Business Case for eLearning: Why Now is the Time to Make the Leap

For L&D managers and business leaders who have not yet fully embraced elearning, here we look at why now is the time to make the leap. We also look at the business case for elearning to help you get buy-in from other key stakeholders.

Business case for elearning to deliver your training


In this post we cover:


Buy-In from the MD / CEO

Buy-In from the Finance Director

Buy-In from Staff (the Learners)

Benefits of eLearning – More Numbers

Why Now is the Time for eLearning


The move from traditional, face to face training had already been seeing consistently strong growth prior to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

Covid-19 has accelerated us along that same curve – many estimate by about 5 years – and taken us to a level of remote work and digital / elearning adoption that for many organisations will be maintained as the normal way of working and training their teams.

Many L&D managers appreciate the benefits of starting or increasing their use of elearning, but need to create a compelling business case in order to secure buy-in from any or all of the CEO, Finance, and other stakeholder departments (even though the investment will quickly be recouped by the resulting time and cost-savings).

So here we provide some key facts and figures that will help Learning and Development teams looking to present the business case for elearning to deliver your staff training…


Buy-In from the MD / CEO

One of the greatest frustrations among Managing Directors / CEOs is speed of implementation. There is a good idea, but it seems to take an age for it to get rolled out and start affecting the bottom line.

With elearning, staff can be trained in new products, services and systems as soon as the learning materials are put together. There are no delays in organising calendars to get people in the same room (physically or virtually), as learning materials can be made available to use at convenient times for the learners – even on a global scale.

On average, time spent on training is cut by 40% to 60% when elearning is used instead of face to face.

In turn, the result of this is an almost immediate cost reduction in training delivery, and an almost immediate increase in awareness and productivity as teams get up to speed with what’s new.


Buy-In from the Finance Director

We’ve written before about why elearning should turn L&D and Finance into best friends – cost reduction is one of the primary benefits of online training.

To ensure buy-in from the Finance department, it’s important for L&D to sell the idea of implementing or increasing their use of elearning by talking their language – numbers – and specifically, cost-savings.

Numerous studies have shown that elearning can reduce the cost of training delivery by up to 70% when you factor in reduced spend on trainers, booking transport and facilities etc. When you take out disruption of time away from day to days tasks and that lost productivity, the cost savings can be even higher.

The larger the company, the greater the potential savings as materials can be rolled out at scale online, for little to no extra cost.

For example, it’s reported that IBM saved around $200 million by their move to elearning.

The initial elearning content development comes with associated costs of course, but the time and money spent on updating that content and retraining staff can be minimal – often even catered for quickly and easily by your in-house L&D team.


Buy-In from Staff (the Learners)

When it comes to upskilling existing staff, “I don’t have time for this right now” is a common reaction and it never seems to be the right time. There is always a pressing deadline and everyone has too much on their plate.

eLearning can help to ensure that essential training, such as compliance-related content, can be done at a time that suits your learners, while offering the trackability to help L&D or HR teams ensure that it is getting done.

Furthermore, elearning can be created to include multimedia content in formats such as video, audio and interactive modules that appeal to different learning preferences and can even be fun to work through.

Making skills development always available to your staff is also a great way to recruit and retain talent because poor training and a lack of learning and growth opportunities are both cited as within the four main reasons that employees quit. Making good quality elearning content available 24/7 shows potential recruits and existing team members that they are valued and that you care about their career development.

As remote work is becoming more commonplace – an existing trend accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic – peer to peer learning and guidance needs to be replaced with other ways of supporting staff. While near-synchronous communication tools like Slack and video software like Zoom do support teamwork, elearning is a great way for self-starters to access the information they need straight away.


Benefits of eLearning – More Numbers

  • Research has measured a 60% knowledge retention rate following elearning vs 8% to 10% from classroom-based training
  • An average of 10% in performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) following the introduction of elearning
  • The shift from traditional training to elearning tends to bring per-learner cost savings of at least 50%
  • 72% of US business leaders surveyed stated that they believed elearning provided them with a competitive advantage.


Why Now is the Time for eLearning

If, like most businesses, yours is looking at a greater level of digitisation during and post-pandemic, then it makes complete sense to make elearning a fundamental part of the mix.

It will help you to train existing staff in new software, systems and working practices, while new remote workers can be given any time, anywhere access to training materials and guidance even if they are rarely, if ever, in the same room as trainers and colleagues.

Now more than ever, organisations that fully embrace elearning are realising considerable benefits in the way of cost-saving, compliance, knowledge sharing and enhanced performance. And with the benefits proven across all types of business or organisation type, it should feel like too much of a leap of faith.


Looking for Advice or Solutions?

If we might be able to help your organisation to start or improve your training with elearning, do contact us for a chat about your goals and requirements.


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