Convincing Internal Stakeholders of eLearning’s Value


Do you have 100% decision-making power when it comes to implementing a new department- or organization-wide initiative, like eLearning?

If so...have we met?

I kid, I kid... Sorta.

The point I want to make is not many people do have sole decision-making power. There are other stakeholders that have to buy in to a new idea. It could be others within a department that have an understanding of the initiative and its potential.

More often, it's one or more people that are outside of that group, like a budgetary manager, a board of directors or senior leadership. They need to be convinced that the project is worth devoting resources to.

That requires a strategic approach on your part. But have no fear! We've put together some tips to help you sell your eLearning initiative to internal stakeholders. Take a look.

Tips for Selling Your eLearning Project

Outline the problem, but don't make it your sole focus. You don't want to appear as though you're just complaining. Invite additional stakeholders to witness first-hand the limits of the current program so they can experience what the employees go through, and be sure to communicate that you have ideas to solve the problems.

Focus on solutions. Provide a demonstration of a new model to show fellow decision-makers what kinds of improvements could be made and what the impact would be.

Present more than one option. You may be convinced of a particular solution, but your chances of getting buy-in drop when you make it a simple yes-or-no decision. Come armed with a few options so that even if you can't get your top pick, you might be able to get the next best thing.

Share audience feedback. It's hard to argue with the opinions of the participants themselves. Ask what they would like to see improved and share their responses with stakeholders. Emphasize that the issues with your training aren’t related to unmotivated employees but inefficient learning methods.

Talking Points to Guide the Conversation

Focus on ROI. Sure, revamping a training program can seem pricey on the surface, but think of all the cost savings that come as a result: lower travel expenses, less missed on-the-job time, fewer mistakes, increased productivity, more sales, higher quality...more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. What's the value of that kind of improvement? Crunch some numbers and have them ready to make your case.

Tracking. The biggest waste of resources in training is when no one can say with certainty that it worked. You had 95% participation. Ok. Three-quarters of participants scored over 90% on the assessment. Great. How is that actionable information? What does it tell you? It might only tell you that three-quarters of your people are good at multiple-choice. Instead, a robust eLearning program can measure behavioral change. Are your participants successfully applying what they learned in the field weeks, months and years after the initial training? That's what you want to measure.

Show Trainees You Care. When surveyed, one of the top criteria employees want to see from their employer is opportunity for growth and development. Show them you want to aid in their development. Help them be better at their job. Employees with that kind of support are more likely to feel satisfied, remain at a job longer and put in a stronger effort.

If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland