As long as there have been employees, there have been employee training programs. Before the printing press made it practical to mass produce copies of Ye Olde Employee Handbook (or fliers announcing the company BBQ and jousting contest) managers relied on on-the-job training and apprenticeships. Then, the industrial revolution brought factory schools and classroom training; and the information age brought the internet and the ability to train employees online with online learning platforms.
Many modern companies have adopted an online learning platform to increase flexibility, effectiveness, and access to information, but if yours hasn’t, how can you measure the potential return on investment (ROI)?
Cost savings analysis
The up-front costs associated with implementing online learning and developing online courses tend to be higher than for traditional, classroom training. Unfortunately, this deters many managers from updating their training programs and they end up sticking with the same old handouts and PowerPoint presentations.
But to accurately calculate costs for face-to-face training, you need to consider the cost of travel, stipends, meals, hotel rooms, and, of course, your trainers. In this context, online courses delivered via online learning can offer substantial savings. But even when training is done in-house and travel costs aren’t a factor, online learning can help save money by eliminating the cost of hiring a trainer for every session. This basic level of cost savings is essential to calculating the ROI.
An online learning platform provides powerful reporting and analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your training program. In addition to monitoring course completion rates to see which employees enrolled in and passed which courses, you can administer surveys to collect employee feedback about the quality of your courses and to find out which topics employees would like to learn more about.
Having the ability to focus on what is or isn’t working—and to adapt quickly—is a major advantage of online learning over traditional, classroom instruction. From a financial standpoint, access to data can help make your training program more efficient and effective.
The need to adapt
In the rapidly-changing marketplace, online training delivered anytime, anywhere via online learning enables new employees to contribute faster and to continually adapt. And as a company’s headcount increases, the per-course and per-person cost of an online training program rapidly decreases. So, when you consider the ROI of online learning, look beyond the initial investment to calculate what your company will save, as well as what your employees will gain, over time.