elearning budget

It’s the final stretch of Q4 and most businesses are trying to run out the clock while staying on budget. We always have a few companies reach out to us, as they need to use their eLearning budget or lose it for the following year. Here’s how we advise them to maximize their eLearning budget to get the biggest return on investment.

The Bucket Strategy for eLearning Spending

1.eLearning and Onboarding:

We believe that an eLearning onboarding process is a fantastic short and long-term investment. If new hire training is done right, they will have all the tools they need to do their job effectively and get started immediately, cutting down on costly mistakes and wasted hours. Your strategy for employee retention begins the moment new hires step through your door. Having an eLearning onboarding is a wise long-term investment into employee retention.  

One of the best examples of this is Godiva Chocolatier, who asked us to help with their new hire sales associate training. We blended shoulder-to-shoulder training with mLearning curriculum to create both a foundational and an ongoing learning path. This eLearning has won seven awards in 2016-2017. One employee wrote, “It’s simple and easy to navigate and has everything a new chocolatier would need to be successful in their new role.”

For MillerCoors, we designed a fun and engaging onboarding eLearning that would help new hires understand all of the internal departments and how they work together. This eLearning aided in establishing a company culture of connection and collaboration and informed new hires about all of their resources within the company to better do their jobs.

2. eLearning to Spread Product Knowledge:

Having educated, authoritative salespeople is key in keeping customers engaged and selling the product. Spending your eLearning budget to spread product knowledge is a very measurable return on investment.

Petco wanted their store associates, or Petco partners, to better learn about the products the partners would personally recommend to customers who had specific needs for their pets. We designed very short on-demand courses, as they could be crafted to be scenario-based. Petco partners got better at understanding how to share product stories with customers and as a result, sales and customer satisfaction increased.

We learned when training is interactive with products that our employees already love and use at home, we see a great increase in partners sharing stories to help close the sale.  

We advise clients to move away from pamphlets and physical materials to digital resources and training courses not only to save countless dollars on paper but to help employees and customers get the information they need when they need it. MAC cosmetics saved thousands on paper costs by moving their bulky Product Knowledge Manual into an intranet site that we designed for them. Employees could access information about the products while in the stores. Just like with Petco, sales and customer satisfaction increased and they saved on paper.

3. eLearning to Affect Company Culture and Change Management:

If you have the budget, investing in your company culture through learning materials might just be one of the best investments you can make for the overall health of your company. It’s one thing to have your mission, vision and core beliefs on a wall in your office, but it’s another to have them live in a learning experience that your employees can understand and relate to their daily work.

Godiva, after we launched the onboarding eLearning, came back to ELM to create learning around how to have conversations with employees in the midst of change. Change management is tricky once you move past the initial excitement and reality sets in. By investing in an eLearning that guides employees through the change management curve, Godiva was able to make real and lasting positive strides towards their organizational goals.

4. eLearning for Leadership Training:

As of 2015, more than one-in-three workers are millennial, meaning that generation makes up the bulk of the American workforce. The millennial generation significantly outnumbers the Boomers, making them the largest generation in history. With the Boomers on the fast track to retirement, leadership training for a multigenerational workplace is incredibly important. While eLearning for leadership training is certainly a long-term investment, for the short term, leadership training help retain millennials in the workplace.

This Forbes article about succession planning contains some eye-opening statistics about how board members aren’t planning for their succession and neither are CEOs, even five years out! If Boomers are retiring and Gen Xers are in the minority, succession planning needs to start by training up leaders ten or twenty years out. ELM believes in leadership training so passionately that we’ve designed our own course called Positive Leader.

5. eLearning for Diversity and Inclusion:

Given the times and all that is happening in the world, we can’t think of a better use of the eLearning budget than to educate employees on workplace diversity. Our client, Omnicom Media Group, was using an online course called Diversity 101, but they wanted to see better retention and application. We worked with them to design a digital, interactive course to really engage learners and make it fun.

Diversity training shouldn’t be an afterthought or done solely to mitigate risk, but rather is a corporate responsibility as we try to create a more accepting, open-minded world. Investing your eLearning budget into diversity training is a conscious, civic-minded decision that affects corporate culture positively for the long term.

By investing your eLearning budget into one or more of these key areas, or buckets, you will see a return on that investment and a rationale for prioritizing your eLearning.

Ready to create the greatest impact possible with your current elearning budget? Contact our team today.