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In-Focus: Aligning Learning to Business (2014)


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DateMay 01, 2014 Posted by: Laura Overton   Keywords: Alignment, In-Focus, strategy, Towards Maturity Benchmark


Original article: 

Yesterday's The CIPD/Cornerstone On Demand Learning and Development report 2014 showed that the top two changes anticipated over the next couple of years from L&D are:

  • Closer integration of learning and development activity with business strategy
  • More emphasis on monitoring, measuring and evaluating training and effectiveness.

We are excited to see that over 50% of their research participants say business knowledge and commercial awareness is critical to success in L&D/OD as this echoes the first of the nine essential recommendations from the Towards Maturity New Learning Agenda, two-way alignment is critical for successful learning teams.

It's clear that the 21st Century L&D team has to become more business savvy – understanding, responding and meeting the needs of the business are essential components of success.

So how can L&D leaders address the challenge?

Updated Aligning Learning to Business Report

Last year started to dig deeper into the behaviour of the top learning companies within the Towards Maturity Benchmark to identify what constitutes the ‘well aligned’ learning and development function. We isolated seven habits of highly aligned L&D teams. Given the continued importance of the subject, we've updated the report with the latest information from this year's Towards Maturity Benchmark, so if you didn't get a chance to download it before, now is your chance.

The impact of Alignment

We also isolated characteristics from the seven habits to define a new Alignment Index to consider how well organisations are aligning learning and business priorities. 300 participants in the 2013 Benchmark Study from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors provided us with enough data to provide them with their Alignment Index, allowing us to test out the impact of alignment.

We found that those organisations that scored highly in the Alignment Index are more likely to report achievement of a range of business and staff benefits and that their managers agree that online learning delivers additional business benefits.

Compared with those in the bottom quartile, those in the top quartile are at least four times more likely to realise:

  • Increased organisational revenue
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved staff engagement
  • Reduced staff turnover

If you didn't get a chance last year to look at the Aligning Learning to Business Report - why not download the latest version below to find out how you can work alongside business leaders in your organisation more effectively.

Are you a Top Learning company? Benchmark for free to find out:


We have drawn on the data from the Towards Maturity 2013-14 Benchmark and worked closely with Jonathan Kettleborough, author of Seeing Eye to Eye, to bring you this paper.

This In-Focus report is free to download thanks to our Ambassador Acteon Communication


Please note that you need to be logged in /registered to download your copy. By downloading this report you agree for your email address to also be shared with Acteon. (Please contact us directly for a copy if you do not wish for your address to be shared).

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