May 27, 2016

How can you benefit from benchmarking?

The new Towards Maturity benchmarking season is now open and the company’s MD and founder, Laura Overton, is urging L&D to step forward and take part. “If you need to get fit for the future of learning, we’re here to help!” she says.

As most of us in the L&D/HR community already know, Towards Maturity has been offering benchmarking services since 2003. Organisations who go through the benchmarking process gain really important data and insights into how they are performing and how that compares to their competitors. Not only that, but Towards Maturity has also acted as a catalyst for change in L&D and HR. It uses the evidence and stories it gathers from participants to inform the wider community about how the sector is performing, where it’s going, what the key trends are, where the top performers are and where change needs to happen.

Benchmarking is such a good opportunity for L&D professionals to reflect on how their team is performing, establish what is working and what isn’t. Where are the success stories? What is driving those successes? Where are the blockages and what is causing them? All benchmarking participants are asked questions, such as how well they are implementing learning technologies across six work streams. At the end of it, participants receive a Personalised Benchmark Report, with results such as the impact learning technologies are having on the business and employees.

In today’s fast-paced, constantly changing world, L&D leaders need all the help they can get to ensure their L&D provision is up to date, up to speed and delivering results.

Also, the ability to look around and see what other organisations are doing, how they are doing it and what benefits it brings them is also really valuable. Towards Maturity highlights what it calls the Top Deck, those organisations that are really pushing forward the learning agenda with modern learning strategies and are enjoying the results.

Towards Maturity’s benchmarking helps organisations look forward. What are the current and emerging trends? How are companies preparing for the future of learning? What learning technologies are really delivering results, how and why? Participants use the benchmarking process to assess and analyse current goals and strategies going forward.

As Towards Maturity ambassadors, we at DPG really support the benchmarking process. We think it is an excellent resource, for individuals, for organisations and for the L&D/HR community as a whole. We think it is really important that we encourage our customers to benchmark as we know it will give them great feedback on their current L&D provision and what areas they need to work on, how and why. We provide L&D qualifications from foundation level to advanced level and we think benchmarking offers benefits every step of the way. It can hugely influence L&D strategy and it supports learning and performance in so many areas of L&D. It gets L&D professionals thinking in the right way, shows them a route for change and what tools and techniques will assist in the journey there.

Over the years that Towards Maturity has been running its benchmarking services it has identified important gaps in L&D capability. DPG, in conjunction with the CIPD, has created a wide range of development solutions that help plug those gaps and have improved the performance of many of the highest performing L&D teams.

Let’s look back to the most recent benchmarking findings, those from Towards Maturity’s research 2015-16. Some of the key takeaways from its report ‘Embracing Change. Improving Performance of Business, Individuals and the L&D Team’, were that L&D has high aspirations and wants to impact on the business, but is not yet effecting change. It found that over two thirds (70%) of L&D teams were failing to improve business productivity. There was plenty more research, some of which is detailed in a previous post.

As you can see, we can’t recommend benchmarking highly enough. Not just because we are ambassadors for Towards Maturity, but because we know that it really does help L&D professionals and departments create modern learning strategies. And because it helps the L&D profession as a whole.

What you need to know:
– It’s an annual, online study
– It takes an hour to complete
– You will receive a Personalised Benchmark Report
– It is totally confidential
– The questions cover six workstreams

Visit Towards Maturity’s website to find out more:
http://www.towardsmaturity.org/static/benchmark/