Your L&D Budget:
Drive Business Value With Your Training Programs

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a strong L&D strategy. Discover how you can test and improve the value of your L&D programs - and protect your L&D budget during uncertain times.
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Get the guide to learn:

Why businesses must protect L&D
budgets to continue growth
How to increase the value and
reduce the cost of your L&D
How to measure and improve the
impact of your L&D efforts


If you’re worried about an upcoming recession and its impact on your organization's budget, you're not alone. With many experts predicting a recession in 2023, it’s understandable that companies of all sizes are starting to feel anxious. But here's the thing - all this talk of a recession can actually harm the economy. How? By making executives react in ways that are detrimental to their companies. This could include delaying projects, cutting budgets, and reducing staff. And too often, Learning & Development (L&D) budgets are the first to take the hit.

But this shouldn’t be the case! The truth is, in times of economic uncertainty, it's more important than ever to invest in your company’s L&D strategy. The Association for Talent Development found that companies offering effective L&D programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. And it doesn’t stop there. These companies also enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who opt out of training. For long-term success, continuing to invest in training and development - even in times of economic uncertainty - is the way to go.

As new business challenges arise, employees take on new responsibilities, and high–performance leadership teams become more significant. As a result, employees need to receive proper training on how to adapt to new situations, better utilize existing resources, and face challenges head-on - protecting the business and its bottom line.

Increasing the Value and Reducing the Cost of L&D

For L&D to drive revenue, we must stop approaching staff training like it’s a ‘tick box’ exercise. The era of handing out lengthy training manuals is over. These text-based resources take a long time to read, aren’t exciting for employees, and seldom lead to long-term knowledge retention. They’re about 20 years behind the times! As a result, they don’t drive measurable value for any business.

Instead, the focus has to be on creating impactful L&D content that is digestible, engaging, and memorable. And the answer to this is video. After all, we are visual creatures. According to a study by Kaltura, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read a document. And video-based training has an impressive retention rate of 95%! Video makes your investment in L&D go further - and enables staff to retain the knowledge they need to increase the bottom line.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to make your training content more engaging and aligned with business goals, how to measure L&D impact, and the steps you can take to protect your budget.

Why Businesses Must Protect L&D Budgets to Continue Growth

Let’s start with the big one. Most L&D professionals know that the benefits of investing in L&D during a recession far outweigh the costs. But how does L&D impact revenue, and how can you get your executives on board?

Here are a few starting points to help you make a case for increasing L&D budgets during a recession:

01. Creating impactful L&D content can be budget-friendly

Making and sharing engaging L&D content doesn't have to break the bank. Transforming training manuals and PDFs into engaging, bite-size video content is easy and affordable - but only when you do it in-house. Some agencies charge a staggering $5k per video! But with a video solution like Powtoon, you can create as many beautiful and engaging training videos as you need while eliminating agency costs.

02. New challenges require new ways of thinking

Remind executives that our best skills are needed to tackle the challenges of the economic downturn. By investing in L&D, companies prepare employees to navigate new waters, take on the responsibilities of staff who have left, and compete in the current market. This positions the company for future success and growth.

03. Investing in L&D now can lead to cost savings down the line

You can increase your company's efficiency and productivity by training employees to do more with less and developing leaders to successfully navigate economic challenges. Deloitte found that organizations with a strong learning culture are 52% more productive. This boost in productivity and engagement can lead to cost savings and increased revenue in the long term, offsetting the expense of L&D.

04. L&D is vital to boosting employee morale

Employees who feel their employer is investing in their growth and development are likelier to stay at their company. In fact, Bridge found that 86% of millennials would be kept from leaving their current position if their employer offered training and development. With the cost of recruitment so high, businesses that want to survive an upcoming recession must work to retain and support their staff.

05. There’s a cost to cutting L&D budgets

Remind executives that slashing your L&D budget can backfire, such as falling behind on industry trends and technologies, failing to adapt to changing market conditions, and losing talented employees to competitors. A survey by The Harris Group found 70% of US employees would consider leaving their current company to join an employer that’s known for investing in employee learning and development. And these valuable staff members are expensive to replace.
Top Tip: Use a video-making tool like Powtoon to present your arguments in a clearer, more impactful, and more compelling way. Try this Powtoon template to communicate your ideas clearly: Watch Video

Protecting L&D budgets during a recession is a smart move that can lead to cost savings, improved employee engagement, reduced churn, and increased competitiveness.

