By Kieran King
In the “new normal” economy, many question the ability of learning (and e-learning) to impact real results. As a result, they may pull back on funding, staffing, and sponsorship. This is an understandable course of action for those who are not informed. Those “in the know” recognize an organization’s learning culture can affect critical measures. Bersin & Associates noted in their “Borderless Workplace: Predictions for 2011” that a strong learning culture can positively impact time to market, quality, innovation, productivity, and profitability.
While SkillSoft had hundreds of internally conducted studies that quantified the business impact of its learning, we set out recently to confirm this with an independent third party. We engaged KnowledgeAdvisors, the world’s largest learning analytics firm, to conduct a study to uncover if learning had an impact. What we learned is that learning surely does drive results and that SkillSoft e-learning is an irrefutable driver. The findings of the study can be categorized in four main areas:
1. Positive impact on job performance
SkillSoft’s readily-available learning resources are more immediately applicable to the job, allowing learners to use their new skills quickly. In fact, half of the learners surveyed were able to apply the knowledge they gained through SkillSoft’s solutions within one week and 86% reported they were able to apply the learning within six weeks.
2. Positive impact in critical areas of business performance
Using a Business Results ROI Scorecard, the study also isolated and estimated measurable impact on many business areas, as illustrated in this graph.
The findings also validated that the use of SkillSoft learning can reduce training costs and cycle time.
3. Improved skills and learner confidence
Respondents also found that SkillSoft learning resources helped close skill gaps and build confidence that is essential to high performance.
4. Higher employee satisfaction and increased value in learning resources
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that SkillSoft’s e-learning courseware is valuable and that their impact increases over time. A total of 90% of respondents said they valued having access to SkillSoft’s e-learning resources. A strong majority reported that the solutions were worthwhile for career development as well. Since higher employee satisfaction also correlates to employee engagement and retention, the ability to affect satisfaction with training becomes a critical lever for the talent management field.
We hope this study provides the L&D community with another piece of quantifiable proof as to learning’s impact. We are also pleased to see that it validated the findings of the internal studies we conduct for our clients. Like you, we strive for impact and want to be accountable for results.