Blog Post

Learning ROI, Part Two: Revenue & Happiness

Brett C. Wilson

Principal of Thought Leadership and Advisory Services, Cornerstone

In the first part of this series on the ROI of employee learning, I discussed the importance of asking the right questions starting with why you wish to procure an LMS and why you will want to document your answers. Answering these questions will properly start you on the path to a successful implementation, provide legitimacy for your reasoning through solid documentation that specified how you will measure success over time, and ultimately, validate the rationale for your investment.

Revisiting the "Why?" Question

In review, my last blog discussed possible reasons for why you are procuring an LMS. Are your reasons:

  • To increase productivity?

  • To decrease costs (e.g., less travel to classrooms and more eLearning)?

  • To satisfy mandatory training for compliance?

  • To improve employee job performance?

  • To increase revenue (e.g., beef up sales training to drive more sales)?

  • To enhance career development?

  • Some combination of the above?

In part one, I focused on decreasing costs by demonstrating that, by having more online training, an organization can reduce travel costs for training and, therefore, becomes a component of demonstrating a return on investment (ROI). But what if, in addition to reducing travel costs, your reason for procuring an LMS was to increase revenue and also enhance employee career development? How do you do that? To start with, don’t take short cuts – carefully examine "why" these are important to you and document your answer AND how you intend to measure success over time.

Driving Revenue with Your Learning Initiatives

In most organizations, increased revenue is directly linked to its sales team productivity. How do you relate increasing sales team productivity as a reason to procure an LMS? If increased sales productivity is an organizational goal, and you can legitimately make the case that sales training can make a difference, how do you document your answer and measure results? Be careful with your reasoning because sales people measure success by age-old axioms of pursuing leads, follow-up, and closing deals. It’s a game of percentages and sales people are sensitive about how they spend their time – in training or time with potential clients.

Salesforce.com is a dominant tool today that sales people are immersed in on a daily basis. Cornerstone OnDemand has done some interesting work in their integration with Salesforce. Specifically, the Cornerstone for Salesforce product allows sales people to immediately access sales training courses directly from their normal workflows in the Salesforce platform. Although Cornerstone’s LMS is the engine behind serving up training content and recording data, the transition to training content is invisible to the end user and, in addition to accessing training content, requisite training data can also be reported from Salesforce. Has it worked? Yes it has and, in terms of achieving increased revenue, you can run a report from Salesforce that documents sales before and after training interventions. That’s a great way to measure sales training effectiveness over time – hence ROI from the LMS.

Measuring the Slippery Employee Happiness Factor

So far, I have discussed ROI in terms of decreased costs or increased revenue or, in other words, justify ROI by using math. But what about non-math "why" reasons – the "soft" returns -- like enhanced employee career development opportunities? These are reasons that are a bit harder to quantify and measure. But as I mentioned in my last blog on this subject, this is where consideration of Integrated Talent Management comes into play.

If one of your goals or "why" reasons is to enhance employee career development, then you should determine what tools to use. For example, employee exposure to other jobs within the organization and the prerequisites required for those jobs are capabilities that are typically available in an integrated talent suite. But how do you measure success? How do you know if the steps you have taken and/or the tools that you have employed are working to enhance career development?

This is often characterized as the "employee happiness factor". But it is measurable and is usually accomplished through an organizational communications plan that routinely surveys employees and solicits their feedback.

Establish and document what metrics are required to measure success when documenting your ROI plan (e.g., on a 1 to 5 scale, survey employees to see how they rate the organization’s ability to enhance their career opportunities). Then document what success looks like over time. If, after introducing these tools, employee feedback trends more positively over time, then you are doing the right things.

You should also measure employee attrition over time. Employee attrition is an important indicator but don’t limit your ROI plan to just that. A number of factors play a role in employee attrition including leadership, compensation, and corporate culture.

In the next in this series on learning ROI, I will share my thoughts on how integrated talent management, specifically performance management integration, can help to answer and measure the more difficult "why" questions and how compliance can be a "slam-dunk" for determining ROI.

