Corporate L&D has been constantly improving over the last 60 years. Whilst the added value of L&D is significant for today’s business, many learning departments still haven’t found an efficient method of visualization and presentation of their programs’ outcome. Metrics like ROI do not always reveal the most accurate results in this regard.
In this article we will offer you a step by step guideline for creating your own Annual Learning Report, which will boost your visibility and credibility for key business partners.
LPM – a better alternative for measuring the value of L&D
Over the last few decades, several models have been attempting to determine and quantify what L&D is bringing to organizations, including Kirkpatrick, Philips, and other models created to measure the ROI of L&D. These models aren’t considered to be adapted to modern L&D practices, as the measurements are only based on face-to-face training, neglecting the continuous training.
Therefore, as we explained in a previous article named “The real truth about ROI – the Learning Performance Model”, written based on a research from Maastricht University, LPM (Learning Performance Model) might serve as a more adapted solution for measuring the added value of different L&D models. Unlike older metrics systems, LPM is a two-step model, evaluating the employee performance first, and second, the impact of the employee performance on financial and organizational productivity. Furthermore, the LPM takes into consideration all types of learning, including digital and blended learning, face-to-face learning, formal and informal learning.
Understanding and applying the Learning Performance Model is a key step that will help you later create your own Annual Learning Report. The Annual Learning Report template that we propose has been drafted based on CLI’s (Crossknowledge Learning Institute) insights from interviews with 50+ CLOs and HR experts. In order to create an accurate Annual Learning Report, you will need to find the relevant metrics for your type of organization.
Find your credible training and development metrics for L&D’s performance
When trying to report the added value of L&D to business, the majority of CLOs encounter the same difficulties: lack of credible metrics, limitations in data collection and analysis during and after the learning experience. The lack of structured reporting and professional communication result in a failure of proving the added value of L&D’s activities.
What new methods are going to help CLOs convince the business leaders of L&D’s importance?
These are Learning and Development KPI examples that are most used for measuring the L&D’s added value. However, in order to show accurate results, the training metrics template may vary depending on the type of industry. For example, in the financial sector, in addition to the overall corporate compliance metrics, there will be a need for specific local metrics, due to local legal requirements. Metrics may also be different depending on the maturity that your organization has reached and required level of reporting.
Once you have established strong and credible KPIs for training and development for your particular case, you will need a structured approach in order to obtain a powerful overview.
Based on the LPM structure, two main elements need to be identified:
What are the L&D activities and how do they operate?
We have identified several credible metrics based on interviews with 50+ CLOs and HR experts.
- L&D Basics: An overview of KPIs related to basic Learning & Development activities delivered in your company. Which fundamental L&D activities are reported on L&D Efficiency: Besides basic L&D contributions, these KPIs show how efficiently L&D has performed. Has input been optimally used, to generate maximum output?
- Digital learning: Specific KPIs for organizations who’ve launched digital learning, an indication on the progression of digital learning. How well advanced is digital learning inside the company and is it paying off?
- L&D operations & achievements: An overview of quantitative KPIs and qualitative descriptions. How does the L&D department run their business?
What is the impact of these activities on employee performance?
- General L&D Effectiveness: Indicators on the impact of Learning & Development initiatives. To what extent do L&D initiatives impact employee performance and business goals?
- L&D effectiveness of specific strategic challenges: Indicators on the impact for specific strategic pillars for the organization. To what extent do L&D initiatives impact the performance of new employees or talent and leadership inside the organization?
Once you obtain an accurate overview due to credible L&D metrics, you can build your Annual Learning Report based on CLI’s framework. When building your Annual Learning Report, you should keep in mind that, in order to be reliable, the report should correspond to the maturity of your organizations, and the business needs. The Annual Learning Report’s result also depends on how accurate is the data collection, the goal setting, and the analysis itself.
Towards the best version of Your Annual Learning Report
Now that you’ve seen which different credible metrics are available as ingredients for your integrated Annual Learning Report, what are your next steps? How do you end up with an Annual Learning Report that boosts the credibility and visibility of your L&D?
How to boost your credibility and visibility?
A first step would be reviewing the Annual Learning Report clusters and KPIs. Then, you should initiate the following actions aligned with your specific capabilities and environment.
Analyze your organizational L&D reporting needs:
- Review your L&D actionable data collection capabilities.
- Select the Annual Learning Report KPIs that fit your needs.
- Draft a “1st edition” ALR and validate this with L&D and HR stakeholders.
- Based on feedback, draft a “2nd edition” ALR and validate this with business sponsors.
- Based on feedback, develop an organizationally tuned Learning Report framework. Set a goal of reporting quarterly to key L&D stakeholders and annually to the broader business or HR and L&D community.
The purpose of L&D is not to simply deliver learning to employees. Its purpose is also to empower them to achieve the goals of business. The Annual Learning Report is a reliable structure that will help you demonstrate L&D’s alignment with business strategy and contribution to business outcomes. It may also serve as a track record of continuous performance and success, disclosing the company’s areas that need further investment and placing you as a credible and respected business partner.