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:

  1. Understanding the business (termed business acumen or savvy);
  2. Aligning learning with business objectives (practical application of business acumen);
  3. Delivering cost-effective and efficient learning; and
  4. 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.

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