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Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

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Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

Citadele Group is an innovative, full-service financial group for both private individuals and companies. The Group offers a complete portfolio of banking, financial and private capital management services in the Baltic states. Citadele’s mission is to provide more opportunities to its clients by redefining modern banking – it aims to change the meaning of current financial business with innovations and an outstanding client experience beyond the formal frame. With the goal of becoming the Baltic banking champion, Citadele offers multiple career paths and a variety of professional development opportunities for all its employees. Our new path towards ambitious and modern goals also demands a change within our employees’ learning and performance tracking model. Improved tools and solutions are needed to streamline Citadele’s employee progression processes across 37 offices. Why Cornerstone? Recognising that employees are its most valuable asset, Citadele made sure that employees are the top priority in the process of change. Bearing this in mind, Citadele had three key requirements during the search for its talent management solution: the system needed to be easy-to-use; it needed to have the option to involve employees in individual goal-setting; and it needed to track feedback on an ongoing basis and provide tracking for necessary compliance training. The system also needed to feature engaging and motivating content to help Citadele boost talent retention rates. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. The Results Increased productivity. Since implementing Cornerstone Performance, Citadele has seen an improvement in its employees’ performance. The simplified goal-setting, monitoring and continuous feedback system means that employees feel more confident and more motivated at work. That in turn has led to increased productivity levels. According to Citadele’s recent feedback survey, more than 95% of employees expressed satisfaction with the system. Streamlined performance processes. Before Cornerstone, all records regarding employees’ career, training, obligatory certifications and performance appraisals had to be integrated manually. With Cornerstone Performance, managers now receive detailed analytics at the click of a button, meaning that employee goals, training activities and tracking have become optimised and tailored to employees’ needs. Enhanced employer reputation. Citadele strives for the status of best employer in the Baltic region. Partnering with Cornerstone has helped Citadele to attract and retain even more talent in the industry Full compliance visibility. Compliance training was one of the key requirements for Citadele. Since implementing the Cornerstone e-learning module, the company is now confident that all its employees have the necessary training to meet the industry’s compliance requirements. Citadele is also able to successfully track completions in order to meet deadlines. Motivation and passion for learning. Implementing Cornerstone Performance has helped Citadele to significantly raise the ambition and motivation of its employees. Necessary changes in individual performance management have pushed Citadele forward regarding its learning culture. Since then, the company has selected Cornerstone’s e-learning as its next module, in addition to the already launched Cornerstone’s Performance Appraisal System. This will allow each employee to choose their most convenient way to learn, integrating learning into their everyday work.

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

Blog Post

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

We’re counting down the days to Cornerstone Convergence 2021. Get ready to join over 20,000 talent professionals on November 16-17 from the comfort of your laptop at this 100% virtual and completely free event. There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s event, but we’re especially excited to announce this year's special guest speakers, Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai! Levy is an Emmy® Award-winning writer, actor, director and producer best known for his work on Schitt’s Creek. And Malala is the Co-Founder of Malala Fund, a recent Oxford graduate and a Nobel Prize laureate. To get you even more excited, here are two previews of their can't-miss Convergence sessions. Meeting the Moment with Dan Levy We give rise to our greatest work when we embrace the strengths that lie in our individuality and build a shared vision for something better. Join this session to hear Dan Levy share his personal journey of using creativity to overcome obstacles and Meet the Moment. Register to see Dan Levy A Moment with Malala What does it take to move forward in the face of adversity? To pursue a higher purpose, in spite of targeted violent backlash? When Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai was just 15 she learned the answers to these questions as she recovered from an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Join this session to hear Malala share her story of personal resilience and collective purpose in driving global education for girls everywhere. Register to see Malala Even more excitement at Convergence 2021 The next year of work will be all about turning change into opportunities for everyone. Check out a sneak preview of just a few Convergence speakers and informative breakout sessions. Bold Thinkers Dealing with Microaggressions and Healing from Workplace Trauma – Featuring Minda Harts, CEO of The Memo LLC More Bold Thinker sessions led by Jason Lauritsen, Laurie Ruettimann, David Wilson, Josh Bersin and others. Customer Spotlights Delivering skills-first careers powered by AI – From Deutsche Post DHL and Alstom More strategies, tips and advice from the Cornerstone and Saba community in our Customer Spotlight track, featuring Dell Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Nespresso, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and more. The Content Channel The World Premiere of Seat at the Table – A Cornerstone Original Series Other sessions focused on leading innovations in learning content from top providers such as Cornerstone Studios, TED, ITProTV and Mind Tools. Daily Keynotes Conversations with industry luminaries and Cornerstone executives about reimagining work and Cornerstone’s vision for leading the way. Join us at Convergence and Meet the Moment Convergence 2021 is your opportunity to get inspired, find “ah-ha” moments, connect with your peers and explore the future of work (and your role in it). As a talent leader, you're connecting what your people need to your organization's evolving goals so everyone thrives in this moment. We’ll see you there!

