The Alignment Index

A key work stream in the Towards Maturity Framework

Our latest In-Focus report, Aligning Learning to Business is now updated with the latest figures and trends exploring how L&D teams are aligning their strategies to business and learner needs.

What is the Alignment Index?

The Towards Maturity Alignment Index was introduced in 2013. It is a single index number between 1 and 9 which gives organisations a unique measure of how well they are working in mutual agreement with business leaders to ensure that learning is aligned to business need. Those with the highest scores are achieving the greatest bottom line business benefit.

Like engagement, alignment, is a fundemental characteristic of top learning companies that has influence across the Towards Maturity Model.

The Towards Maturity Alignment Index has 7 components – illustrated in the model below:

Why is alignment important?

Alignment is a two-way process. Organisations which align learning to business – and business to learning – are achieving higher productivity, greater bottom line business benefits and improving staff motivation and retention.

Organisations with a high Alignment Index are more likely to report achievement of a range of business and staff benfits – and that their managers agree that online learning delivers additional business benfits. Compared with those in the botom quartile, those in the top quartile for the Alignment Index are at least four times more likely to realise:

  • Increased organisational revenue
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved staff engagement
  • Reduced staff turnover and a
  • Decrease in their training costs and delivery time


Quick wins:

If you are just getting started, quick wins to help you improve L&D alignment with business:

  • Ensure learning initiatives support the skills the business needs
  • Identify specific business metrics/KPIs that you want to improve in partnership with senior management
  • Regularly review your programmes and check that they continue to support and enhance organisational goal
  • Tune in to what senior leaders are broadcasting in reports and media interviews and cascading down as objectives for the business. Understanding this will help you build a programme to deliver their objectives.

If you want to make further progress:

  • Mind your the language! Use the language of business and focus on business goals and outcomes as well as the reach and efficiency of learning.your people understand how their work is linked to the organisations performance
  • Integrate performance management with your learning organisation


Continue to monitor your progress on alignment by revisiting your Towards Maturity Benchmark responses via the Towards Maturity Benchmark Centre.

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