Learning and Development Practitioners – Benchmark before 15 July to Improve Your Impact

Did you know it’s “benchmarking season” in Learning and Development?  Every year Towards Maturity take a close look at what learning organisations around the globe are doing and what is driving high performance in these organisations.  While they are constantly working with the data that they gather through their online benchmarking centre, they comprehensively re-examine it annually and issue a new benchmarking report in November. The deadline to complete this year’s benchmark are receive a free personalised report is 15 July.

If you’re ready to get started without reading more use this link to access the benchmark.


Benchmarking is about finding ways to compare your performance and practices with peers.  This allows you to identify improvements, examine how top performing organisations are achieving results and act to improve your own results.

When I was leading an Academy at Coca-Cola Amatil and in my current role helping Qantas with Learning transformation I’ve used three approaches to benchmarking.

Professional Networking

Use existing professional associations and networks to learn about what others are doing. Attend networking events and, if your budget extends to it, conferences.  Find and participate in online forums and communities, especially those where case studies are shared and people talk about how they work.

Develop your own network.  Build relationships with people by interacting with them, discovering common interests, and finding ways to contribute to them.  Ask about their work and be willing to talk about yours.

Use Research

Find relevant research published by others.  If you can’t afford the fees to subscribe to professional research organisations you may find free or low cost summaries or webinars that you can access.  Check the independence of the publishers, and read the fine print about how the research was conducted to inform how you interpret and use the research.

Complete the Towards Maturity Benchmark

Over the past few years I have found the Towards Maturity Benchmark an essential tool to reflect on the effectiveness of the L&D strategy in organisations I work with, help me demonstrate the value and benefit of investments made and to identify tactics to improve the impact of L&D.

After completing data entry in an online benchmarking centre you receive a free Personalised Benchmark Report.  The report shows how you compare with peers (over 600 participants in the 2016 data set).  It provides insights to help you improve specific practices such as defining business need, aligning learning with work context and engaging learners.  It also helps inform decisions about updating your approaches to learning.  The insights are well worth the 45 minutes that it takes to complete the benchmark.

If you have a team, I recommend you include some of them in discussion as you complete the benchmark.  It is a good group reflection activity and can generate high quality debate.  You are then better positioned to include your team in review of the results and get buy-in to improvement plans.  Allow two hours to include others in benchmark completion – a low investment compared to other methods of benchmarking, especially considering the insights provided by the personalised report.

In coming weeks I’ll post about some of the insights I’ve gained using the Towards Maturity benchmark and practical advice on using benchmarking.

2017 is particularly exciting for Australian L&D practitioners as Towards Maturity will publish an Australia specific report.  There is added incentive for us Aussies to complete the benchmark before 15 July.  I encourage you to take the time to complete this valuable exercise.

Get startedhere’s the link to the benchmark.



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