicate success
96% are looking to technology to improve the way they gather and analyse data on learning impact. However, only 17% are successful in doing it – down from 26% in 2010.


Data for this report is primarily drawn from the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark research with over 600 L&D leaders, reported in Embracing Change. Study methodology and participant demographics can be found in Appendix B on page 79 of that report.

The study considers how L&D leaders are delivering business and staff impact and training efficiency, together with the tactics they are using to deliver results.

Specific impact data is drawn from a wider sample of 1,800 L&D leaders who have taken part in the Benchmark from 2013 – 2015. Reference is also made to data from the Towards Maturity Learning Landscape™ research, gathered online during 2015 with over 1,600 workers.

How does your approach to demonstrating value compare with your peers?

If you want to find out which actions will enable you to create change and have a real impact on business, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a great place to start. Confidentially review and compare your strategy, for free – just head to to get started.


This report is free to download, thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Founding Ambassador, LEO.

Please note, you must be logged in / registered to download your copy.
This report is sponsored by LEO. By downloading this report, you confirm that you’re happy for your details to be passed to the report sponsor, for the purposes of receiving information on relevant products and services. If you do not wish for your details to be passed on, simply contact us for a copy of the PDF.

Download this report

Create an account or sign in to download this report and get instant access to:

  • L&D Benchmark Reports
  • In-Focus Reports
  • Sector Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Free Resources


Download this report

Create an account or sign in to download this report and get instant access to:

  • L&D Benchmark Reports
  • In-Focus Reports
  • Sector Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Free Resources


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