Instructional Design and ROI
A fundamental part of determining training options for a workforce is to ensure a suitable return on investment (ROI). Typically, the goal is to generate enough value from a learning program to offset any associated costs, functionally leading to a net gain. In many cases, determining the ROI of training solutions and programs is initially challenging. However, by using the correct approach, assessing instructional design ROIs is far simpler. Here’s what you need to know.

Measuring ROI in Instructional Design

ROI is often easier to measure in regard to some investments than others. For instance, calculating the value-add of new manufacturing equipment that expedites production is relatively simple. You can compare productivity and output quality improvements to your current state, allowing you to see precisely when the higher rate of production offsets the implementation cost and results in gains. With training, determining the value of an investment isn’t as clear. Improving employee competency and efficiency does result in gains, but they’re less concrete. For example, while a new piece of manufacturing equipment may lead to a 20 percent output speed increase, training employees to use software that streamlines processes may have variable productivity gains across your workforce. Some employees may increase their efficiency by 20 percent, while others may improve by more or less. Plus, training employees means navigating a learning curve. Productivity changes may start slow initially as workers build familiarity, increasing as their comfort level rises. Again, this makes estimating the ROI difficult. As a result, companies need to focus on specific, measurable points when designing training programs. For instance, task completion rates during a defined time period – such as customer calls completed per hour – works well for highly repetitive roles. Broader, categorical performance assessments could be better for measuring ROI with unstructured positions, where the chosen categories are selected by key responsibilities associated with the job.

Factoring in Training Quality

While many companies focus on cost when it comes to learning and development (L&D) programs, the quality of any training is another factor that needs to be examined. Higher quality training leads to greater knowledge retention and shorter timelines for knowledge acquisition, making them more efficient. In turn, employees who participate in the learning program begin enhancing their capabilities faster, allowing companies to capture gains in less time. Generally, high-quality training is focused and targets a clear need, such as an existing skill gap or new technology implementation that improves efficiency. With that approach, the potential value is higher. Making the content digestible and convenient to explore is also worth considering. For instance, using a mobile-friendly eLearning platform and a microlearning strategy allows employees to take part with greater ease, increasing participation rates while making information easier to absorb. In turn, you get better results faster, further increasing the ROI.

Do You Need Support from L&D Professionals to Secure a High ROI?

At Clarity, we have 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to provide support and guidance to ensure your instructional design goals are met, and you secure a high ROI. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them. If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.
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