Learning and development managers all over the world now understand very well that implementing digital learning strategies like eLearning and mobile learning is the way to go if they want their organizations to stay relevant and have a competitive advantage over other organizations. However, in most organizations it is not up to the L&D manager to decide whether their organization should embrace digital learning or not. This decision rests with the stakeholders of the organization. Stakeholders are more concerned with how any learning methodology is going to help their organization achieve its business objectives and grow, in addition to the investment it will require. Thus, if L&D managers want their organization to grow and prosper in modern times, they need to make a convincing case to the stakeholders of their organization to let them implement digital learning measures, one which aligns with the objectives of the stakeholders. But how to do that? Don’t worry. This article discusses a number of cases you can put forward to convince them.
- Explain How It Will Boost Business
The prime concern of a stakeholder is to grow their business, which is why they don’t say yes to any new investment in business easily, until they’re sure that it will benefit their business. Begin by explaining that digital learning is employee training, which it is. Then, explain how this training is going to affect business, which is by improving employee productivity, which in turn will increase profits. Digital learning will also help train new employees quickly, revving up their learning curves. In addition, it will reduce the expenditure which was incurred in traditional classroom training. Digital learning also reduces an 8-week classroom training program to a 2-week digital learning program, saving valuable time. Show the stakeholders some case studies on organizations that have implemented digital learning and are reaping its benefits.
- Have Regular Interactions With Stakeholders
You can’t just up and propose such a complete transformation of your employee development program to the stakeholders. You need to ease them into it, by first having regular interactions with them, giving them tidbits of information on digital learning here and there, so that when you suggest transitioning to digital learning, it won’t be sudden. Be ready to explain the objectives of digital learning, the audience for whom it is intended, as well as the approximate cost of setting up digital learning to the stakeholders.
- Understand And Manage The Stakeholders’ Expectations
Sometimes L&D managers exaggerate the benefits of a digital learning market to the stakeholders in order to get them to say yes. This deceptive tactic can come back to bite them in the future. By misleading the stakeholders this way, you make them have unrealistic expectations from digital learning, which as L&D manager you will have to fulfil. Failure to do so will result in bad consequences for you, and the digital learning program may be scrapped altogether. Instead of misleading the stakeholders, educate them about what digital learning can do for their business, and how having the latest eLearning or mLearning technology is an added advantage.
Using all the points mentioned above, create a business case for digital learning. It’s better if you also involve the internal finance team of the organization, as they can better explain the financial implications of implementing digital learning. Provide them with your projected costs, and work with them to set a budget which the stakeholders will be ready to accept. All in all, your business case must essentially cover the following areas:
- Your plan to develop digital learning courses, i.e. whether you plan to develop courses in-house or outsource your digital learning development.
- The approximate or projected cost involved in the development and rollout of your digital learning program.
- The relevance of the initial e-learning courses and their shelf-life
- The list of tangible benefits from digital learning
- The return on investment (ROI) of the digital learning program
In order to convince stakeholders, you must explain things to them in business terms. Stakeholders are professionals that have been in the industry for a long time, and understand the value of skilled employees, what they don’t want is a bad investment. Put yourself in their shoes and go from there. If you make a solid case, they’ll surely agree to it.