Fret Not: Proving Business Value For Learning Is Easier Than You Think

As L&D teams and training providers come under increasing pressure to prove their relevance and value, evaluation has returned as a hot topic. The problem is, it’s not easy, or we’d all be doing it already, right? Fret not. Much of it is right under your nose, and you can tell a story about it in 5 easy steps.

evaluation elearning business

The pressure is on to prove real value

Modern learning habits are quite different from what they were just 5 or 10 years ago, with employees accessing learning and performance support on their own devices, on the move, and, increasingly, at a point of need. Centrally provided learning content is competing with what’s available on Google, YouTube, and across social networks.

Despite employees being surrounded by content 24/7, reports of vital talent gaps and panics around in-house leadership capabilities that will see businesses in good stead for the future are on the rise. Businesses are under increasing pressure to perform faster and better in increasingly global, competitive, and volatile environments.

All eyes on L&D then?

eyes on learning

It’s no wonder we are hearing multiple reports of L&D teams and training providers being under pressure to prove their value to both business leaders and learners. Talent and performance gaps must be closed. We need to build skills constantly for the future.

Learning and development interventions need to be not only relevant and useful to learners but also deliver on core business performance goals—and prove it.

Hasn’t this always been the case?

In part, yes. Performance improvements have always been the goal, right? Driving improvements in customer service, sales stats, compliance, safety records, data breaches, error rates, productivity, and profits are all bread and butter goals for corporate learning—or at least they should be.

Part of the problem is that, even if we have been delivering on these results, as an industry, we haven’t been great at measuring it. We’ve created our own data void.

Failing to measure up

failing measure up

Evaluation is cited constantly as a must-do. Towards Maturity’s 2016 report “Preparing for the Future of Learning,” says 97% of L&D teams rate evaluation and data analytics as important for the future. And yet, while we’re pretty good at basic level “happy sheets,” only 17% of L&D leaders say they measure agreed-upon business KPIs.

CIPD’s Learning and Development report shows that the harder or more important the measure—i.e., showing real performance improvements as a result of learning interventions—the less we do it.

Meanwhile, learners are generating their own data and trends.

By voting with their feet (or is that fingers?) learners are generating their own stories about what’s useful and relevant. As they pick and choose learning and support resources and advice to help them—and share what they are using with others—they are creating trends and generating data all the time. Hence, an abundance of data exists.

The question is, are L&D departments tracking this data and learning from it?

Tracking learner data—such as devices used, for what, and for how long—is a rich source of insight that can guide your own learning technology strategy. Elucidat has a built-in analytics tool that can report on much of this for you, saving you the legwork.

Notch up your analysis, and you can look for correlations between these trends and performance improvements.

Want to learn more?

In our new guide, How to Deliver and Prove the Business Value of Your elearning, we outline 5 simple steps to help you be the learning team that’s aligned to trends and needs and is able to tell a story about how you’re meeting them.

It’s as much about communication and collaboration as it is about analytics.

Related: 5 Ways to Ensure Your Learning Is Relevant and Useful.

Steve Penfold

Steve Penfold

Steve Penfold is the Chief Executive of Elucidat. He helps large companies and training providers speed up and simplify their elearning authoring.
Steve Penfold

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