Learning and Performance — The Missing Link

learning and performance the missing linkIt may be hard to believe, but at more than half of companies, the learning strategy is not very well-aligned with business objectives. We’ve seen it in study after study here at Brandon Hall Group. What makes it so unbelievable is that it means most learning programs exist for relatively arbitrary reasons. It has become an exercise of learning for learning’s sake. It is an environment where the only outcome for learning is its completion. The Learning function sees employees merely as “learners,” people whose sole job is to complete the programs L&D created. With this completely insular approach, is it any wonder learning teams have such a hard time demonstrating learning’s impact on the business, let alone becoming a more strategic part of it?

Learning cannot just be measured in hours and completions. It is not enough to assume that by its very existence, a learning program is inherently good or effective. Even programs created by highly talented designers and extremely knowledgeable SMEs sometimes fail to deliver expected results.

L&D must understand that their learners belong to a workforce striving to make the business successful. When we think of them as just “learners,” the impact of learning starts and stops while they are engaging with content or programs. By recognizing learning’s place in the larger business universe, L&D can begin to create and deliver programs that are much more connected to the business and the skills, behaviors and performance employees need to be successful.

Learning and performance are inextricably linked yet too many organizations fail to capitalize on that link. By looking at learning through the lens of business objectives, talent objectives and learning objectives, L&D teams can use their talent and skills to drive the kind of performance that achieves organizational goals. They will also be better able to measure and demonstrate that impact.

To dig into this topic a bit deeper, Brandon Hall Group and Litmos hosted a webinar that explores a model for connecting learning to performance, building the right programs, and measuring effectiveness. Please watch the webinar recording for further insights.