To convince executives to protect your L&D budget, you’ll need to align your L&D programs to your business goals with a clear action plan. You’ll also need to provide specific examples and - where possible - use data from employee surveys to support your case. We’ll cover how to do all of this in the next couple of sections.

Top Tip: Rally your supporters! Executives don’t make budget decisions alone. So consider leveraging the success of major cross-functional projects with other departments (such as marketing or sales, and asking for their support for L&D funding in budget meetings.

Don’t Let ‘Soft Skills’ Training Get Left Behind

Most executives understand the value of sharing courses for using new software. But it can be harder to convince them to keep training for ‘soft skills’ - such as teamwork, critical thinking, and negotiation.

This is mainly because ‘soft skills’ are hard to measure and quantify. For decades, businesses considered these skills less critical - or more of a ‘given’ - than others.

But developing these skills is just as important, if not more so, than learning about a new design program. Why? Because soft skills training, which can help with everything from better communication and leadership skills to sharper problem-solving and decision-making, can ultimately lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce. As a result, it has a huge impact on revenue.

Deloitte found that high-performing companies spend 1.5 to 2 times more on leadership development than other companies. This is because when companies invest in their people, they create loyalty and improve morale and employee engagement while strengthening company culture. This helps drive more revenue while reducing employee churn, which is vital when recruitment is so expensive. For example, BrightHR found the average cost of employee turnover is over $35,000!

Remember to communicate the above long-term and revenue benefits when speaking with your leadership team to protect your soft skills training budget.

Powtoon in action:
Check out the powerful Diversity & Inclusion training video Footlocker made to teach their employees to support other team members at work

Ensure Your L&D Programs Align with Your Business Goals

When L&D programs align with business objectives, they become a powerful tool for driving business results and achieving long-term growth. Why? Because they keep employees laser-focused on the most critical for your organization's success.

Aligning L&D programs with business goals enhances the program's perceived value for employees and leadership teams. When employees see that your L&D programs link directly to your organization's goals and objectives, they are more likely to see the program's value and engage in the learning process. This leads to better retention and higher levels of employee engagement, making them more likely to achieve their KPIs.

How Do You Align Your L&D Programs with Your Business Goals?

Step 1- Conduct a needs analysis to identify the business needs and priorities.
Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups with key stakeholders to identify these needs. By understanding your leadership team’s needs and priorities, your L&D programs will address your business’s most pressing issues - and prove it to those at the top.
Top Tip: With Powtoon, you can present staff survey results in a far more attention-grabbing and engaging way - through video!
Step 2 - Engage with key stakeholders to understand their perspectives and requirements.
By involving important decision-makers - such as your CEO, COO, or CFO - in the design of your training programs, you can align your courses more closely with your organization's goals and objectives.
Step 3 - Choose the right content delivery methods for your business objectives.
Choose content and delivery methods most relevant to your business needs and use business case studies and real-world examples in your programs. In many cases, this will mean transforming lengthy guides and PDFs into engaging, accessible videos using a video solution like Powtoon.
Top Tip: Creating new learning materials from scratch can be time-consuming. Using Powtoon, you can regularly customize and update your existing learning content with real-world examples and the latest data. This often makes video the best delivery method for meeting business objectives.
Step 4 - Track and report on the impact of L&D programs on business outcomes.
Measure the impact of L&D programs on specific business outcomes to demonstrate their value and make data-driven decisions about improving them. For example, you might want to measure the impact of your soft skills training on employee retention. Or the effect your sales training is having on reducing customer churn. We’ll walk you through how to measure the impact of your L&D programs a little later!

Improve Learning & Knowledge Retention Cost-Effectively with Video

So, you – and your executives – now understand the value of a strong L&D strategy for your employees. Now it’s time to optimize your training content to meet your business objectives and set your team up for success.

Your L&D programs should entertain and stick in your employees’ minds to drive business impact. But too often, L&D teams waste learning opportunities by only giving employees static content to consume.

