Utilising the principles and frameworks identified in parts 1-3, the L&D function should be able to demonstrate the impact on business performance and/or the bottom line to the senior management team and other interested stakeholders.
Typical questions that the L&D function should be capable of answering include:
- Was the intervention effective in the transfer of learning to the workplace?
- Visible behaviour, i.e. what does it look like when it happens on the shop floor?
- What is the impact on business performance?
- Reduction in complaints
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Decrease in production times
- Supply chain efficiencies
- Training or learning intervention is too long
- What is the impact on the bottom line?
- Increased revenue
- Decrease in expenditure
The evaluation stage will probably provide most of the answers the L&D function requires, however, communication with stakeholders will also yield answers as well as crucial feedback.
Ultimately, L&D practitioners need to ensure that they can demonstrate their added-value to the business through four key principles:
- Understanding the business (termed business acumen or savvy);
- Aligning learning with business objectives (practical application of business acumen);
- Delivering cost-effective and efficient learning; and
- Providing metrics, and/or other data, that illustrate how the learning has positively impacted on the business.
If an L&D practitioner cannot demonstrate their ability to apply these four key principles, then they will struggle to gain credibility within the organisation or potential employers.