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Measuring the Business Impact of L&D: Turn Insights into Action

This is the final part of a four-part series on how L&D teams can effectively demonstrate the business impact of their learning programs. Read parts one, two, and three for added context.


As mentioned in part three of this series, if the bare minimum ‘table stakes’ metrics are all you’re tracking, you will never be able to truly measure the overall business impact of your learning and development programs.

If you’re only looking at how many people completed a training, do you really have any ideas why the success (or lack of success) in compliance is causing performance issues? Is it a specific skill or competency that lacks proficiency that could be the cause of performance issues? Are there other factors?

Essential Metrics L&D Teams Should Track to Show Business Impact

This leads us to the topic of more advanced metrics, some of which can be captured in your LMS while other metrics may require joining forces with other parts of the business, like IT, finance, or HR, to tell the full story. Let’s take a look.

Content-Focused Metrics

If you dig deeper into the content, you can start to understand metrics that can help shape your learning design so you can adapt and adjust the course content.

For instance, how many attempts does it take someone to pass a course exam? If more than one, perhaps the content is to blame. Maybe you’re testing them on things that weren’t covered. Maybe the content is unclear.

What about the performance on each question? If you knew that 100% of the people missed “Question 2” multiple times before they passed, explore what’s tied to that question. Is it worded poorly? Is it unsupported in the content?

Or consider the skill level. Was the course designed to improve a specific skill? If so, what’s the desired change? 

You can also explore drop-out rates. How many learners never finish a course? Do they drop at the same place? Is there a correlation between an employee’s geography, job title, or experience level and the drop-off activity? This is important for building training that gets the right information to the right people at the right time in the right format.

Performance-Focused Metrics

Schoox has a feature called ‘Knowledge Fuel,’ which reflects the level of adequate knowledge within an organization. It combines various performance metrics and reflects knowledge levels of your entire training spectrum down to a specific course.

This feature enables you to understand the impact on the organization when a person leaves. You can see the knowledge deficit the vacancy will create and predict any performance and potential business impacts it will have. Even if you hire an expert in the field, the incoming employee won’t have the exact background and skillset as the former employee, so there’s a definite impact you can’t ignore.

Business-Focused Metrics

Now for the elusive ROI. This is where you take the factors valued by your organization relative to learning and correlate them with your overall spend and other business metrics to describe what the ROI and business impact is for your training programs.

There are some basic ROI metrics. For example, spending $100k on a course to move it from in-person delivery to self-paced, resulting in saving $650k by eliminating travel and physical materials produced for in-person learning.

Then, there are more advanced ROI metrics. For example, delivering XYZ course and seeing a 15% proficiency improvement in one skill, resulting in a long-term ROI of $250k over the next two years relative to, say, coaching activities.

Segment-Focused Insights

Finally, you should consider segment-focused insights—how your training performs when in specific segments of your business. Are there industry or internal benchmarks you could align with? Is there a specific region that should expect different results?

Ready to Start Proving the Business Impact of Your Learning Programs?

Demonstrating the business impact of your training programs is critical to the future success of your organization. Get started by keeping these takeaways in mind:

  • Make a plan to measure table stakes metrics (and aim for more).
  • Collaborate and strategize to track more advanced metrics.
  • Connect learning data to business impact. Know which KPIs are most important and how your learning can plug in to them.
  • Take the ‘collection’ process seriously. Understand what you can and can’t get out of your LMS, and other departments.
  • As your L&D activities progress, it’s not enough to just provide the data—you have to turn the insights into action to demonstrate the true business impact of learning.

Schoox provides a future-focused, end-to-end learning and talent development solution that makes it easy for L&D teams to draw a clear line between their learning programs and the direct business impact they have on helping organizations achieve their goals.

If you’d like to see how it works, schedule a demonstration with one of our representatives.

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