2023 wasn’t exactly the year we hoped it would be, it was up and down to say the least. A cost-of-living crisis and looming recession have made both living and business conditions incredibly tough, and the general consensus seems to be that an economic storm is brewing.
For businesses, this has led to an increased focus on costs. Specifically, cost savings. According to a recent report, 47% of UK business leaders wanted to ‘reduce operational costs’ in 2023, a figure which is hardly surprising. In these uncertain times, saving money across all areas of the business is not only important, it’s necessary for survival.
The message is clear: prove your worth to the C-Suite, or you’re out. Leaders want to know that business functions are adding value, and for L&D teams who lack the necessary data to inform their learning strategy and demonstrate its success, this could prove a little tricky. So, what does this mean as we move into the new year? Here are three ways that L&D teams can prove their worth in 2024:
- Create learning that’s aligned to business objectives
Corporate training is most effective when it helps employees acquire the skills that address the underlying causes of problems[ii]. The C Suite must feel confident that the L&D team is properly aligned with the needs and direction of the organisation. For this reason, L&D departments must understand the company’s pain points, and align the L&D strategy with overall business goals.
- Measure the impact of that learning
Successful learning programmes result in improved skills such as innovation, knowledge, teamwork and consistency. Demonstrating the reach of this impact requires translating these skills into hard numbers and establishing return on investment (ROI). However, 90% of learning leaders find it challenging or even difficult to demonstrate ROI to the business[iii]. In order to measure ROI, L&D departments need to identify the business challenges, set criteria for measuring success, and baseline the data to demonstrate the impact the learning has had.
- Share those results with the C Suite
The final step in proving the worth of L&D is sharing the results. Rather than simply sharing course completion rates and knowledge check outcomes, L&D teams must answer the question ‘What’s the business impact?’ When learning outcomes are linked to business goals, this question will be easier to answer.
By aligning learning to business objectives, measuring ROI, then sharing these results with the C-Suite, L&D teams are demonstrating the impact learning has on productivity and performance. Ultimately, this helps to prove the department’s worth, and ensures that leaders see L&D as a valued business function.
To find out how Popcorn Learning Media can help you measure the ROI of your L&D activity in 2024, call us on 02380 399 027 or email [email protected] for more information.