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L&D Maturity Model for the Workplace Learning Organization

By Cristiana , in General , at September 23, 2021

Why are learning and development maturity models important? It is general knowledge that a person’s education can have a significant impact on their life path. Similarly, Learning and Development (learning and development) teams directly affect the short- and long-term success of a company’s business plan.

The area of management science has long been interested in learning how organizations manage their learning and development operations within their workforce. We know that firms can record their training historyand generate stability, repeatability, and hence prediction from models based on the progression of the maturity curve, thanks to much research and assessments.

Research has also found a correlation between a company’s profitability and its learning offer, proving the much-desired return on investment in learning and development.  Learning and development maturity models are currently being used to analyze and improve training management within firms, following the lead of quality management systems.

The Pioneers of the learning and development Maturity Models: From Maslow to Kirkpatrick

Maturity models have a long and illustrious history. They are the subject of dispute within the learning and development community, as does any method that seeks to explain the complexity of reality. Each one has added to our knowledge of how corporate learning affects business performance.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Requirements

This is commonly depicted as a pyramid, is a well-known paradigm that inspired this method. Abraham Maslow developed a model based on insights from prominent psychological theories in the 1940s to depict the many requirements of each human. His theory of motivation was developed based on this.

According to him, five categories of wants propel people: physiological, security, belongingness and love, esteem, and self-actualization. According to Maslow’s model, we can call a company mature if it employs its skills management policies to meet the highest demands of its employees, as depicted in the pyramid.

Because both are concerned with human motivation, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is significant to organizational theory. Understanding what people require — and how those requirements differ — is critical to good management. Some people, for example, go to work primarily for the money, but they also love feeling respected by others and rewarded for their hard work.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of requirements, if the lower need is not met, the higher wants would be ignored. For example, if employees are anxious about losing their jobs, they will be significantly more concerned about their financial well-being and meeting basic demands like paying rent and utilities. However, strong group ties and recognition for good work may be more essential motivators if employees obtain enough cash remuneration and job stability.

Employees can grow irritated if their requirements are not addressed. Individuals may lose motivation and put in less effort if they work hard for a promotion but do not receive the accolades it implies. Furthermore, once a need is met, it no longer serves as a motivator; the next level in the hierarchy of needs will become more significant. Keeping people engaged can appear to be a changing target from the perspective of management. People rarely fit neatly into pyramids or schematics, and their demands are complex and constantly changing.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy, a hypothesis developed in the early 1950s, created a hierarchical classification system for knowledge acquisition. Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and assessment are the six levels.

Unlike the bottom three levels of the pyramid, this taxonomy was updated in the early 2000s, making the three highest levels (analysis, synthesis, and assessment) equal and without hierarchy. Bloom’s model is still a popular teaching method because it allows instructors and trainees to establish learning goals and track progress.

As you progress through the levels, the learning becomes more complex, necessitating further support in the form of a training session, an eLearning course, or later follow-up sessions or job aids. More time, practice, and help are required due to the complexity of the reasoning and the connections that must be made.

Create: It may be how to design an automotive part using a new CAD system. It could be to weigh the unique features of a new tool or system.

Analyze: It may involve comparing the features of various new items and weighing the advantages for your company.

Apply: It could be to make a sale to a consumer using a new tool. It may be necessary to comprehend the new contract language and how it pertains to your position.

Remember that the job aid may containthe information you require and where to get that work assistance.

Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model

Donald Kirkpatrick developed a four-stage training evaluation model in the late 1950s, with each level building on the preceding levels’ knowledge. Level 1 is about assessing a participant’s reactions: how did they react to the training? Level 2 is about evaluating a participant’s learning: what did they learn?

Level 3 determines whether the participants can apply the newly gained skills outside of the training environment: are they capable of doing so? Level 4 pertains to assessing business outcomes. Was it all worthwhile? Because it was utilized to create the first functional training grid for businesses, this model was a watershed moment in the training industry.

In 2010, James and Wendy Kirkpatrick improved the model by adding new elements such as relevance, engagement, confidence, and commitment to the training system. Level 4 now includes assessing outcomes and comparing them to the original goals.

You can determine how effective a training initiative was and how to enhance it in the future by reviewing each level. The methodology, however, isn’t appropriate for all scenarios, and measuring training efficacy with it can be time and resource-intensive, so it should be utilized with caution.


Each of the above three learning and development maturity models is valuable as benchmarks for evaluating training inside a learning organizationand as a good foundation for a more extensive effect assessment.


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