You’ve probably heard about the triple bottom line approach in business to focus on more than just the money involved. It’s sometimes explained as social, environmental, and financial aspects of business or as a triple focus on people, planet, and profits. I’d like to suggest that there’s a kind of triple bottom line to pay attention to in the eLearning environment as well. I think the three elements involved in eLearning’s triple bottom line are content, delivery method, and retention.

The Triple Bottom Line, eLearning-StyleI’ve mentioned in several previous articles the importance of bringing some kind of balance to the constant tension that exists between content and delivery method. All too often, only one of those seems to get the primary focus, which results in two potential negative scenarios: Beautiful presentation with crappy content, or awesome content presented poorly. Neither one of those is what you want, which means you have to strike a delicate balance between the two. But in the process of striking that balance, if you can’t figure out how to reinforce the learning so learners retain it, then all your efforts in content and delivery are pointless. Each component of eLearning’s triple bottom line requires your best efforts. Below are three examples of eLearning content development companies getting the balance of eLearning’s triple bottom line just right. They are the top three content development companies named in 2014 by eLearning Industry. You can learn much from their industry leadership, or you can hire them as vendors to boost eLearning effectiveness at your company:

SweetRush has been in the eLearning content development business since 2001, and the company has clearly learned more than a few things about how to do it right as evidenced by the stack of awards it’s been winning lately. As the company says on its website, “We start by listening to you: the business drivers, the objectives, and the motivators. Every project and every audience is unique. We gather inspiration from the world around us. We embark on a journey of collaboration with you, and solving your challenge is our common goal. Whatever the solution – games, simulations, infographics, avatars, and more – our visuals are designed to enhance your brand, engage your learners, and create a memorable learning experience.” Check out some demos of the company’s efforts on its our work page.

City & Guilds Kineo provides a huge array of learning and development solutions, but it’s worth looking at what they have to say about developing customized eLearning content: “Our eLearning is based on a practical approach to ensure the learning is engaging, leads to genuine knowledge transfer and improves performance in the workplace. This means focusing on what matters; making it goal-based; practice, practice, practice; telling stories, making it look (and sound) great; talking learners’ language, making it real; and going beyond the module – sustain for change.” When a company’s clients include such companies as McDonald’s, Mitsubishi Motors, and the American Cancer Society, you know they’re getting it right. Check out stories about its work on the company’s case studies page.

Bottom-Line Performance. If boosting performance is the primary goal of your eLearning efforts, then BLP is a company you should examine. “Meet Today’s Needs. Anticipate tomorrow’s. Share what’s possible. It’s a core mission that drives us. We grow by staying on the leading edge of what makes a learning solution “right.” We don’t train people. We create solutions that engage people and motivate them to learn. And when people WANT to learn, they gain knowledge that lasts.” That’s a very compelling way to position learning content development. And it’s good to see that they understand the best process for getting there: “It’s why we always start with your desired outcome. We’ll chat with you to better understand the problem you need to solve and what you want learners to DO and KNOW. Then we partner with you and your subject matter experts to design and develop a solution that achieves those outcomes. Our goal is to make your solution meaningful, memorable, and motivating to your learners.” See examples of the company’s eLearning work here.

Whether you want to learn some tips from the best or hire them to fulfill your company’s eLearning objectives, the three companies listed above have a deep understanding of eLearning’s triple bottom line.