Maximizing eLearning ROI: The Cost-Saving Power of Online Employee Training
Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies use eLearning to train and upskill their employees, and not surprisingly – eLearning ROI or return on investment is high, even if it’s hard to measure at the beginning.
It’s because eLearning allows you to eliminate the need for in-person trainers and instead reuse the recorded training over and over again. This article, by eLearning Partners, covers how you can maximize your eLearning ROI to take this benefit to the next level.
Understanding the Importance of eLearning for ROI
Before diving into the ways you can maximize your eLearning ROI, let’s cover the benefits eLearning provides for your business:
Trainers create a program once, with no need to repeat the training for every employee.
Trainers can focus on other responsibilities.
Trainers can answer questions from more trainees as they will not have to provide basic information.
The ability to scale up training as your company grows.
It allows for rolling training so that employees can begin training at any time.
It eliminates the loss of knowledge from a trainer leaving the company.
Trainees can choose their pace, customizing the training to fit their learning style and improving gained knowledge.
Employees are more satisfied with their jobs and onboarding, improving employee retention.
Employees stay more engaged, improving retention.
It improves your team’s productivity by improving their knowledge and limiting time spent training.
While most eLearning will provide these benefits, the more thought you put into the online training, the better your return on investment — and the level of knowledge your team gains — will be.
The Best Practices to Maximize Your eLearning ROI
#1. Decide What Challenges to Address Via eLearning
A simple method of maximizing the ROI for eLearning is to focus your efforts on the topics that are most likely to improve your return on investment. These will usually be the biggest challenges that your team is facing.
For example, training could address one particularly complex part of your daily processes. This type of training can avoid errors during the process and prevent the need for employees to interrupt others to ask for guidance, which would disturb all parties involved.
Another common topic of eLearning is introducing new processes and systems. Perhaps your company just streamlined the sales process to boost efficiency and productivity. Or maybe you just introduced a new type of software to improve information access. You will need to train your employees on these new processes or tools.
#2. Decide How to Measure eLearning ROI
It should go without saying that you can’t maximize a metric without knowing exactly what it tracks. So, you need to decide exactly what you mean by return on investment for eLearning. As with any other goal, ensure it is clear and measurable. Make sure to correlate your eLearning data with measurable business data.
For example, you can correlate the average number of training hours of each employee with their sales performance. Or you can correlate employee performance with how well they score on tests included in the training.
As you decide on your eLearning ROI goals, most metrics will fit within one of the following categories:
Learning impact and results: This type of metric looks at the business’s overall results, taking a high-level approach to evaluate ROI.
Knowledge: This metric focuses on what specifically was learned, whether it is a skill, knowledge, attitude, or something else.
Behavior change: This metric has supervisors look at how trainees use their new knowledge and skills.
Trainee reaction: This type of metric looks at how trainees feel about the course, including whether they were engaged in the lessons and enjoyed them.
Examples of measurable goals you can track for eLearning include:
Reduce IT tickets.
Reduce onboarding time.
Improve customer satisfaction.
No matter which goal you set, be sure that it is measurable and achievable.
#3. Account for Costs
Once you have your goals and metrics, it is time to start measuring them so you can calculate your ROI. First, you will have to consider all of the costs associated with creating and implementing eLearning content.
Some of the most important ones include the costs of:
Hiring an eLearning service to create the program.
Having an internal team takes time away from other tasks to create the eLearning program.
Time spent developing goals for eLearning.
The platform that you use to create and host the eLearning program.
Changing to a new training system.
Disruption of your personnel’s activities during the transition.
#4. Create a Culture of Learning
Make it a point to create an atmosphere within your company culture that encourages learning.
This type of culture should highlight the benefits of learning, both for individual career growth and for the company as a whole.
A successful culture of learning will also involve everyone. Those at every level of the organization, from C-suite to entry-level positions, will always strive to learn more.
Even if the topics are different, if regular employees see executives constantly striving to learn new things, they will follow suit.
#5. Get Initial Feedback
Whether you train your team online or in person, you should always get feedback before fully launching your new program. Ideally, you will talk to your learners before starting to design the course, as this will let you address their biggest challenges.
You should also periodically check in with your learners as you develop the course to confirm that you are on the right track. Then, when you finish the course, have a smaller group of learners complete it.
Ask them for feedback and be receptive to what they have to say, both positive and negative. From there, adjust the course as necessary and confirm that any concerns were addressed.
#6. Continue Testing and Improving
Even after you launch your eLearning training, continue getting feedback from learners. This will allow you to improve your eLearning course and remain competitive constantly.
Evaluate that feedback and look for patterns. For example, if a single learner brings up one detail, it may not be worth changing or even be more than a personal preference. But if half of your learners have the same concern, you may want to think of another way to present the topic.
#7. Use Surveys to Gauge Effectiveness
In addition to helping you spot areas for improvement in your eLearning, surveys and other types of feedback can also help you track the effectiveness of a training program. This can be as simple as having your learners take an assessment before and after the program.
Or you can have supervisors and executives rate how effective initiatives are and how knowledgeable employees are before and after you implement the new eLearning program.
eLearning makes more efficient use of your company’s resources, boosting your ROI. Any time you evaluate your eLearning ROI, be sure to have clear goals and metrics in mind, such as a boost to sales or how long a task takes employees to complete.
To maximize your ROI, get feedback from trainees and test your eLearning program with a smaller group before fully launching it. You should also create a culture of learning, as this will encourage your team to engage with eLearning so they get more out of the course.
Jonny Havey holds an MBA from the University of Denver and two bachelor’s degrees in film studies and production and accounting. He is a Co-Founder of eLearning Partners — a top-rated training video production company in Denver, Colorado. During the last decade, Jonny and his team launched eLearning programs 7x faster than the industry average with 2x learner engagement. Jonny consulted and led eLearning development for notable companies such as Disney, CoStar, World Health Organization, Modernblkgirl, Urban Ed Academy, CDC, WeWork, GeoTol, and InitiativeOne.