Benchmarking is increasingly important for effective and efficient learning programs, according to a variety of learning professionals.
“Work is becoming more complex,” notes learning and performance expert Charles Jennings. “We work in teams and rely on others to get our work done more than ever before. Increasingly, research is demonstrating that experiential and social learning are extremely important elements in how high performance develops, which is why L&D professionals need new ways of understanding what works best in their organization.”
Andy Lancaster, head of Learning and Development at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the U.K., says: “Benchmarking is an incredibly valuable process to go through as it enables L&D professionals to reflect on their activities, identify which learning initiatives are effective and consider where further investment should be made. It’s also a practical way for organizations to identify where improvements can be made, based on the success of their own activities and how top performing organizations are operating.
“Crucially, benchmarking provides clear evidence which can help to influence internal stakeholders, enabling L&D professionals to change strategy and gain resources for new initiatives.”
Laura Overton, managing director of the U.K. organization Towards Maturity (which sponsors a benchmarking initiative) adds: “In our agile and rapidly changing world, L&D professionals have to identify effective practice that works for them in their organization.
“For too long, L&D professionals have reported very traditional benchmarks such as time, cost and completion rates, which do not position them as agile, flexible and truly supportive of business outcomes. That’s why over the last 12 years we have been establishing new, trusted benchmarks that will take L&D into the future instead of strangling them in the past.
“Benchmarking is about gathering the right evidence that enables you to make great decisions in a fast changing world for you, your team, your learners and your business.”
—More info: www.towardsmaturity.org/2015benchmark