Skillsoft: What’s the most popular business performance improvement that organizations experience with successful elearning?
Laci: Movement on critical business metrics, particularly engagement and retention. It starts with a reduction in training costs, global reach and scalability. In innovative formats, elearning enables peer-to-peer collaboration, moment-of-need knowledge and learner-generated content. Elearning that engages learners and goes beyond traditional online page-turner content improves learner retention and engagement — two factors that improve other critical business metrics including productivity, retention and revenue per head.
Skillsoft: What advice do you have when selling elearning to stakeholders in an organization?
Laci: The value of elearning in the workplace is best measured when its value can be tied to measurable business impact. Whether this link can be made via testing results, assessments, survey questions, key performance indicators or predictive analytics data, the point is that a formal measurement process quantifying the business impact of the elearning is essential. This can be defined as a reduction in operating costs, improvement in engagement scores, decreased turnover in key talent segments or increased sales – regardless of the metric, it indicates real and measurable impact on the business wallet retention. Showing how elearning will have a measurable impact on the business is the shortest path to stakeholder adoption and engagement with elearning as a critical element of any organization’s learning architecture.
Skillsoft: What questions should organizations ask a prospective vendor when considering an elearning purchase?
Laci: Acquiring elearning content and services takes careful planning to ensure that the investment returns a measurable impact on the business. There are a number of elements high-performing organizations consider:
- Number of current users
- Estimated number of users over the next 3-5 years
- Geographic location of users
- Critical content needed to drive achievement of business goals
- Approach to elearning content: hands-on simulation, interactive games, or page turner traditional
- Online learning content
- Multi-media platforms – like audio, video, animation – through which the elearning content needs to present itself
- In-house resources needed to manage the content
- Deployment platform (installed versus cloud)
- Budget available
- Training required
- System reliability expectations
- Content authoring tools needed
- User interactivity
- Language needs
- 24×7 support
Laci Loew is Vice President of Talent Management and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group. Follow her on Twitter at @LaciLoew.