How To Benchmark Your L&D Strategy (and Why)

by | Jun 16, 2016 | Articles

Here’s a quick overview of benchmarking, why you should do it and what you need to get started.


What is benchmarking?


Benchmarking is the process of comparing your business processes and performance metrics with those of other organisations. The Towards Maturity Benchmark specifically measures the performance of your L&D strategy by guiding you through a series of questions about your learning offering and impact. It is an invaluable reflective process, providing actionable insights to improve the impact of your strategy.


What this means for you as an L&D professional


A benchmark provides the evidence you need in order to influence the business in regards to the learning agenda. Evidence is vital to backing up a case for change and even more powerful when internal data is being compared with data from top performing organisations. With the Towards Maturity Benchmark, you can see how your strategy compares with top performing organisations in your sector and shape your L&D strategy using tactics that work.


The benefits of benchmarking


Systematically benchmarking your L&D strategy with your peers helps uncover insights that will help you:


  • Modernise your learning strategy
  • Redefine priorities
  • Identify opportunities for development
  • Increase learner engagement
  • Save time and accelerate progress
  • Demonstrate value by providing evidence of progress


Why the Towards Maturity Benchmark?


Because it is the only diagnostic tool of its kind, providing a measure of how an organisation is performing against others in the study. It is an indicator of current fitness and how to improve Benchmarking helps you understand the current state of learning in your organisation as well as a plan for its future state.


What does the Towards Maturity Benchmark cover?


The Towards Maturity Benchmark asks questions that help you reflect your current L&D strategy/plan and think about the year ahead:


  • Understanding the context of your strategy
  • Goals and vision for your L&D strategy
  • Develop learning technology plans
  • Identifying barriers to transforming learning
  • Measuring the impact of your current strategy
  • Converting an L&D plan into tactics for success


What you need to get started


  • You’ll need to set aside one hour to reflect on the areas above – you’ll need longer if you plan on doing this as a team exercise, but you’ll quickly realise that the time spent is well worth the investment
  • Some basic information on budget and team size is included in setting the context
  • Impact data on particular projects will be useful (but not essential)


“Taking time out to reflect, benchmark and talk to liked minded L&D experts is a must. L&D must develop greater business acumen to align with the needs of the changing and evolving world and workplaces that we are in.” 2016 Benchmark participant


What else do you need to know?


1: You don’t have to be perfect to get started – use the benchmark to establish a baseline and identify priorities


2: All data is confidential – see our confidentiality policy for more information.


3: You receive a free 21-page Personalised Benchmark Report in September that provides everything you need to formulate an action plan


What do people think about the Towards Maturity Benchmark?


“The L&D team at Citi needed to reinvent how learning at Citi happens and modernise the L&D function – Towards Maturity’s Benchmark gave us credible insights in order to deliver a compelling business case to C-suite of the company.

The report was also a valuable asset when it came to awards – revisiting our Benchmark helped us track progress and hone our award submissions.” Brian Murphy, Head of Learning and Leadership Development, Citi


84% of those who benchmarked with Towards Maturity in 2015, found that just reflecting on the questions alone provided new ideas or inspiration for change.

Benchmark Your L&D Strategy

At Towards Maturity, we have identified six workstreams that characterise successful, high performing organisations. From these workstreams, we have developed a common framework of effective practice.

Benchmarking against that framework helps L&D pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their own organisation, work out what needs to change and map out actions. In short, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a structured framework that helps learning leaders under pressure identify the actions that will bring tangible results in the workplace. It helps you to work out how to get from A to B!

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