Demonstrating Learning's Value: Breaking Barriers To Measuring ROI

Demonstrating Learning's Value: Breaking Barriers To Measuring ROI
Summary: Learning teams are gaining prominence in businesses, with increased investment and expectations. L&D must align goals, gather data, and leverage technology to prove ROI and enhance organizational impact.

Showcase Τhe Impact Οf Learning Αnd Development

According to a LearnUpon survey, learning teams no longer have to fight for a seat at the executive table. [1] Now they're front and center, with businesses seeing their value more than ever before. With this comes more investment in learning (something to be very excited about!), but it also means more expectations. So, what does that mean for learning leaders?

We believe it means potential. With more than 6 in 10 L&D leaders (61%) saying they have a higher budget this year than they've had since 2019, there's an opportunity to spend more on the technology and resources needed to have a substantial impact.

On the other hand, there's the potential for risk. When a business invests in something, it puts learning teams under the microscope, with greater pressure to get their strategies right—and to prove that with solid ROI metrics.

The Challenges Of Measuring ROI For L&D

While it's great that organizations are empowering their learning teams more and more, it can be overwhelming to showcase the impact learning has on an organization. So, what areas should you look at to stop barriers to measurement?

Alignment With Leadership

Over half of the respondents in the research for a LearnUpon ROI guide said their organizations lacked goals for learning, and 41% said they were unsure of what to measure. To create strategic alignment, goals need to come from your organization's leadership, and they need to be clear and actionable. It's crucial that you build a learning strategy that involves all leaders across the organization. This doesn't need to be difficult; make a start by opening up the lines of communication with those in leadership.

Establish Metrics For Success

You'll need to establish primary and secondary metrics. Most will have key external business metrics as primary metrics. These can include:

  • Increased retention
  • Reduction in churn
  • Increased sales/upgrades

More internal-facing outcomes would be secondary metrics, such as:

  • Increased employee engagement/satisfaction
  • Reduction in onboarding times
  • Reduction in support tickets
  • Higher NPS

Look For Relevant Data

For more than 4 in 10 (44%) of the respondents for this ROI guide, a lack of data was the top reason they don't measure ROI. Another 43% cited a lack of resources. It's crucial to connect with other leaders in your organization to help find the data you need. After all, they need to keep track of their own metrics, so it's safe to bet that they're already reporting on what you need.

But remember, getting this data shouldn't be a one-time thing. Make sure you regularly meet team leads and management to catch up (keep that rapport going) and discuss trends and insights they've seen. This will ensure you are not alone in tracking the figures and are assured that you are always up to date on the numbers you need.

What Are The Solutions?

Rethink Your Time

We thoroughly believe your learning team should be spending its valuable time on strategies that provide Return On Investment. And reducing the strain in other ways, like optimizing how you create and deliver your content. Brandon Hall Group said that 2023 is "an opportunity to employ new modalities, technologies, and strategies." [2] This is where things like AI and automation can come in.

With a new world of tools at your fingertips, you can now use generative AI to fast-track course creation and Machine Learning to scale up engaging, personalized learning. And with sophisticated workflow engines in learning solutions quickly becoming the norm, you have the ability to automate day-to-day tasks, like user creation, enrollments, and more. Embracing these technologies helps get you and your team out of the weeds of constantly tackling tactical work. Instead, you're free to invest time in more strategic work that will have an impact on the organization's ROI.

Consistently Track And Assess

Regardless of the organizational goals you're under pressure to meet, the only way to reach them is to build a strategy to measure your learning results. After that, you'll need to implement that strategy and consistently monitor your outcomes. It's all about proving the ROI of your programs.

Return On Investment is a powerful metric, but it's also a measurement that learning leaders continually wrestle with. Proving ROI is more crucial than ever, as companies increasingly expect learning programs to have an impact on key business metrics. We recommend using an ROI formula or calculator specific to your learning goals. In it, you'll find editable formulas for new hire onboarding, sales, customer, and partner training. Start accurately measuring the most powerful metric in your arsenal today and showcase just how crucial Learning and Development is to your organization.


[1] The State of Learning Report

[2] Unveiling Corporate Learning Trends Of 2023: A Deep Dive

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