Employee training and development programmes are crucial to the success of businesses across the world. Since they offer opportunities to the workforce to improve their skills and productivity, organisations invest substantially in these L&D programmes.
However, it is not enough to earmark budgets for the programmes without assessing their impact on the overall business. To ensure that a training programme resonates well with learners and has a strong ROI, it’s necessary to be able to maximise its effectiveness.
In fact, impactful eLearning is more important than ever now when capability development is the buzzword, in an increasingly complex business environment, with rising competition and the existence of ‘digital everything’.
As per the Deloitte and National HRD Network (NHRDN) report titled Future of learning in the wake of COVID-19, companies are coming around to recognising the importance of impactful learning programmes, with nearly 50 per cent of the surveyed organisations admitting to prioritising the crafting of their learning strategy in line with their business strategy, without losing sight of the employee experience.
Here are five ways that will help you maximise the business impact of your L&D programmes in 2021 and beyond:
1. Create a strong base by focusing on L&D and business metrics
While conducting an analysis of the learning programmes, L&D teams need to focus on their learning objectives and the strategy that will help achieve them. Through the process, it is also important to address the larger question of whether your overall business goals have been achieved or not. A combination of L&D metrics and business metrics can help ascertain whether any business was gained from the programme. If there wasn’t any, then you may have to find out more details on the issue. You will also have to focus on picking the right evaluation model that will help you measure the impact of the programmes.
2. Pick the right evaluation model
Determining what kind of evaluation model works for you is a key element. Choosing the right model will make it easier to understand what you will be measuring, how you will be measuring it, and how you will evaluate the outcomes.
Evaluation is also largely connected to the type of training you are trying to measure. For instance, compliance training needs to be looked at from the point of view of reducing errors that cost the company money and PR. On the other hand, a soft skills training programme needs to be evaluated on the basis of changes in behaviour, overall productivity, and success of individual employees.
3. Engage learners before kickstarting training
In order to ensure that employees are on board to invest their time in the training programmes that L&D teams deploy, they first need to be motivated and engaged. It is only when employees can set aside time for their professional development can they be more open to it. They will also be able to learn better if they are engaged.
One way to acquire their buy-in for the training programmes is to send videos with information (possibly by someone from senior management) on why the training programmes are important. Employees can also be encouraged to ask questions so that they are ready to embark on the learning process.
Plethora offers flexible plans that provide the best of learning across all domains to ensure your employees are trained on the core skills your business needs to succeed
4. Conduct a periodic check and showcase value-add to business
Once learners have completed the training programme, you can use the chosen evaluation model to check the impact on the business. The next step is to showcase the value it has brought to the business.
Afterall, the ultimate goal of the training is to help employees as well as the company to grow. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a tab on the metrics. However, it’s important to understand that new programmes may take time to develop and get etched in the fabric of the company. You can check the impact occasionally instead of all the time, giving the training programme some time to set in.
5. Maximise business Impact
When the training programmes start rendering impact, that’s the time to continue and try to maximise that impact. In addition to formal training, learners also need some more resources to help them buttress that learning.
Adding ready-to-use, curated content is one of the best ways to enhance the impact of learning programmes. Content curation enables L&D to offer learners access to rich learning content which they can consume through self-paced learning as per their immediate goals and needs. Ready-to-use courses also offer a variety of tools to enhance engagement, such as social learning, videos, gamification and so on. They are easier for learners to consume in the flow of work.
As an L&D professional, it is up to you to ensure that the impact of the training solution you are leveraging is maximised by evaluating it periodically. This will be the key to helping your organisation save time and money, even while increasing ROI and getting management buy-in.
The author, Amit Gautam is the Founder & CEO of UpsideLMS and Plethora. He is a learning technology enthusiast and a passionate leader. An IIM and NIT alumnus, Gautam is the key idea generator for UpsideLMS & Plethora’s product teams, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for clients and prospects, and a mentor for all the function heads at his company.