ROI Is About Collaboration, Not Just Money
Many people working in workplace learning misuse or misunderstand the term “return on investment,” or ROI.
Making a financial case for learning technology requires applying ROI to concrete learning investments, which is something that should never be done with actual learning activities.
One topic that keeps coming up is the requests you make for any learning technology.
In the one instance where decision-makers use a reliable ROI estimate, practitioners tend to miss it.
Let’s understand it with an example
An individual opts for getting trained for work at height – post understanding the concepts very clearly, he performs his tasks with extended understanding and thorough learning. What succeeds for the industry is the occurrence of less incidents and injuries at the work at height site.
Performing an ROI calculation doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of education; it should also involve other parties who can benefit the decision-makers who are looking for value.
In this case – the safety professional, his team, and the industry overall.
It takes more than merely proving a tangible asset’s positive cash flow or profitability to conduct a credible ROI estimate.
TO TALK IN BUSINESS – It’s all about striking the right balance between achieving financial and qualitative goals while also satisfying the financial expectations of your stakeholders.
The right balance also involves including people who have an interest in the outcome. Although in your eyes this purchase may be a “learning necessity,” it is an organisational requirement and should involve input from operational areas that have a stake in the learning/buy or who have a personal interest in the outcome.
Also read – support your safety vision via visual communication for your employees
ROI of Educational Technology
Let’s start by applying the proper ROI calculations to the suggested learning investments.
When speaking with operational decision-makers who have had formal training to distinguish between costs and investments, semantics are important.
Making a case for learning technology should be a team effort rather than an individual one.
Any investment in learning technology should not be justified solely by a strong business case. Every task requires collaboration, especially when buying complicated products like technology.
However, for some reason, practitioners frequently think a business case is unnecessary, want to avoid it at all costs, or try to complete it alone without assistance from people who can add substantial depth and value.
There is never a case for going it alone.
Always involve individuals who will benefit from your learning (to get their support) and those with the necessary topic competence who can support your claims. Yes, these partners will grill you with difficult questions.
You want this since the alternative is having decision-makers ask you questions you can’t adequately answer, which would damage your reputation.
To create a compelling business learning technology case, you must include and draw on the expertise of operations department, your IT division and of course, your own learning team (which is the area for which you are accountable or involved)
Operations is typically your internal client—the group that requests your knowledge development skills for employees.
Of course, you’ll complete a thorough needs analysis and skills evaluation, and hopefully match their requirements with their budgetary requirements and performance improvement goals. Additionally, you must create and implement appropriate learning aid in the learning process.
But you oversee this; your client does not.
Additionally, the organisation receives a direct return on its tangible investment. To do this, you must strike a balance between your client’s needs, the organization’s long-term goals, and, of course, the effects that extra assets will have on other operational tasks. You can see that your learning initiative is much more extensive and complex than just your courses.
Watch out for our safety eLearning courses – they are just a right fit for your needs.
The IT department is one group that is frequently overlooked or treated as an afterthought.
After the fact, IT is the hardest group to persuade, and for good reason—your choice will have a direct influence on the organization’s delicate digital infrastructure. It is ideal to involve them as early in the process as possible so that they may easily and effectively contribute to the planning, development, and implementation of your technology requirements.
Gaining their early support for your infrastructure needs has another advantage of reducing any opposition from them or your decision-makers.
Your Upcoming Move
You must realize and accept going ahead that your learning efforts are not an island unto themselves.
Learning is a major operational support task that needs the assistance of numerous additional enabling components to provide value for your end user and ultimately for the organization.
If you want to deliver value and increase your internal credibility, involve the internal subject matter experts who will be happy to assist you in doing so.
So are we!