Measuring Business Impact

Shaping the Future of L&D

As part of the third series of 'Shaping the Future of L&D', we've gathered the latest insights and research into Measuring Business Impact within L&D.

We interviewed the following thought leaders to gather their opinions in this area.

Kevin M. Yates - Fact Finder for Learning & Development

Joan Keevill - Director at Designs on Learning and Chairperson at the eLearning Network

Krystyna Gadd - Founder of How to Accelerate Learning

Hayley Khan - Sales and Partnerships Director at Virtual College

Measuring The Business Impact of Learning

Who currently has the responsibility?

Only 5% of business managers and L&D professionals regards the L&D department as currently having ultimate responsibility for productivity in their organisations. More than half (59%) of L&D professionals report that they have always been tasked by senior management with improving productivity as part of their role.

Source: 'LD Agents of Productivity HR'

The requirements within L&D

Great L&D delivery needs to focus on what matters most to the business. No matter how much learning takes place, if there is no direct connection to financial outcomes, the challenges to get executive buy in and budget will remain.

Identifying the barriers to L&D and overcoming them

Only 40 percent of companies say that their learning strategy is aligned with business goals. L&D teams need to develop a stronger connection to the business so that they become confident in the function's value.

Source: 'Digital Impact Survey Report 2019'

Data analytics tools needed

Predictive analytics tools have arrived, making it possible to analyse data regarding recruitment, performance, employee mobility and other factors. Executives now have access to a seemingly endless combination of metrics to help them understand, at a far deeper level, what drives results.

For more information on the future of learning and development get in touch today.

Hayley Khan

Key points


  • L&D teams need to link to business objectives, impact results and make a difference.
  • Senior L&D professionals need to move from a transactional role to becoming business strategists.

Fundamentally L&D can not work in silos

  • L&D needs to shift perceptions of just delivering courses to supporting organisational performance.
  • L&D need to develop soft skills such as negotiation, communication and influence business strategy by developing commercial and business acumen.

Kevin M. Yates

Key points


  • L&D needs to change from being a fulfilment centre to performance consultants
  • Be patient when beginning the journey of measuring the impact of learning. Overtime if L&D change their conversations with the business they will be seen as impact makers.

Measuring the impact of training is an art, a science and a skill

  • Methodologies and frameworks that already exist give context to help start the process and assist in changing mindsets. 
  • When speaking to the organisation, choose the right conversations for the audience being addressed.

Joan Keevill

Key points


  • If we don’t know what success is, how can we measure it?
  • Historically, we’re typical of counting people and not the outcomes. L&D need to gather more impact data rather than completion rates.

The reason some L&D projects fail is the lack of impact they have on the organisation

  • There needs to be a partnership between L&D and management to bridge the gap between learning interventions and day-to-day performance.
  • L&D teams need to have the confidence to ask more questions.

Krystyna Gadd

Key points


  • If L&D don’t measure the impact of their efforts, they will never receive the reputation they deserve.
  • We should never stop being curious. We need to get close to the business and to stakeholders by asking questions and finding out what they really need.

L&D need to start doing something real with data to justify their existence

  • Don’t get overwhelmed with data. Trust your gut instinct to know where to start.
  • There is a story that can be found from analysing data. What do you see?

As part of our latest series, we spoke to industry leaders about the future of learning and development. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to be the first to see our latest interviews.

Don't miss out on the other topics already discussed in this series. If you haven't caught up yet watch them here.

Virtual College 2019