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Positive feedback in learning is not achieving business outcomes

We have been hearing a lot about learning and development functions being critical to achieving business outcomes. To my surprise, we often mistakenly project positive feedback to be business outcomes. In many cases, internal learning and development teams too regard positive feedback as learning success.

Positive feedback does not equal business impact.

Learner satisfaction surveys and feedback from line leaders are usability and satisfaction feedback collected to gauge the ease and engagement of individual learning interventions. To ensure value is always delivered, learning and development teams must understand and focus on the enablers of business impact. Both internal learning teams and learning partners need to avoid misinterpreting line satisfaction with learning success.

So what are the enablers of business impact? How is their impact rated on business outcomes?

This is no secret. There are four key enablers of business impact.

  1. Learning and development team capabilities
  2. Learning strategy
  3. Learning framework and processes
  4. Learning tools and resources

learning-impact-enablersLearning and development leaders must recognize the fact that empowering L&D capabilities has the maximum impact on business outcomes. Processes and tools are important but support components. This changes how companies should recruit their learning and development staff or even learning partners. A learning partner that can prove to be a learning advisor suddenly becomes far more important. This speaks of a learning partner where every member is an active contributor the achievement of business outcomes. There is simply no room for skill or personnel redundancy. It won’t be a bad idea to ask a few questions to your L&D team or your learning partner.

  • How are your learning interventions targeting high-impact activities and behaviors?
  • How are you influencing and challenging the interventions you are developing or delivering?
  • How are you bridging the knowing- doing gap?
  • Can you demonstrate client-specific business acumen in your deliverables?

About B (Ben) Nayak

Ben is a customer-first professional with 18 years of expertise in delivering highly successful learning and development operations. Ben believes that L&D expertise is only half the advantage without subject matter expertise. Ben founded Forward Eye with an goal to deliver cross-pollinized expertise across the CLO, CMO and CTO teams. He loves contributing to the industry fraternity by participating as a Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board Member and Learning Elite Judge.
B (Ben) NayakPositive feedback in learning is not achieving business outcomes
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