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Customer Story

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Communities often need help when their quality of life is affected by crime. Homelessness, drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse all have an impact on the local area and this is where the CGL (Change, Grow, Live – formerly known as CRI) steps in. Every year, more than 120,000 people across England and Wales receive assistance to get back on their feet. At CGL, full-time staff and volunteers work to encourage and motivate people to take control of their lives. CGL now has more than 3,000 staff and 1,000 volunteers in more than 160 regional centers. With so many employees across a wide region, keeping track of their progress was proving to be difficult. Previously, there were instances where notes were lost, handwriting was illegible, copies were not being shared, and many of the action points from the meetings were missed. CGL knew they had to address this by empowering its employees and volunteers by implementing a unified talent management solution. Why Cornerstone To overcome its reliance on paper-based records, CGL decided it had to go digital. It chose the talent management tools from Cornerstone OnDemand, selecting Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Performance solutions. The solutions enabled CGL to standardise its recordkeeping across the organisation. What happened in one office needed to be replicated in another, even if it is hundreds of miles away. So, for the first time, the performance management process was exactly the same across the country. Through Cornerstone, CGL now has the ability to deliver, track, view and report on all learning and development progress across the organisation. In turn, it brings unity and consistency to all its training modules. Furthermore, through Cornerstone’s cloud-based talent management software, CGL was able to empower its employees and volunteers through learning and development, as well as foster a more aligned performance management process throughout the organisation. The sharing of best practices developed a powerful team of employees and volunteers that could provide the best possible service to those that CGL works with. Results Created central access to learning. Cornerstone has provided CGL with central access to learning and development from any device. It has revolutionised the way that CGL is able to quality assure and monitor both individual and overall service performance. Improved Customer satisfaction. Sandra Eden, Development Manager at CGL in the Midlands, said “Quality performance reviews contribute to positive outcomes and achievements, improved staff engagement and customer and stakeholder satisfaction. The quantitative and qualitative detail driving everything that we do is now easily accessible at the click of a button.” Standardised performance reviews. CGL constructed a thorough marketing plan to prepare for the roll out of the new system across its workforce. With tailored emails outlining clear benefits – both from a line manager’s perspective and frontline perspective, uptake in the first week was 15 percent. So far, just a few months after rolling out the service, 1,791 performance reviews have been created across CGL. Increased employee and volunteer engagement. The newly introduced Welcome Page on the training site has had an immediate impact. An internal Stonewall diversity survey generated only 17 respondents prior to using Cornerstone; three days after a message and link were posted on the new hosting site, the number of respondents rose to 82 – a 482 percent increase. Kevin Crowley, Executive Director – Quality, Governance and Innovation at CGL values the visibility he has over the organisation. He said, “Using Cornerstone to bring performance development online has really given us a powerful tool to more closely align learning with performance and ensure our staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best possible service to those we work with. We have been able to build up a national picture of our strengths, and can identify and share good practice to ensure continuous improvement across the organisation.”

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