Can Your Organization Afford Online Training? 5 Major Costs Involved

Can Your Organization Afford Online Training? 5 Major Costs Involved
Summary: Does your organization REALLY have room in the budget for online training? More importantly, can you afford NOT to move your training online? In this article, I’ll highlight 5 of the major costs involved in online training so that you can create an accurate online training budget. I will also share 3 budgeting tips to help you keep your online training costs in-check.

5 Major Costs To Determine Whether Your Organization Can Afford Online Training

You need to increase employee productivity and company profits. But do you have the online resources to launch an online training program? This is the dilemma that countless organizations face each year. There is still a shroud of mystery around online training, particularly when it comes to the cost. Numerous articles, charts, and surveys tout the benefits of online training. However, none of this matters if it doesn’t make dollars and cents. In this article, I'll cover all the major expenses involved in online training so that you can determine whether your organization can afford online training.

1. Needs Analysis Costs

Before you start the development process, you have to evaluate your current online training strategy and the needs of your employees. This requires an investment of both time and resources. The process may involve task or skills assessments, on-the-job observations, employee surveys, focus groups, and a variety of other diagnostics. The goal is to identify performance gaps and determine the best online training approach, as well as how much online training is necessary. Gather feedback from your managers and supervisors from different departments. These team leaders can highlight issues that are hindering the productivity of your employees. For example, current online training techniques that aren't achieving the desired outcome.

2. Online Training Design Costs

This a broad topic, as your online training design consists of numerous fees. Furthermore, the cost greatly depends on the software you're using, the nature of your online training activities, and the type of online training content. For example, developing online training module with limited interactivity is less costly than creating an extensive online training course. Likewise, if the task calls for a variety of eLearning authoring tools you can expect to pay more for online training design. There are also a few key roles you must fill, such as hiring a Subject Matter Expert, Graphic Designer, and Instructional Designer. Here are just a few of the stages of the online training course design and development process that you should consider:

  • Storyboarding
  • Multimedia creation: eLearning videos, infographics, slideshows, etc.
  • Online training content development: text and interactive exercises
  • Online training course layout design
  • Prototyping: creating a sample to gather online training feedback
  • Creating online training course description or syllabus

3. Deployment And Marketing Costs

This is one of the most overlooked costs. Many organizations aren't aware of the fact that deploying the online training course also requires resources. Purchasing a reliable and flexible Learning Management System is an investment, particularly when you have a larger or distributed workforce. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about on-site instructor fees or site rentals. However, you should consider a responsive design LMS for greater accessibility. Facilitators and other online training support staff are another possible expense. In addition to delivering the online training course, you always need to market and promote it internally. Otherwise, employees probably won't know that it's even available on the Learning Management System. Here are just a few of the ways that you can market your online training program:

  • Social media pages and groups
  • Emails and newsletters
  • Webinars that emphasize the benefits of upcoming online training courses
  • Managerial recommendations

4. Maintenance Costs

The spending doesn't stop once you deploy your online training course. In fact, maintaining and updating your online training content can be a significant investment. This is particularly the case if online compliance training or certifications are involved. For example, online safety and hazard training courses that must be updated on an annual basis. Product knowledge is yet another area that requires frequent updates. Aside from the online training content itself, eLearning authoring tools and Learning Management System platforms should also be evaluated regularly. Are they still meeting your needs or do you need to upgrade? Your maintenance online training budget must also account for L&D staff. As an example, IT employees who offer ongoing support or online training consultants.

5. ROI Analysis Costs

You must evaluate the effectiveness of your online training program to determine if it's really worth the investment. In other words, is it offering a significant ROI? Most Learning Management Systems offer robust reporting features and analytics. Thus, you can analyze every aspect of your online training course, including employee performance, progress and completion rates. All of this Big Data gives you the opportunity to identify areas for improvement. You can also determine if specific employees require supplemental online training. For example, members of your sales team who aren't achieving their goals might benefit from additional online training modules or activities.

3 Tips To Create An Effective Online Training Budget

1. Choose The Right Authoring Tools

There are a variety of authoring tools that are user-friendly and multifunctional. This allows you to create your online training internally. If possible, opt for a responsive design tool that makes your online training multiplatform-friendly. Before you purchase any authoring tool, take advantage of free trials to see if it's worth the investment.

2. Plan Ahead For Localization

Avoid images that are culturally specific and leave room in your layout for spacious languages. For instance, Chinese characters typically occupy more space than the English alphabet. In addition, make the subtitles vs. voiceover decision early on so that you can plan accordingly.

3. Gather Your Resources

Before you create your online training budget, gather all of your resources and assets to see where you stand. In some cases, you can repurpose your online training content and cut costs. This also helps you figure out which additional resources or staff you require. For instance, a Subject Matter Expert who can offer their expertise, or an authoring tool with an asset library to fill in the gaps.

Use this corporate eLearning cost breakdown to create an accurate estimate for your online training program. You should also determine whether you'll take care of online training development in-house or hire a third-party provider. In some cases, outsourcing can save money in the long run by reducing development time and improving online training efficiency.

Are you working on shoestring budget? Read the article Tight eLearning Budget: 6 Tips To Create An Amazing Online Training Course to discover a few tips for creating amazing online training courses with limited resources.