When it comes to learning, “maturity” isn’t about going to bed early or eating more fiber. It’s about the level of sophistication of an organization’s learning practices and methods.
How learning practices are delivered, how they grow and develop, how they are tied to broader business objectives, and how they make an impact on learners—these all tie into learning maturity.
In a recent Docebo workshop, Andrea Tucker (Learning & Performance Strategy Manager, Docebo), explored tactical ideas, insights, and recommendations that can unlock an organization’s learning potential and level up their learning game.
The recording of the workshop is available to watch here, but read on to get a quick and helpful overview of its key points:
- How to tell where you are on the learning maturity scale, from operational to strategic.
- Five areas to focus on if you want to level up your organization’s learning maturity.
- How Docebo’s Learning Maturity Assessment Model can help you make these assessments.
The four levels of learning maturity
Organizations tend to fall into one of four levels of learning maturity. Which best describes your organization?
- Level 1 – Operational. The most basic level of learning maturity—and we mean basic. Nothing happens much at this level beyond onboarding and compliance.
- Level 2 – Responsive. This is where a more planned and less fragmented approach to learning begins. Learning practices are focused on responding to common challenges a business may face (e.g., launching a new product necessitates informing and training employees accordingly) though nothing more than that.
- Level 3 – Proactive. At this level, organizations don’t simply respond to current challenges: They anticipate what challenges they will likely face in the future. This is especially pertinent to businesses looking to expand and grow.
- Level 4 – Strategic. When organizations reach this level, they are innovating with their learning practices, integrating them fully as part of wider company culture and strategy.
Even if you think your organization is at Level 1, that’s okay—that means there is so much potential for your business to unlock! And to do just that, we need to look at strategies to level up your learning program.
Fewer than 10% of organizations have reached Level 4 learning maturity.
Exploring the five steps that can level up learning maturity
Each of these five categories connects with a different aspect of learning maturity. By understanding and working on each focus area, an organization can level up its learning environment and culture. We recommend thinking of these categories more like steps in an overarching plan than a pick-and-choose approach.
Align learning initiatives with business goals
What is it?
Business alignment between learning and development (L&D) initiatives and the overall goals of an organization. By aligning business needs with the processes that the L&D department uses, organizations can create a more effective and relevant environment that drives growth, innovation, and success.
First, organizations should engage with their stakeholders to figure out both what their business needs are and what goals they want to work toward. Only then can they work on the next steps: Creating a clear budget and developing a learning map for the program that is connected with the organization’s business needs. Once the business alignment is set, make sure to revisit it at consistent intervals. This will help ensure that the learning map is still relevant. And if it’s not, consider what’s changed and whether a pivot in strategy is needed.
Optimize the tech ecosystem
What is it?
This category evaluates the use and integration of learning technologies, such as learning management systems (LMS), learning experience platforms, and business intelligence (BI) tools. Critically examining tech capabilities and the software ecosystem can allow an organization to create flexible and accessible learning experiences while maintaining efficient workflows and avoiding complexity creep.
Start with an inventory of your existing technologies and systems and collaborate with cross-functional teams within the organization to create an integrated information strategy. Organizations should also have both short- and long-term strategies that focus on their tech ecosystem. This way, overlapping and misaligned uses of tech can be identified and then simplified accordingly. This will also ensure that the user experience (UX) can come first. And remember: Technology is only as good as the team that uses it, so pay careful attention to the challenges facing your support teams.
Empower individuals with personalized learning experiences
What is it?
Simply put, this is about creating an environment that supports learners (and ensuring learners feel they are being supported!). This means not pushing learning content from the top-down, but instead listening to the learners’ needs and acting on their feedback. Besides fostering learner growth and satisfaction, individual empowerment can also create a personalized learning experience (especially important if your organization is also considering how to grow its extended enterprise learning), while also promoting an overall culture of learning and knowledge-sharing.
