Alignment is critical

26/11/14

In his foreword to the 2014-15 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report, Dr Chai Patel, Chairman of care home operator HC-One, states that “learning innovation has the potential to drive business transformation across any business in any sector.”

This is powerfully demonstrated by organisations in the top 10% of the Towards Maturity Index, who consistently achieve business benefits from their investment in learning technologies.

“learning innovation has the potential to drive business transformation across any business in any sector.”

Dr Chai Patel, Chairman of HC-One

But across all respondents, the report delivers a more cautionary message. Of all 600 participants in the 2014-15 Benchmark, only 31% are achieving the benefits they seek from learning innovation. So learning technologies offer great potential, but it’s not widely realised. Why not?

One of the reasons explored in the Benchmark report, is to what extent learning innovation is aligned with business and individual goals. And the results are interesting. Only 32% of L&D professionals report that they work with senior leaders to identify specific business KPIs they want to influence through learning. Maybe that’s why only one third of businesses achieve the benefits they seek!

OK, so that may be too simplistic an answer. But alignment IS critical. It’s how you ensure that learning innovation is targeted at real needs. It’s how you ensure the learning you deliver is focused on the attitudes or behaviours you need to develop. And aligning with the needs and aspirations of individual learners is how you build engagement.

Acteon has led best practice in this area, and we used it to deliver business transformation for HC-One through the learning intervention that Dr Patel describes in his foreword to the Benchmark Report. In this extensive blended learning programme (which combines e-learning, video, and animation with a range of workplace learning tools), every aspect of content and learning design was aligned with HC-One’s vision to operate the kindest care homes in the UK. The outstanding colleague engagement and business impact achieved through the project was recognised in the Gold Award for L&D Initiative of the Year at the 2014 CIPD People Management Awards.

Whatever the scale and scope of a learning intervention, success is made more likely by focusing on a clearly defined need, and creating an experience that aligns individual aspiration with the necessary behaviour change. You can find out more about how to align your learning innovation with business and individual goals from Towards Maturity’s In-Focus report ‘Aligning Learning to Business’.

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