Join Ajay Pangarkar for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining learning as a business activity, part of Gaining Internal Buy-In for Elearning Training.
- As a trainer, have you ever been asked, "What will your learning effort do for us?" Or maybe, "What do you require financially?" Or, "Why do you need the money?" Let's get one thing out of the way. Training is a business activity. The sooner you embrace this fact, the more knowledgeable you'll become to address specific business needs. There are two primary business areas that your training efforts impact. First, performance alignment.
Basically, how your training contributes to improving performance. And second, financial accountability. How you'll put an organization's money to use. First, stakeholders expect training to make people more productive and efficient. Ultimately, their goal is to increase profitability. Recently, my team helped a production unit reduce product defects by 25%. The training team quickly identified and closed the knowledge gaps among specific production steps.
This saved the company close to $300,000 in the first year of production. The second business area that your training efforts impact is financial accountability. There are two elements to financial accountability. One is profitability. How your training will impact the bottom line. This impacts every training practitioner and training activity in some way. Two, their training investments.
How you, the trainer, will use the funding to support the training function. Of course, in most cases, trainers aren't financial experts. But successful trainers deal with financial accountability by developing relationships with their financial and operational colleagues. These partners help you make a business case. This means they help you discover how training fits into a business decision, and its financial influence.
Working together allows you to tie in the qualitative value of the training with the quantitative business outcomes. In one instance, a client asked me to help them develop a business case for a learning management system investment. We outlined key elements for this capital investment decision, including the amount required, the life cycle expenditures, and the business utility. This illustrated how accessing the LMS in a timely manner would improve employees' work performance.
It's true that this can be very overwhelming. But if you're serious about proving how training contributes to organizational effectiveness, then you must treat the training function with the business respect it deserves. Always keep in mind that the training function is a business activity, within the business, affecting business outcomes.
- Defining learning as a business activity
- Identifying the three primary stakeholders
- Answering questions from stakeholders
- Addressing operational concerns
- Leveraging RADAR to support elearning
- Overcoming challenges