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How to Increase ROI on Training Through E-learning

Organizations today are expanding globally and increasingly adopting e-learning to achieve their business goals – be it increasing their profits by selling more, improving operational efficiencies by implementing enterprise-wide ERP systems, or staying compliant by training employees on the relevant laws and policies.

With growing competition and escalating similarities between products and services, organizations need to remain competitive and differentiate themselves as market leaders. The role of training in this pursuit can’t be overlooked.

Given the current of context of expanding territories, multi-cultural, multi-lingual workforce, and huge technological advancements in every sector, e-learning has emerged as the preferred training tool, due to its cost-effectiveness, ease of implementation and simplified scalability. In fact, according to a report by Docebo, the global market for self-paced e-learning was $35.6 billion in 2011. With a five-year compound annual growth rate estimated at around 7.6%, revenues in e-learning are expected to reach around $51.5 billion by 2016.

But just providing e-learning programs to your workforce won’t do the job. You need to ensure
e-learning engages your employees, helps them gain the required knowledge, apply it to their jobs and brings out the desired behavioral change.

Ineffective training costs more considering the development costs and employees’ time spent on it. That brings us to the question – how do we identify which training is effective – and more importantly, how do we maximize the ROI of e-learning training programs?

There are a few tips, which can help you provide highly effective training to your global workforce while maximizing the training ROI.

  1. Make training a part of your organizational culture
  2. Provide role-based training
  3. Provide comprehensive training
  4. Overcome the measurement void

Let’s see how each of these factors will help drive e-learning training initiatives in the right direction and derive the maximum ROI.

Make training a part of your organizational culture

Training will receive employee buy-in only if employees witness the involvement of top management. It has to become an integral part of the organizational culture for it to be embraced by employees. Asking employees to set aside some time for training, having leaderboards to foster a healthy competitive spirit, short online videos of top management/department heads endorsing the merits of the particular training – all such things will go a long way in assuring employees take to e-learning gladly and utilize it to the fullest.

Provide role-based training

Yet another way to ensure training is effective is to provide need-based, role-based training modules to employees. This will go a long way in engaging learners as they will not have to learn what they already know or what is out of the scope of their operations.

Role-based training assumes special importance in ERP and other software applications’ training. Here, developing separate modules that focus on the steps to be executed by each employee group delivers best results.

Providing micro or byte-sized learning modules will allow them to chart their own learning path by selecting the modules they want to focus on. This offers a greater degree of control and thereby ensures maximum knowledge retention and application.

Provide comprehensive training

Training, on any topic, should focus not only on the cognitive part but also on the business part – what the organization aims to achieve by training employees on that particular topic. This will help employees gain a holistic perspective of how the training will benefit them in their individual jobs and the organization as a whole.

Overcome the void

The most effective way of measuring the effectiveness of a training program is by measuring the improvement in employee performance. This is often difficult as judging the change in behavior or in tasks such as handling objections, convincing customers, etc. is not as simple as say counting the number of forms filled correctly. Not all behaviors lend themselves to measurement easily.

In this context, we need to measure the change in knowledge levels of employees. This can be done by conducting pre and post assessments and charting employee results. This will help reveal which programs were effective in improving behavior.

Keep these pointers in mind and ensure you have top management endorsement for your e-learning initiatives. Provide role-based training where pertinent and ensure your training covers cognitive as well as business aspects. These will go a long way in helping employees embrace e-learning to improve their performance. Lastly, gauge the effectiveness of the programs to derive maximum ROI for your global e-learning programs.

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