Many organizations view training programs as a cost center. This is especially true for smaller businesses in developing countries like India. Training is the last to get implemented during good times and the first to get cut during bad times. With the advent of better technology and lower training costs, many business owners are now starting to find online training more feasible but a question that is frequently asked is “how do I maximize the return on investment of my online training program?“. In this article, we will look at maximizing training ROI by trying to improve the impact of the training program in an organization.
In order to maximize training ROI, we must first look at what the investment is. The implementation of an online training solution requires investment into such things like:
- Understanding the training needs
- License of the training management software (often called a Learning Management System)
- Creation of the training environment
- Educating personnel on using the software
- Hiring subject matter experts and trainers
- Creating content and uploading it on the software
- Hosting the software
For more information about the costs involved in training, check out our other blog post.
Next, in order to accurately measure the training ROI, we need to define the performance indicators that define success or failure of the training program. In our case, we will look more specifically at the deployment of a next-generation cloud-based hybrid training delivery and management system like Courseplay. It is important to find quantifiable performance indicators in order to facilitate training ROI calculation. Here are the main reasons for the implementation of an online training delivery and management system:
- Cutting overall training costs
- Improving employee qualifications and effectiveness
- Improving employee performance and operational efficiency
- Updating employees with a new business strategy
- Improving the quality of training
- Rolling-out training programs at a faster pace
- Educating more employees in less time
Additional criteria that affect the calculation of training ROI include:
- Industry type: Certain industries with specialized skills like medicine and aviation have a very high cost of training due to the high standards in place. Others, like intricate wood carving, are so specialized that it becomes expensive to find subject matter experts or design a training program that works. These things must be factored in before calculating.
- Size of the company: The more learners you have, the lower the cost gets to train each learner. For example, Courseplay costs a certain amount per user, but if organizations choose to make a bulk license purchase, the cost per user drops pretty quickly. Contact us for more information on bulk purchases.
Based on the key performance indicators and the additional criteria, calculating the positive impact made by the new training program should not be difficult. In order to simplify the calculation, narrow down the KPIs to the top two or three indicators and assign a weight to each one.
The most common prejudices concerning the implementation of an online training system are that the program will not make enough of an impact and that the program will not be monitored sufficiently. This makes organizations to stick to using traditional means of training. This mindset is counterproductive and these issues can be addressed easily.
To maximize impact, the implementation of an online training program should be started with a small group of devoted and enthusiastic people and then incrementally increased to a full-scale implementation. Such an approach is most acceptable as it gives organizations the chance to cheaply reveal and quickly address any shortcomings in the training program. A small training group keeps the cost of mistakes down and prevents large-scale mistakes by occurring by constantly taking feedback and monitoring effectiveness, which happens to be one of the key features of Courseplay.
To sufficiently monitor the training program, the Courseplay reporting feature enables clients to see course completion statistics and individual learner’s progress. This kind of information indicates the perception of the training program in each employees eyes and their performance in each module, thereby indicating the impact made for each employee and reflecting the return on investment in their training.
Low activity, insufficient progress and low effectiveness are a clear signal for making changes. If the online training program doesn’t bring the expected results, there are a number of ways to improve performance and attract the attention of the workforce:
- Communication: Describing the learning benefits of the training program to employees and clearly outlining the qualification development and career rise opportunities allows employees to understand the importance of the training program
- Team-based learning: Social collaboration between learners not only makes the process of learning easy to adopt and less formal but allows knowledge sharing and learning from each other
- Content enrichment: Don’t limit your training programs to text only. Courseplay allows all sorts of multimedia files, links to useful external materials, blogs and forums!
Correctly using, organizing and managing your new training program will not only maximize training ROI, but will increase staff performance, and will make the business process much more effective. Happy learning!