HELO Explained

Akonia HELO


What do Highly Effective Learning Organisations look like?

They Relentlessly…


If your L&D training budget is under pressure then you’re in the majority.  Recent research shows that:

  • 4 in 10 private and public sector organisations will decrease their training budgets in the next 12 months1
  • 5 in 10 training budgets will remain static during this period1

Akonia will help you to tune your training budget - with cost savings of up 30% - while continuing to deliver the training programmes that are aligned to your business goals and priorities.


Determining and demonstrating VfM and RoI is one of the hardest things to do, therefore it will come as no surprise that as many as 6 out of 7 organisations DO NOT prioritise the measurement of training impact2.

Akonia will help you to understand, qualify and quantify the business requirements that must be achieved through training interventions.

Akonia will help you to measure and articulate the tangible and intangible impact on business performance that the newly developed skill sets, competencies and behaviours are having.


Nearly half3 of L&D managers believe that their administration function offers the best opportunity for cost cutting and improved efficiency, however as it typically only represents approximately a quarter3 of the overall budget there is plenty of scope to improve the execution, efficiency and effectiveness of content development and training delivery through the better use of technology.


Akonia will help you to analyse your existing processes and procedures and map them on to critical paths, eliminate bottlenecks, and remove redundant steps in order to optimise them.



They Proactively…


Begin with the end in mind4 and recognise that the purpose of your training programmes is to ‘plug’ the greatest gaps in skill sets, competencies and behaviours. By doing this you can expect to:

  • boost self-esteem, confidence and motivation
  • foster positive emotions, business relationships and a better working environment
  • achieve higher effectiveness, productivity and staff retention


Akonia will help you to prepare and conduct Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and Skills Gap Analysis (SGA) to identify, map and assess what gaps in skill sets, competencies and behaviours need to be sealed. 


Putting first things first5 allows you to reorganise training programmes in order of which are critical / essential / important to achieving strategic business goals through building skills, competencies and behaviours.  All other programmes should be considered “nice to have” and either dropped or reduced in significance and availability.

On-the-job and formal Instructor-led (ILT) training are still the most prevalent methods of delivery, closely followed by e-learning.  Informal learning is growing in stature as younger generation employees are conversant and comfortable using the internet for learning activities with up to 96%6 educating self, researching or keeping informed.

Akonia is not biased to one delivery method over another, and will work with you to orientate programme delivery to balance the make-up of the organisation and its employees against the available resource and budget constraints.  


Companies struggle to measure the impact of training on business performance. 50%7 of companies track direct employee feedback from training engagements, and only around 30% use any other types of metrics.

Akonia will help you to create a multitude of quantitative and qualitative metrics and benchmark indexes for pre and post training engagement.

Akonia will help you develop longer-term follow-up measures that look at how relevant and effective the skill set, competency and behavioural changes have been on moving the business forward.



They Synergistically…


93%7 of Senior Training Executives expect training to be more aligned with business objectives by becoming more strategic rather than operational in focus.

Nearly 6 in 108 Executives state that building organisational capabilities is a top-three priority for their companies.

However only 33%8 of companies focus their training programmes on building these capabilities and three-quarters8 of Executives don’t think their companies are good at building the capability that is most important.

Akonia will help you to “seek first to understand”9 the corporate vision, mission and strategic business goals; then document and articulate them back until understood. 

This clarification process will enable your L&D organisation to become stronger and be recognised as making a significant contribution to the achievement of the strategic business goals.


Only 4 in 1010 L&D organisations have prepared a written business plan for learning.  Organisations that do have a written business plan are:

  • 18% more effective at partnering with lines of business;
  • 16% more effective at aligning learning with the management, business and departmental needs.


Akonia will help you to prepare a training business plan that realigns the training activities to the management, business and departmental needs for building the most needed capabilities across the company.


6 in 1010 Corporations have a Steering Committee to help keep things on-track.  This is important for keeping the L&D organisation “on its toes” to deliver the training business plan commitments.

Akonia will help you to develop a set of agreed-upon Milestones and Project plan to be included in the training business plan, that together with the Steering Committee, you can track the progress of. Depending upon the importance / urgency of the training priorities the Steering Committee should meet monthly or quarterly.



1CIPD April 2011

2Training Magazine 2010

3TrainingIndustry.com Survey 2008

4Stephen R Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Habit 2

5Stephen R Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Habit 3

6Ruder Finn Intent Index

7IDC – “A look ahead at Learning in 2012”

8McKinsey Global Survey – Building Organisational Capabilities 2010

9Stephen R Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Habit 5

10Bersin & Associates – Business Planning and Governance for Corporate Training 2008