The Business Impact of Learning and Development Explained

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A superhero hitting the floor causing an earthquake. The cracks resemble different currencies.

Business impact is, very likely, why your job exists. 

Dramatic as this sounds, senior management will have invested in Learning and Development for a reason. They want the training you deliver to impact your organisation. 

However, they don’t want any old impact. The impact needs to land in the areas that matter most to your organisation’s senior leadership

Understanding Your Organisation

To identify the areas of prime importance, consider the following:

  • What is your business mission? 
  • What are your business’s values?
  • What do the leadership seem to value most?

There are some things that all executives care about. It doesn’t really matter what your business does or where it’s based, the following are going to matter to your executives, guaranteed:

  • Revenue impact: how is your training affecting your organisation’s profits?
  • Value impact: does your training help your organisation offer clients better value?
  • Cost-efficiency: is your training helping improve the efficiency of your organisation by reducing unnecessary expenditure?
  • Risk mitigation: every business has risks naturally associated with it, but training can help reduce them. How is yours helping minimise risk?

Like many things in life, business impact often comes back to money. If you keep asking why your training matters, you’ll almost always find that in some way it’s bringing financial value to your organisation. Whether it’s through cost-saving or driving profits. 

This may feel a bit heartless, but it’s important to recognise that money speaks a language senior leadership understand. 

That being said, every business has its own unique mission and set of values. You can use these to tell a story that will speak to your management team. Here are some examples of priorities your executives may have that aren’t financial in nature (even if they still have financial consequences):

  • Environmental impact and sustainability 
  • Customer service
  • Thought leadership and innovation 
  • Brand recognition and reputation

Each business is unique, which means that the list of different priorities you could include is near-limitless. This is why you need to don your deerstalker hat and get to the bottom of ‘the curious case of the executive’s elusive expectations’. Do you need help cracking the impact of your training?

Our very own ROI Guidebook will help you make sense of your return on investment. Even better – it comes with a handy ROI calculator!

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It brings together 16-years of experience in building instructional content, our work with innovative L&D teams and bucketloads of research to form a practical guide for instructional designers.

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