5 ways to convince your boss to buy an elearning authoring tool

Struggling to get your business case for in-house elearning tools off the ground? Here are five core arguments that might help convince budget holders that elearning authoring tools are well worth the investment – for everyone. It’s not just about cutting costs, especially if you go for collaborative tools that foster employee-powered sharing.

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1. Share top performers’ know-how, before it disappears

“Knowledge has left the building,” said Elvis (or was it Elvis who left?). Either way, businesses are at risk of losing knowledge and skills built up over years. Millions of Baby Boomers are set to retire over the coming years, leaving many businesses in danger of losing talent on a daily basis. Help spread the word faster and wider through collaborative authoring platforms that empower mentors and experts to share what they know, what they do and how – in a format that is modern, effective and multi-device.  Plus, you get to keep this information, re-use it, translate it or adapt it.


2. Deal with needs and crises – fast

The pace of change for businesses is lightning fast, with emerging technologies driving global changes in the way we shop, buy, sell, consume, compete, work and communicate together. When an opportunity or problem hits your business, how prepared are you to step up to the challenge? Whether it’s dealing with cyber-attacks, beating competitors to new markets, or needing to meet new regulations, speed matters.

Often, a new challenge needs more than just quick communications. It calls for super-fast new skills and adapted ways of working. Yes, you’ll need team meetings and messages communicated from the top.  You can then have experts jump onto your authoring tool to deliver detailed action plans to individual groups, quickly, wherever they are and on any device. That’s right: a big benefit of modern tools is their ability to deliver quick personalized learning.

Efficient learning that’s adapted to individual needs is likely to make more difference than a giant, general presentation to all. And, if it’s a cloud-based authoring tool, you can then update or add to the messaging in seconds as the response unfolds. This is something that’s not easy or possible to do if you don’t own the tool.

3. Cut costs of outsourcing

The classic argument – but here it is with a modern twist, where you don’t have to choose out- or in-house. It’s likely you will always have projects that need to be outsourced if they require specialist learning or media design skills.

By investing in a smart cloud-based authoring tool, you give yourself the options as to when to build in-house, and when to outsource. The added bonus is that your contractors can create content in the same tool.

Choose a tool wisely, and you can then cut costs through:

  • duplicating and re-using pages or whole projects across your entire team
  • an in-built assets library where you can re-use assets created by anyone, on any project
  • translating variations of a master project without the need to re-create projects from scratch, in different languages
  • streamlining the review process with tools that have in-built review and comments features. Save costly communication chains between production teams, inside and outside your organization
  • direct editing, where you have internal experts make edits directly to the content via your shared tool


4. Enable in-house collaboration via technology that is really good for business

There’s a lot of talk about happy employees = happy business. But it’s more than management sharing the chocolate eggs at Easter time. Brand Learning’s excellent study on what makes businesses grow or stagnate pinpoints employee involvement as one of three vital ingredients in business growth. This is involvement in their own development, and in the growth and improvement of the business itself.

In separate studies into highly collaborative organizations from Harvard Business Review, Accenture, Deloitte and Forbes, we find collaborative tools are the force behind many organizations’ success:

“Companies in leading sectors have workforces that are 13 times more digitally engaged than the rest of the economy” HBR

Bringing people together behind common goals, and empowering people to make a difference both to their own development and that of others is a key driver of productivity, innovation, retention and overall business growth.

So, there’s a big argument for investing in cloud-based, collaborative authoring and communication tools. These tools help make the inevitable sharing that goes on in companies more efficient, and more global. There’s more fodder on embracing employee-driven learning here.

Tip: Look to tools that not only empower employees to create learning content, but open the doors to letting employees review and comment on the content created for them.

5. Employees want relevant, mobile content

In this infographic profile of modern learners, it’s clear that employees want learning content that is relevant, self-paced, and useable on any device they want. The majority of learners access workplace learning content on their own devices, and learn at a point of need or outside the workplace – at home or on their commute.


So, if you’re not delivering meaningful, mobile workplace learning content to them, what are learners accessing? Anything they can get hold of online, via YouTube and social forums. What might this say for the ROI of your formal learning products?

“Despite the strong shift toward employee-centric learning, many learning and development organizations are still struggling with internally focused and outdated platforms and static learning approaches…Mobile, social, and web-based platforms that can deliver on-demand learning content are “must-have” capabilities.” – Deloitte: Global Human Capital Trends 2016

With 70% of learners rating online learning as having a positive impact on their job performance, you can’t afford not to move with the times. Investing in modern, multi-device online learning makes sense.

But play it smart, and look to tools that enable:

  • Relevance over quantity: Learners find or are served relevant, personalized and adaptive learning content fit for their performance needs, right there and then (i.e. you may start to win over random Google searches!).
  • Two-way conversations: You can seek feedback and comments on the content, and run surveys and diagnostics upfront so you can design for particular needs.
  • Multi-faceted design approaches: You can’t afford to plump for technology that doesn’t give you breadth of form, especially when you’re competing with all that’s digital out there. Use everything from one-page performance support resources and a simple video platform to micro-learning nuggets, social-polling, interactive challenges, games and full-blown certified development journeys.
  • Data-led decisions: Ensure you have live data-dashboards at your fingertips that show you how learners engage with your content and answer social polls, questionnaires and challenges, as well as key trends such as location and devices used. Knowledge is power; without getting a grip on how your content is doing, you can’t improve or keep up with the fast paced changes in learner trends.


A snapshot of one of Elucidat’s built-in Analytics Dashboards

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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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