The technological landscape is changing fast, so much so that in the last four years, there is a rise of programming languages previously unheard of. There are at least eight brand new coding languages that are being used since 2013. To be able to keep pace with this rate of change, organizational learning is taking on renewed importance. Organizations are looking at the return on investment (ROI) on learning, i.e., “what are the various parameters to ensure that the ROI in learning is good?”
This is a primary concern of CHROs, CLOs, business leads, delivery heads, and even CTOs.
What does ROI in Learning mean?
Apart from hours spent learning, organizations that are successful in measuring success ask, “How do we go ahead and really create the right capabilities?” and “how do we move people away from single skillsets?”
Organizational learning is not about a single-skill fit; it is about multi-skill development. In the IT sector, this means that people need to know about development, testing, as well as have work experience with the operations teams to understand how the product is being deployed. Gone are the days when an organization could create expertise on a single technology and survive. Multi-learning channels are the success key for tomorrow.
How to approach ROI in Learning?
Organizations spend a lot of money on upskilling, they want their people to make the best use of it. It is possible only when L&D leaders develop an in-depth understanding of learning implementation and their consequences. Leaders must treat learning as a critical function in the growth of the business, and must measure it accordingly. An effective learning approach stems from the following key elements:
1. Create a framework: The organization should be very clear about which business function is critical to the organization. Learning interventions should be related to the business streams that get the organization revenue.
2. Understand the technology requirements: The CLO or L&D team one must understand what are the technology requirements? For example, on digital transformation; the question is how can L&D help employees map their learning? Assessing technology requirements also means reviewing infrastructure and application services needed for effective content delivery.
3. Align with business: The next step is to align these technologies into the core business units. By doing that, an organization is essentially trying to understand an employee in relation to his or her role. For example, if an associate is in retail, what are the current and future skills for success in the role. What is the upskilling and multi-skilling that the employee needs to undergo to ensure better results and better business that’s completely aligned with the goals of the organization? This is one of the key things that help organizations to achieve business success, and therein, learning ROI.
Things to remember
Once the learning framework is designed and deployed, it is equally important to continually evaluate learning effectiveness. Managers should evaluate employees by using available tools like e-learning tools and LMS.
Every organization must know who are going to be the high-performing employees six months down the line. Leaders should be able to tell the kind of pool that you have been able to develop in a particular technology and vertical while aligning these with the employees’ aspirations. The questions that leaders should reflect on is “How do you become a part of the growth and career journey for employees to perform well from an organizational perspective?”
Leaders must ensure that a culture of learning prevails within the organization at all times, and this needs to come from the business. Gone are the days when the CLO alone looked at the learning mandate, today learning should be aligned with business and the behavior has to start from the CEO. Learning cannot be owned only by a certain set of people.
An effective learning framework is the essence of getting a good return on investment. It is important to continuously propagate a culture of learning. ROI is the end product, but it is critical to have a very purposeful learning framework which can be aligned with associates and their business goals and the overall business goals of the organization. Moreover, all this should be measurable, so as to get the right results.