Industry leaders appear to be divided about the correct way to address the need for training professionals to communicate the business impact of learning to the larger organization.
Some feel that the problem is largely caused by technology shortfalls. Experts that hold this perspective call for new and expanded usage of learning technologies, the integration of learning management and performance management systems, and the expansion in the usage of cloud technology.
The second set of training industry thought leaders make the case that failure to communicate the business impact of learning is the result of trainers measuring the wrong things. One research study uncovered an inverse relationship between both what training professionals consider important and what their business partners feel is important. A similar relationship exists with what training professionals measure and what the employees themselves feel needs to be measured in order to demonstrate the impact to the business. Training professionals who subscribe to this position make the case for improved needs analysis, better instructional design, and skill mastery by training and development professionals.
A third approach to solving the problem is one that could be referred to as a balanced approach. Experts such as, Josh Bersin, suggest both a technology integration and improvement in training development needs analysis, and instructional design processes.
There is however no magic solution to the problem of communicating the business impact of training programs. Implementing a pure technology solution would be costly and time-consuming. Process changes and skill upgrades would be less expensive in the short term, but could also take time to get up and running and would also be expensive in the long term as training personnel would need manually to create reports. The balanced approach is perhaps the most reasonable when considering means to communicate the business impact of learning programs.