One of the biggest trends we’ve seen over the last few years is the increasing numbers of organisations shifting from traditional learning and development methods to e-learning.
According to the experts at Global Market Insights, the e-learning market is expected to see compound annual growth of 21 per cent through to 2027, and will be valued at $1 trillion. Other estimates suggest that the global mobile e-learning market alone will rise in value to $80.1 billion by 2027, while the global e-learning market as a whole will be worth $325 billion within the next four years.
The impact of COVID-19 is going to accelerate this trend even further as more of us move into a hybrid working environment. Line managers, HR and L&D teams are now increasingly geographically remote from the workforces they serve.
Other than the effects of the pandemic, what else is driving this trend? One of the most compelling reasons for moving to e-learning is simply that it is often a more cost effective way for organisations to deliver learning.
IBM is a prominent example of this. After introducing e-learning, IBM reported that their managers were able to consume five times more content at a third of the cost. And that cost saving was spectacular – around $200 million.
Cost efficiency vs. learning efficiency
The savings that businesses can make are potentially huge. But we have a challenge to this. While those IBM managers may have consumed five times more content, how much of that did they actually learn and then usefully apply in their roles?
Our experience is that while many organisations are spending less money by delivering learning digitally, their people are often learning less too. Not enough businesses are running audits around knowledge retention to see how much learning is actually going on. To be clear: we’re not arguing against e-learning at all. Our point is that many organisations are simply investing in it, and then not monitoring the return on that investment.
Why is this happening? Why aren’t businesses supporting their investment in e-learning with a parallel investment in making sure that their learners are actually taking new knowledge on board?
The obstacles to investment
There are a few reasons for this:
1. A belief that training is the same as learning
It isn’t. All too often, organisations are happy simply for training to happen. And yet training should have a clear, measurable outcome – learning – that then translates into tangible performance improvements within the business. Without any evidence that learning has occurred, what does the business actually gain?
2. A belief that a retention solution will be onerous or complex
Businesses are besieged with offers of new systems and processes that will make their organisation run more smoothly or profitably.
Managers are often rightly sceptical, or don’t want to be personally responsible for yet another investment. But knowledge retention is one area where (with the right product) that solution doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.
3. A belief that the science is too complex to explain
Managers need to be able to clearly justify and evidence any solution before spending any money on it. Fortunately, the science behind Cognito is simple to understand, and has been proven time and time again – making it a far easier sell internally.
4. A belief that ROI is hard to prove
How do you prove that the learning retention tool you’ve invested in is paying you back, when there is no recognised ‘industry scale’ to measure improved performance against?
Our take is you can demonstrate ROI in plenty of other ways, as we explained in our recently published White Paper (Download it here) – ‘How to implement knowledge retention and personalisation into your organisation – and why it is simpler to demonstrate benefits and evidence ROI than you may think’.
Can you afford not to measure knowledge retention?
Because of all of these reasons, managers are reluctant to take the plunge and invest in ‘yet another system’. But our solution is different for a number of reasons, making it an easier sell for managers within their organisation:
- Implementation and delivery across multiple devices is simple, not onerous.
- It’s adaptable, can be linked to your KPIs and gives you a clear view of levels of knowledge across your business.
- The learner experience is engaging, with learning delivered, in bite-size, focused elements that are each backed by easy to understand science.
- Our smart AI personalises the learning journey for your people.
- Your employees feel like it is tailored to them, that it is being provided for their development and that it’s in their interest to learn – they feel more engaged with the learning and subsequently with your business.
But what about the thorny question of ROI? Let’s circle back to where we started – the fact that we’re seeing more and more organisations shifting from more costly ‘traditional’ learning models to e-learning.
By making this move, many organisations are making clear financial savings. However businesses aren’t doing enough to make sure that the money they’re now investing in e-learning is having a positive effect where it matters most – in terms of the relevant knowledge that people are retaining and then using to improve their performance in their roles.
Our solution, Cognito, gives you a much clearer sense of the return you’re getting on your investment in e-learning. But what will this return on investment actually look like?
1. Learning retention
The science proves that without some kind of learning retention process, we lose a huge amount of what we were taught – around 70% in 24 hours, and up to 90% in a week.
Simply preventing that loss represents a return on the original investment in training content that has already been made by the organisation.
2. Cost of content
Our solution doesn’t replace your traditional training content, but it is a very cost effective solution to implement. Our AI determines and addresses gaps in knowledge immediately and adapts the learning accordingly – meaning there’s no need for any further large investment in creating new content.
3. Auditing and evidence
Failing to comply with your legal requirements and obligations can cost you both financially and in terms of trust and reputation. Making sure that your people haven’t just ticked the training box and moved on is crucial.
Cognito helps you to ensure that they understand what’s required from them in order to comply, protecting you against any potential compliance issues. In addition, being able to provide evidence of competency can also reduce re-training costs by up to 30%.
Employees find Cognito quick and easy to engage with, thanks to its bite-size approach and gamification. The result is increased participation, more useful data, and a clearer sense of how people are using Cognito and how engaged they are in what they’re being taught.
5. Alignment to strategic KPIs
Training should never happen in isolation – it should always form part of your broader strategy. Cognito makes it easy to tailor content to address specific KPIs or business challenges. You might identify a specific issue – such as complaints – that are costing you a lot of money. Cognito can respond to this challenge with specific questions that will help to address the issue. This kind of tangible impact in turn makes it far easier for you to demonstrate a measurable ROI.
From cost effective to learning effective
By using Cognito, you ensure that you’re turning a cost effective solution – e-learning – into a learning effective one too.
Cognito helps you to develop a coherent, consistent approach to helping your people to learn and develop. It’s saving you money, boosting relevant knowledge and engagement across your organisation and directly impacting your business performance.
We think that’s a compelling argument for investing in the right learning retention solution today. So, give our team a call on 0113 345 6957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. and we will be happy to discuss how we can help.