Magazine article Talent Development

Getting Results: Aligning Learning's Goals with Business Performance

Magazine article Talent Development

Getting Results: Aligning Learning's Goals with Business Performance

Article excerpt

A new ASTD/i4cp report examines the ways in which high-performing organizations approach the evaluation of learning and link that measurement to overall business performance measures.

Learning and development is critical to an organization's overall success, but practitioners know all too well that it is often difficult to demonstrate just how critical it is. Making connections between the learning strategy and business results is an endeavor that requires complete understanding of business goals and strategies. But as key as gaining this understanding is in terms of achieving alignment, so too is the importance of improving the effectiveness of the learning function.

A recent collaborative research project conducted by ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), Getting Results: Aligning Learning's Goals and Outcomes with Business Performance Measures, examined the ways in which high-performing organizations approach the evaluation of learning and link that measurement to overall business performance measures. The study found that less than half of the organizations surveyed reported that their learning function is highly effective in achieving learning goals. And in terms of achieving organizational goals, only 38 percent reported that their learning function is highly effective; less than one-quarter reported that their organization is very good at evaluating the learning function in the first place.

The study found that while there are indeed challenges in measuring and demonstrating effectiveness of learning programs, a strong correlation exists between goal alignment and market performance, as well as a strong correlation between alignment and a learning function that is effective at meeting its own goals and the organization's goals.

Sixty-one percent of learning professionals reported that they believe alignment of learning and business goals is critical, but only 27 percent believe that their business leaders agree. …

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