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Using the Learning Performance Benchmark to shape a hybrid approach to L&D

Directing Lake Macquarie City Councils' post-pandemic learning strategy. 
Industry Sector
Public Sector
Learning Performance Benchmark

The Challenge

Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) wanted to encourage employees to assume agency over their own L&D, especially after COVID forced a rapid shift to remote working.

Luckily, one go-getting L&D practitioner at the Council discovered Mind Tools for Business’ Learning Performance Benchmark (LPB), the results of which proved instrumental in directing the organization’s post-pandemic learning strategy.

The City of Lake Macquarie is a local government area in the Greater Newcastle Area of New South Wales, Australia, with a population of over 200,000. In the wake of COVID, the City Council started its Creating Spaces project, the aim of which is to fortify the Council’s increasingly hybrid approach to work as more and more employees split their time between home and the office.

As part of her 90-day plan upon joining the Council, Organizational Capability specialist Bronwen Bamberger saw the LPB as a great opportunity to review LMCC’s L&D function, especially with regard to Organizational Development. After conversing with our CEO, Executive and Senior Leaders, Bronwen highlighted three key gaps in the Council’s learning strategy, which would go on to form the context for LMCC’s learning maturity score derived from the LPB.

To meet the needs of learners, Lake Macquarie City Council needed to:

  • Modernize its learning strategy, focusing less on traditional F2F while pushing for new ways of learning
  • Prioritize L&D on learning aligned to their organizational strategy and critical capabilities, harness trends in the learning space, while meeting the numerous and stringent compliance requirements placed upon it because of its governmental status
  • Foster an ethos of self-actualization, encouraging and empowering employees to shoulder responsibility for their own L&D, and inculcate in the workforce the belief that they can achieve their goals without having to lean on their organization.

The Solution

A single participation in the LPB proved very constructive for LMCC, sparking intensive discussions about how to better unite their learning and strategy, deliver their training, and separate training from compliance by more closely observing the 70:20:10 approach.

Bronwen worked with a team at Mind Tools for Business to compare LMCC’s data to other organizations', which greatly informed her subsequent considerations for the Council’s L&D strategy, especially with regard to fitting its OD plans into its broader objectives in order to shape LMCC’s post-COVID roadmap and align learning with culture throughout the organization. 

The Learning Performance Benchmark gave our Organizational Capability team serious food for thought. I’d never even considered some of the questions posed in the survey, so it proved a really good assessment, and forced every one of us to stretch our thinking.

The Results

Despite being an Organizational Capability specialist and therefore well versed in benchmarking, Bronwen found the results of LMCC’s LPB surprisingly enlightening.

LMCC’s learning maturity score got her and the team thinking about how they were splitting budgets, prioritizing traditional learning versus self-directed learning, and identifying learning trends in time to deploy them across the Council. 

After taking the LPB, LMCC is now placing greater emphasis on self-directed learning, and tying it more coherently to its capability framework. In so doing, the Organizational Capability team is able to clearly lay out its goals for employees’ self-directed learning, then strategize around them. LMCC benefited from the LPB’s clean, user-friendly interactive dashboard, and found the results invaluable in shaping their L&D strategy—and all after only 10 months. 

LMCC went on to direct L&D teams in neighboring councils to the LPB—and that might be a sign of the times.