L&D Best Practices

Investment, ROI, KPI… how to measure the impact of training

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Training ROI

Training professionals can sometimes feel defensive when it comes to company training, as their efforts are often seen as an expense that doesn’t always have an obvious profitability. Faced with the difficulty and complexity of evaluating, in monetary terms, the value that training brings, some might shy away from the task. Let’s present things in a new light.

Training as an investment

To invest is a choice. A choice to commit capital, budget, energy, and time in the hopes of a return – even when the outcome, or “payoff”, isn’t immediate.

Investment in training isn’t only financial – and ROI shouldn’t be either. Let’s look at 3 other types of investments to consider:

Personal investment

Invaluable! The learner should see training as an investment in themselves. The clearer this connection, the more efficient the training. The lure of real benefits, with the potential that comes from completing a training program, contributes to a sense of urgency (HILL model) and motivation. This atmosphere is more conducive to increased concentration, commitment, and more efficient learning.

Personal investment can produce a return in the form of skills acquisition, allowing the employee to expand their capacities, productivity and knowledge base. This creates value not only for the individual but also for the company in terms of skillsets.

Collective investment

Essential! The stance of managers and their role in the launch of a training program is crucial. When it comes to implementing change, deploying a strategy, or strengthening values, investment must be collective and supported by management to ensure desired results.

The more synergy you have, the more significant and observable your results: team performance and cohesion, company workflows, and even a reduced rate of errors and failures.

Company investment

At the company level, investment can be viewed as the sum of expenditures – personal (energy), collective (synergy), and financial (strategy). When aligned, the results (ROI) will be exponential!

In effect, to obtain a good return on investment it is necessary to simultaneously mobilize this trifecta: individual / collective / company. The ROI will benefit when all these elements are combined, instead of focusing only on profits.

The best indicators of ROI are those identified at the beginning of the project. The clearer your objectives, and the more useful your dashboard configuration, the easier it will be to prove that your investments are well justified.

In training, and especially in Digital Learning, to refine your approach towards ROI requires alignment with your KPIs.

Digital Learning as a mastery in investing

Today Digital Learning is positioned as the most pertinent ecosystem when we’re looking at the concept of profitability. Notably, it allows for more precise deployment and allocation, by project, by role, or company-wide, for example.

Company level:

Costs are easier to input and trace. The anticipatory budget is more granular and less unpredictable because it is less susceptible to additional expenses – like for travel. Digital Learning should count the cost per capita because it’s more cost-effective and reduces training time by optimizing pedagogy and eliminating the need for travel. Employees usually already have the required materials. The programs are segmented into modules – by pedagogical content – and allow for more connection between the role and the training. As a result, Digital Learning very rarely interferes with productivity. Its rapidity and mode of deployment can guarantee knowledge transfer that’s uniform and at-scale in reduced time, while avoiding loss and hidden costs.

Team level:

Digital Learning is very efficient to strengthen a team, group or company. It carries a dimension of communication necessary for learning, experience and collective experimentation. The training is dispensed uniformly amongst the team. The manager keeps an eye on the current level of investment and impact on the team, and can at any moment change direction or approach to achieve better results.

Individual level:

Digital Learning can contribute to increased learner agency. By investing in themselves and establishing a comfortable rhythm, the learner can spend as much time as desired on subjects of personal interest. He can set the pace in accordance with his workload at any given time. By sharing his learning objectives with his manager and HR, he should feel autonomous but supported. To take an active role in training goals will help him develop a sense of being both valued and valuable.

The complexity of ROI in training is nothing new. It is both normal and expected to ask whether your efforts are cost-effective. But the fundamental question that you must answer to justify investments is this:

What value does Situation B bring in relation to Situation A? Is it worth the investment?

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