If you've been tasked with building the business case for your learning programs but wonder where to begin, we get it. There are a lot of moving parts, but one of them is the most critical of all: showing leadership the importance of the informal learning programs you want to implement.
Informal learning is a buzzword with good reason. Your employees are already "doing" informal learning on the job every day. Whether they are watching a TED Talk, downloading a podcast or just hopping on Google to figure out how to make something work, informal learning is here to stay.
But now you're tasked with building a high-impact learning strategy. Where does informal learning fit in? We'll dive deep into this topic at our upcoming June 21 webinar, Quantifying the Value of Informal Learning Investments, presented by Saba VP, Product Management David Mennie.
Making the pitch with a solid business case in hand
Getting buy-in from leadership can be tough for "modern" learning programs (otherwise known as informal learning, microlearning and social learning). But if you build your learning strategy around contributing to the following three powerful keys, combined with the ensuing business case for your learning program, then you'll be speaking the C-suite's language.
Here are the three keys that will help you craft a compelling message that your organization's leadership craves.
Key #1: Better employee engagement + retention
Compelling message the C-Suite needs to hear: Informal learning programs create an employee experience that makes people more engaged and want to stay
Employee engagement is high on the list of must-haves for vibrant organizations. Numerous studies show that this very real connection between an employee and the organization has tangible results in increased productivity, more passion for work, lower employee turnover and higher profitability.
Flexible, informal learning programs can be more engaging by their very nature of "just in time" and "just for me." If you've surveyed your employees and discover that engagement scores are dismal, check out the questions you've asked surrounding the ability to learn and develop on the job. If the rankings were poor, informal learning programs are THE best way to get those scores trending upward.
Another angle to add to your business case: let's say your company struggles with retention. People are running for the exits daily. Show your leadership that a flexible, informal learning program is the recipe for stemming the flood of employee departures. The very best people want ongoing development. Otherwise, they'll leave.d
Key #2: Increased productivity
Compelling message the C-Suite needs to hear: Informal learning programs can bump up productivity with well-trained employees
When you're ready to build your business case, make sure to show that learning programs that are well-aligned with business programs can increase productivity in areas of focus. It's well known that replacing people is a big expense as well as a drain on productivity. So, by investing in a solution today, you can predict retention will improve and your efforts to train and develop employees will increase their productivity (as well as their career paths, on-the-job knowledge and hard and soft skills). This focus on performance management is huge for leaders— better-trained people leads to better productivity and output, which impacts other business outcomes. Congrats! Longer-term thinking like this is what the C-suite wants to hear when you present the business case.
Key #3: Decreased costs
Compelling message the C-Suite needs to hear: Moving to a cloud-based solution can reduce costs when compared to using classroom training with "live" instructors or sending employees away for classes
More and more organizations are realizing the cost savings of launching modern learning programs. In-person training is costly and sending teams away for training ratchets up the budget costs even further.
The dynamic appeal and low-costs of modern learning programs offer a fabulous solution. Just-in-time learning can be pushed out quickly to teams or departments without endless iterations that are outdated by the time they debut. Quick videos can be made by anyone in the organization to share subject matter expertise. Collaboration happens online with social sharing, not always in a spendy offsite training center.
With an end result of helping people learn quickly and easily, why shouldn't you use learning technology and programs that can do the job, for less money in the long run?
We hope these three keys help you craft a clear and compelling message about the benefits of your proposed learning programs to the C-suite. Join us for a more in-depth take on this topic June 21 for our upcoming webinar, Quantifying the Value of Informal Learning Investments. See you then!