Many employees read their training manuals in good faith - but often don’t absorb or retain the information they read. According to the Social Science Research Network, our brains decode visual information 60,000 times faster than written text.

In fact, according to a study by the eLearning Industry, video-based instruction can improve learning outcomes by as much as 50% compared to traditional text-based methods. It’s no surprise, really! Would you prefer to learn about new software by reading a pamphlet or watching an animated 2-minute video?

Powtoon in action:
Watch how this Planning & Development business makes learning technical terms more engaging for learners by swapping a traditional glossary handout for a game-show style video experience

Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest benefits of visual learning:

Creating a training video using Powtoon is way quicker than writing a training manual - or waiting for an agency to create one for you. It’s also faster for learners to watch a 2-minute video than to go through a written guide.
Learners can enjoy visualizing the ideas and concepts, making them more memorable.
Employees can view videos from anywhere, at any time.
Tools like Powtoon allow you to repurpose your existing materials into videos and quickly update them whenever needed.
Your learners will better relate to the learning content when you match their culture and look. Tools like Powtoon let your employees access branded fonts, colors, templates, and more, plus create personalized, branded characters that represent who they are.


Built for L&D teams, Powtoon makes learning videos easy to create, flexible to manage, and quick to distribute. Now your L&D team can deliver effective programs at scale. Globally, over 40 million people use Powtoon to transform complex and scattered information into powerful videos.

With Powtoon, you can create videos that are not only educational but also on-brand, interactive, and entertaining. This leads to a more enjoyable and relatable experience for your employees.

Powtoon Videos are Proven Performers:
Engagement over
Traditional Video
Engagement vs.
Powerpoint or Manuals

Transform Your Training Manuals into Engaging Video Content

Well done! You now have a strong L&D plan, with all your L&D courses and content aligned to your business goals. But to ensure your content delivers a measurable impact, you need to package it in the right way.

Transforming your text-based materials into engaging L&D video content is simple and cost-effective. All you need to do is repurpose the training content you’ve got.

Powtoon in action:
Watch how Panasonic brought their product training for manufacturers to life with this game show-inspired Powtoon

Prove the Impact of Your L&D Programs

Now that you’ve aligned your L&D programs to business goals and made learning ultra-engaging, it’s time to test and measure your L&D programs’ performance. Then you can take the fantastic results to management.

We’ve come full circle to step one: convincing executives how important your work is. You want to show them how your engaging, video-based L&D programs have improved employee knowledge, skills, and behavior. And how this has improved business outcomes with increased productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction.

Continuous Improvement: Measuring the impact of your L&D programs isn’t just to impress executives. It also helps identify areas where your messages aren’t resonating with employees so you can improve them.

Types of Impact to Measure

You can measure several types of impact when assessing the effectiveness of L&D programs. Here are three of the most important:

Business impact

is all about changes in business outcomes due to your L&D programs (such as increased revenue, more deals closed, and lower churn rates).

Behavioral impact

refers to changes in employee behavior resulting from L&D programs.

Learning impact

relates to employee knowledge and skills changes due to L&D programs.

How to Measure Impact

Speak to employees directly to gauge changes in learning and behavior.

Measure learning and behavior impact by organizing regular employee check-ins, surveys, and assessments. The best way to track learning results is to hear feedback directly from the learner!

Ask managers in your company to track and pass on key performance metrics.

Performance metrics, which measure changes in business outcomes such as productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction, help measure the business impact of your L&D programs. It’s a great sign you’re doing something right when you see significant improvements in areas where you’ve been providing extra training.
Powtoon in action:
Check out Finastra’s Powtoon video on how to check and measure behavioral and learning impact at your company
Why not use this Powtoon performance review template to motivate your employees, give them valuable feedback, and help them achieve business goals?

Communicating and Reporting on Impact

When communicating and reporting on the impact of your L&D programs, it's essential to use data and metrics to support your findings. Create clear and visually appealing reports (ideally with video), and tailor your message to your audience to make it more impactful and persuasive.