To have learners feel empowered, first assess and understand their current experience. Identify barriers that can impede their access, ask for their thoughts on the organization’s approach to learning culture, and get enough feedback to create a clear plan that would center UX improvement around personalization, accessibility, and democratization.
This can be more challenging as an organization scales up, but these growing pains can be addressed if planned processes and systems are in place instead of using an ad hoc approach, That’s why organizations should consider a learning platform that can grow with them, with functionalities such as employee control, future and current needs capabilities, and AI-driven content and recommendations.
Develop a content strategy that drives performance
What is it?
A strong content strategy will examine the quality, relevance, and delivery of learning materials within an organization, and take steps to ensure that its learning program is hitting these marks. Is the content engaging for its learners? Is it aligned with the business needs of the organization? These questions (and more) should be addressed by a robust content strategy.
Create a content strategy that addresses these needs: 1) A variety of content types, 2) A scalable content library, and 3) the ability to create meaningful stories. Look at collaborating with other businesses, leveraging well-known experts, and adding digital learning and blended learning content to your training methods. Organizations should also regularly audit their existing learning catalog. By doing so, they can ensure that the learning program has a good mix of technical, functional, and behavioral content that addresses all their learners’ needs, while also providing an opportunity to align the content strategy with the business strategy (for instance, integrating business KPIs).
Harness insight & analytics to continuously improve
What is it?
It’s essential for an organization to be able to measure the impact of its learning initiatives. Through collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data, an organization can see where its learning program needs improvement and where it’s making a tangible difference. And, perhaps most importantly, data can help make clear, data-driven decisions to enhance performance instead of relying on hunches and suppositions.
Know what to measure. An organization may start out with measuring basic L&D activities (e.g. How many sessions? How many learners trained? Did they find the sessions enjoyable?), and then move on to more complex metrics, such as determining whether the learners are applying their new knowledge to the job. Once these metrics are put into practice, then organizations can determine whether the efforts made by work in the four other focus areas—business alignment, technology ecosystem, individual empowerment, and content strategy—are coming to fruition, including what KPIs and what ROI is being attained.
Unlock your learning potential with Docebo’s Learning Maturity Assessment Model
So, how can you see where your organization stands, both with its level of learning maturity and how it can progress to a higher level through the learning maturity categories?
This is where Docebo’s Learning Maturity Assessment Model comes in. Through it, you can perform a self-assessment to measure your learning program against benchmarks related to your company’s learning culture, tech stack, engagement, content strategy, and more.
To see a demonstration of the Learning Maturity Assessment Model in action, don’t forget to check out the full webinar!
(Psst…want to experience the Learning Maturity Assessment Model firsthand, as soon as possible? Talk to us today and we’ll schedule a free demo!)
While each of these categories focus on a different aspect of a learning maturity model, their potential successes are all intertwined. That is to say, you cannot focus on just one category at the expense of another, and a well-balanced approach that considers all five will be more likely to move your organization up.
That said, it’s also crucial to nail down business alignment before any other category. WIthout a solid understanding of how their business needs can be connected with their learning processes, organizations may find they are focusing on and measuring the wrong things—the wrong tech, the wrong content strategy, the wrong analytics—while building their learning programs.
And remember: Pursue progress, not perfection!
There’s always more to learn
Get more insights into how your organization can level up its learning maturity by watching the full recording of the one-hour webinar, Unlocking Your Learning Potential: The Learning Maturity Assessment Workshop.
Here are three key things to know about Docebo:
- Docebo lets you browse thousands of world-class courses and license the content your learners need. Or just create beautiful, effective content yourself with our powerful generative AI tool.
- You can also connect your learners to their team and help empower the experts in your organization. And you can integrate learning into the flow of work and the systems you already use.
- But the real magic is this: A great LMS (like Docebo) uses data to prove the impact of learning. It can show you which courses have the biggest effect on ramp time and retention. It can show you the users and learners who produce the most useful content. And it can deliver personalized learning to every user, so they get a tailored learning experience built just for them—starting from their very first day.