As the macro environment continues to bite, many businesses are taking a serious look at their tech stacks to ensure they are getting a return from their software spend. While it can sometimes be difficult to assess if the tools we use in the workplace are worth the investment, your learning management system (LMS) is one platform where there are several measurable ways to ensure you are maximizing the return on your investment (ROI).

Here are four ways to put ROI at the heart of your LMS strategy this year.

1. Train Multiple Audiences Through Your LMS

The first place to start when it comes to leveraging your LMS to its full potential is to review who you’re training, and if you’re reaching all the audiences who impact your business’s performance. It’s important to utilize your LMS for your internal employee training programs,  but if it stops there, you’re leaving major business opportunities on the table. External audiences like your customers, partners and resellers all could be potential audiences for training opportunities, and tapping into these audiences can help maximize your LMS investment.

For example, using your LMS to deliver a great customer onboarding experience can lead to faster adoption of your products and ultimately, higher retention rates. By taking a consistent approach to your partner and reseller training, your partners will be onboarded faster, increasing productivity and driving more revenue, while also safeguarding your brand.

While some businesses end up with multiple LMS platforms across their organizations for different use cases, ideally you should implement one LMS built to support multi-audience training. By consolidating with a single LMS, you can reduce your administrative overhead and deliver a consistent learning experience — all with streamlined LMS spend.

2. Increase Adoption

Now that you’ve extended your training, think about how they’re being used by learners. It’s one thing to make learning opportunities available, but if adoption isn’t increasing, you could be losing out on your investment. To achieve increased adoption, put the learner first and focus on delivering user-friendly, engaging and enjoyable learning experiences.

It’s also important to help learners discover the courses that are of interest and relevance to them. Use recommendation engines to serve up high-value content that is relevant and personalized to your learners which will lead to increased completion rates. Implement single sign-on (SSO) capabilities and offer a responsive platform so that learners can easily access and consume content on any device.

3. Integrate To Drive Efficiencies

Large companies currently use hundreds of applications on average to get work done, which leads to lower productivity and disjointed workflows. To uplift your ROI and engage your learners more efficiently, integrate your LMS into your wider tech stack. Start with your human resource information systems (HRISs), such as Workday or BambooHR, but don’t stop there. Integrate your LMS with applications and programs like Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack, Microsoft Teams and with any other tools your learners use on a daily basis. In doing so, learners can access the training they need, in the flow of work. This will reduce context switching and maximize the impact of your programs and the productivity of your people.

When thinking about how an LMS can play the role of delivering just-in-time learning, balancing easy discoverability without being overly intrusive is key.

4. Measure and Report on Learning Impact

To properly assess the impact of your LMS investment, agree on desired outcomes with your stakeholders, and then document, track and report on the business results you expect to improve as a result of your learning programs.

Move away from only focusing on the typical LMS metrics, such as course completions, and average scores. These are important to track, but successfully tracking your outcomes requires going up a level (or sometimes several levels) to focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that really matter to your business — performance, retention and growth. Understanding these KPIs, and which ones are most important to your company’s success, where they stand today and what they look like as you roll out your learning programs, is the ultimate way to test if you are getting a beneficial return from your L&D investments.

Often, this requires being able to easily combine your LMS data with other business data from your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, finance system(s) and customer support platform to get a true picture of how learning is directly impacting your company’s performance, something that will be more important than ever in the year ahead.