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How to get bottom line benefit from skills investments

To get the best return on investment for their learning initiatives, businesses need to take the same approach they would to any other element of their operations. This, says G&G Advocacy's CEO, Michael Gullan, means starting with a clearly-defined strategy and objectives.
How to get bottom line benefit from skills investments

It all starts with an understanding of your business goals and objects, says Gullan, and match your learning outcomes to those objectives for your various employees. 
 
“You need to work out how to create different learning paths for different roles in the business to drive specific outcomes and results,” he says. 
 
Doing this means developing a deep understanding of how adults learn and what this means for your training strategy. 
 
“Adults need to understand why they have to learn something and should be given the opportunity to put their theory into practice sooner rather than later. We all learn better by experiencing things than by being instructed. This means adult learning needs to be interactive and engaging. Printouts and PowerPoint presentations don’t cut it, adults learn better by role-playing scenarios and working through simulations,” Gullan adds. 
 
Using a ‘just in time’ rather than ‘just in case’ approach helps here too. Rather than teaching everyone everything they may need, to fulfil a role, teach them what they need to know as they need it so they can apply their new skills and better retain them. 
 
Next up, he states, companies need to consider the learning management platform they plan to use. “The user experience is critical,” he states. “In order to ensure you’re getting the best out of your platform it needs to be designed specifically to address how adults consume content. People absorb information better when delivered in short bursts that match their attention spans. Using a variety of aids like visuals, videos, infographics and the like can help present the content in a way that delivers the greatest meaning to a variety of people with various levels of familiarity with the topic.” 
 
Finally, he says, you must measure learning activity and results, and understand the analytics you get out of your platform.  
 
“Learning without effective evaluation is meaningless,” he comments.   
 
An effective learning strategy should include what the desired outcomes are (objectives) and how those will be measured. Your learning platform needs to give you several key metrics, he says, including: 
  • Tracking learners’ progress and areas where they can improve.

  • Showing how learners engage with content, each other and learning exercises, which will help you understand what works, what doesn’t, and how to optimise your learning programmes.

  • Comparing performance in online learning courses with job performance to determine how effective the training was.

 
“Research has shown that 93% of employees will stay at a company longer when they’re learning and developing. Businesses that approach learning without a clear strategy and defined objectives aren’t just wasting their budget, they’re losing employees because of it,” Gullan adds. “Conversely, well-planned and implemented learning programmes can directly affect employee performance, and, consequently, the business’ bottom line.” 
 
About G&G Advocacy
 
G&G Advocacy was founded out of the need for organisations to provide smart-working digital solutions to learning and training that are aligned with the way people want to access information, learn, acquire knowledge, and develop their skills. 
 
Everything G&G Advocacy does stems from one simple idea: If we design a better experience, we'll get better results. Workplace learning and skills development doesn't need to be boring. G&G Advocacy assists organisations to gain the lead in their sectors by ensuring they deploy key information to develop their staff, learners, advocates, customers, partners, franchises and other external stakeholders with skills and information so they can outperform their competitors and, ultimately, advocate for the organisation’s product or service.
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