Case studies and success stories, which highlight specific high-performing L&D programs, also communicate the impact of L&D programs. Here’s a great Powtoon template to show how your L&D programs have successfully tackled specific business challenges

Case Study: Nestlé

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. They are present in 186 countries worldwide, have more than 2,000 brands, ranging from local favorites to global icons, such as Nespresso, and are a certified B Corp™.

With a reputation for world-class service, training customer-facing teams properly has always been a top priority for Nestlé’s L&D team. Before they found Powtoon, the team educated Nespresso staff members via PDF attachments on Facebook Workplace and MS teams.

But creating all this written learning content was labor-intensive. And it took even more time to review and revise all new materials to ensure brand compliance. On top of this, the materials didn’t effectively communicate their message to global employees. They lacked the time - and the motivation - to wade through lengthy PDF guides and manuals.

To overcome these challenges, the Nestlé team introduced a platform to the Nespresso Customer Facing Global Teams that provided a dynamic visual experience, saved them time, and allowed seamless brand compliance.

And that’s where Powtoon came in. The L&D teams at Nestlé and Nespresso now use Powtoon to create professional, on-brand video content that consistently supports their training initiatives and meets their learners’ needs. They have replaced factsheets and some of their meetings with diverse recruitment videos, onboarding videos, product walkthroughs, explainer videos, company announcements, celebration videos, and more across Facebook Workplace, MS Teams, and Sharepoint. They also use Powtoon Capture, a built-in screen recording tool, to create personalized tutorial videos.

Powtoon’s simple branding tools have made it fast, easy, and enjoyable for the Nestlé team to produce highly engaging, branded content. They love using color palettes, logo uploads, and personalized fonts to transform templates and characters while staying on brand.

Importantly, they’ve boosted staff engagement by 16% through using Powtoon videos in their training.

“The templates are really useful when I just need to get all the information down, and all the animation is already there. Now I’m able to show a one-minute video rather than explain a new process in a document. This is how we’re able to get people's attention today – with short snappy videos. We've even had employees ask how they can start creating videos themselves.” Charlie Moore, Training Specialist at Nespresso

Videos created - 2K+
Colleagues trained - 650+
Increase in engagement - 16%

Today, Nespresso’s engaging training videos enhance their in-store experience and create a common visual language across their company-wide learning materials. They now have more high-performing employees who align with the company’s values, meet customers’ expectations, and perfectly represent the brand.


With the stakes so high in 2023, now is the time to optimize your L&D programs using video. Engaging your employees opens up limitless channels for retaining knowledge and retraining employees. This helps drive results - and revenue.

With the right L&D content strategy, your employees will feel aligned and confident during challenging times. As a result, you’ll experience a boost in engagement, knowledge retention, and productivity - all crucial to succeeding during an economic downturn.

After reading this guide, we hope you feel well-equipped to present your case for investing in L&D, creating engaging video content, and measuring how your L&D strategy helps ‘recession-proof’ your business.

Getting started is as simple as adding Powtoon to your L&D toolbox to create engaging visual learning content that enables your team to stay competitive, track results, and smash their business goals.

About Powtoon - a Visual Native company

Powtoon is a leading video communications platform that empowers over 40 million active creators worldwide. Supporting 96% of Fortune 500 companies, its parent company - Visual Native - is an Innovation Center that harnesses visual tools, AI, and Deep Learning technologies to power workplace solutions, including its Enterprise platform for knowledge engagement.

Powtoon Enterprise platform empowers L&D teams to easily create, collaborate, and share engaging videos across their organization.

Deliver compelling content at scale
Create all stages of learning communications, on-demand and async video training across the whole learning lifecycle, engaging all people across your organization, from anywhere.
Make content that’s truly for everyone
Personalize and localize your training with translation tools, AI-powered text-to-speech, closed captions, lipsync, and diverse and accessible characters.
Level up your L&D toolbox seamlessly
Easily use Powtoon in your flow of work with leading LMSes (such as Articulate and 360learning), Zoom, YouTube, Kaltura, Wistia, Vimeo, Google Meet, and more.
Drive measurable value across teams, securely
Create high-impact, branded video training inside your team’s dedicated and secure workspace.

Book a call with our team today to see how video can bring your L&D programs to life. Contact to learn more.