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Webinar recap: Speak the C-level language: Win buy-in for your learning investments

Cornerstone Editors

In a world where change is the only constant, organizations are realizing that their most valuable assets aren't just the tangible ones they can put a price on. In the form of skilled and engaged employees, human capital has emerged as a powerful driving force behind business success. This shift in perspective is the central theme of the informative webinar titled, Speak the C-level language: Win buy-in for your learning investments, featuring the insightful duo of Katy Tynan, VP Principal Analyst at Forrester, and Mike Bollinger, Global VP of Strategic Initiatives at Cornerstone.

The paradigm shift

Katy kicked off the webinar by highlighting a fundamental transformation in the way organizations view their assets. The economic landscape is evolving, with intangible assets, especially human capital, taking the lead in the valuation game. Notably, she pointed out the recognition of human capital disclosure, signaling a growing need for transparency and measurement of workforce-related data. Simply put, the people within an organization have become as important as its products or services.

Redefining learning metrics

Historically, organizations measured the impact of learning initiatives primarily through simple metrics like course completion rates and consumption data. Katy and Mike challenge this simplistic approach, advocating for a more holistic perspective. They argue that engagement, personalization and user-generated content are essential elements that must be factored in. Furthermore, they stress the significance of linking learning outcomes to concrete business results such as increased revenue per employee, reduced turnover and improved quality of hire.

Speaking CFO language

A key takeaway from the webinar is the importance of communicating the value of learning initiatives to CFOs primarily concerned with quantifiable business impacts. Katy emphasized that CFOs might not have in-depth knowledge of learning theory but are keen on achieving efficiency gains and aligning investments with organizational goals. Mike expanded on this, emphasizing the CFO's priorities — risk minimization, cost reduction and revenue maximization. Learning initiatives can be presented as tools to mitigate risks, enhance employee productivity and drive business outcomes.

Curious to learn more? Watch the full webinar here. Katy Tynan, VP Principal Analyst at Forrester, and Mike Bollinger, Global VP of Strategic Initiatives at Cornerstone discuss why human capital has emerged as a powerful driving force behind business success.

Speak the C-level language

Building bridges: HR and IT collaboration

Beyond the financial aspects, the discussion also touches upon the practicalities of implementing new learning technologies. It highlights the total cost of ownership, adoption plans and integration costs, underscoring the need for a strategic approach to selecting and integrating these technologies. A particularly salient point raised is the necessity for effective collaboration between HR and IT professionals, as the success of learning solutions often hinges on this partnership.

Engaging C-level stakeholders

The latter part of the webinar delves into the strategies to engage various C-level stakeholders effectively, including the CIO, CFO and COO, when implementing HR and learning technology solutions. It emphasizes the importance of building relationships and trust with these stakeholders, understanding their unique perspectives and aligning HR and learning initiatives with broader business goals and metrics.

Metrics that matter

The speakers stressed the significance of measuring the impact of learning and HR initiatives on tangible business outcomes such as behavior change, revenue growth, cost reduction, risk management and employee retention. HR professionals are encouraged to be well-prepared to discuss metrics and data-driven insights with these C-level executives, especially in today's rapidly changing business landscape.

Strategic integrations

Lastly, the discussion delves into the challenges and costs associated with integrating HR tech solutions. HR professionals are advised to prioritize and select integrations strategically based on business needs and internal capacity to handle data effectively. This practical advice ensures that investments are made wisely and deliver tangible value.

In a world where the only constant is change, organizations must adapt to stay competitive. Learning and development are not just HR functions but critical components of a company's success. To secure buy-in from C-level executives, HR professionals must learn to speak the boardroom language, focusing on measurable business outcomes and forging solid partnerships with colleagues in IT. The webinar leaves us with a powerful message. In the ever-evolving landscape of business, investing in human capital and HR technology is not just an expense but a strategic move toward future success.

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