The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Using Learning Management Systems
The Trouble with Replacing Top Talent
Imagine this: your top performer, let’s call him Ryan, just won the lottery. Now Ryan is retiring at the ripe age of 31. You need to fill his position, and FAST.
The problem is, the external candidates you’re interviewing lack the experience and qualifications that correlate with success at Ryan’s position. You have a few internal candidates, like Susan, but you’re not sure Susan has the necessary skills to deserve the promotion. What do you do?
You can wait for the perfect candidate to come along.
While you bide time until that purple squirrel climbs down her tree and into the chair across from your desk for an interview, days and weeks turn into months of lost productivity.
The struggle is not specific to you. Unfilled jobs are costing the US economy more than $13B a month, and punching out at a whopping $160B annually. With unemployment at 4.1%, it lowest in 17 years, filling high-priority skill positions within your company is as challenging as ever.
Besides the cost of recruiting and onboarding, you’re probably pouring seemingly endless resources into retaining and engaging your employees.
But what about Susan? She has been with your organization for three years, she is a hard worker and excellent at what she does. How do you know if she has the talent to fill Ryan’s big shoes?
This situation occurs everyday in organizations all over the world–well, your top performers don’t win the lottery everyday, but they can leave your company for a host of other reasons: better opportunity elsewhere, sickness, relocation, and burnout to name a few.
With the current skills shortage in the workforce, an unexpected departure can wreak havoc on your organization. So what can you do?
Your retention and development initiatives will dictate your success in today’s talent-scarce workforce. Multifaceted learning and development solutions, like Learning Management Systems, are changing the way companies train, develop, and promote their talented workforce.
Today’s Skills Shortage: No Laughing Matter
The current skills shortage in the workforce is no joke. Of the 3,000 employers and managers responding in the Hays U.S. 2018 salary guide, more than half said they’re currently hiring.
Disturbingly, three quarters reported their industries are facing a skills shortage so severe that 92% of employers believe it to have a negative impact on productivity, employee satisfaction, and turnover.
When you can’t fill an open position within your organization, often times the duties for that position fall on one or a few employees who are probably already dealing with a full workload, upsetting their work life balance and leading to burnout.
Even more troubling is that workers believe they are not being offered enough opportunities for development, which is one of the biggest reasons many are looking for work elsewhere.
The answer to the dearth of talent in the workforce can only be found within your organization, especially when it comes to filling leadership positions. But 46% of professionals reported that they do not think that their leadership skills are being developed, and 40% of professionals don’t think that younger employees are encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities.
In an ever-shifting workplace where employees desire career development, many are not receiving it.
Now your company is dealing with an open position in the organization that no one is qualified to be promoted to, while there are only a handful of viable candidates in the open market. Yet your company is filled with talented people, like Susan, who want to opportunities for development. 66% of professionals say that access to projects to help keep their skills up-to-date would satisfy their desire for professional development.
Need another reason to start focusing on developing your already talented employees? How about the fact that getting new employees up to speed and at full productivity is expensive and time consuming— depending on the level of the employee (entry, manager, executive, etc.), costs range from $2K-$2.7M.
Many companies report that it can take 3-5 years to take a seasoned professional and make them fully productive in their new roles.
In that time you could not only develop Susan’s skills and knowledge, but you can reap the benefits of her productivity in her current role while bringing her along for an expanded and more meaningful role with your organization in the future.
The Skills Gaps Will Continue to be a Challenge for Companies
Get what you want by giving your employees what they want. As HR wizard Josh Bersin puts it, “…an increased investment in training is good for everyone: employees, businesses, and job seekers.”
You have to be willing to make a long-term investment in creating your own talent pool, and–luckily–your employees want to be developed.
Most of them are already readily investing in their own learning and development. Employees seek out continued learning because they believe it will help them improve at their job, propel their careers, and enhance their lives.
Training employees to follow processes and procedures is important, but to really engage workers you need to help them grow, evolve, and stay marketable. In turn they are more likely to stay with your company long term (and not just for the possibility of promotions), and will certainly be more productive as they become more skilled and equipped.
Although Employees are happiest when working with a communicative employer and when their work is challenging and fun, they still report that they want a job that provides them a chance to learn and grow.
Stu Watson of the Edward Lowe Foundation states it best: “…training enhances the productive capacity of workers, expands the company’s knowledge base and fosters employee loyalty.”
Creating loyalty can more than offset the cost of training initiatives through a reduction in turnover.
Building True Learning and Development
The way you train and develop your employees and the emphasis you put on continued learning shows employees several things about your company.
For one, it shows the company’s concern for employee’s personal growth and professional success and gives them the skills they need to tackle greater responsibility for greater pay.
Continued learning also keeps employees current with skills and thinking in their field and permits them to learn from peers both inside and outside the company.
Ryan is off to live the rest of his life beachside in Hawaii. But you are still stuck trying to fill Ryan’s position. Susan could be a good option, and would be a perfect option if she had been developed through skills and leadership training.
Without that training you can’t be sure Susan will succeed in Ryan’s position. The longer the position goes unfilled, the more money your business bleeds.
And what happens if you don’t promote Susan? She could leave for a better position elsewhere, or to a company that offers learning and development to their employees. It could be a competitor even, someone who values Susan’s experience in the industry.
Suddenly you’re dealing with two open positions and double the lost productivity.
A continued learning and development initiative will help prevent this situation. You can never be sure when a high-performing employee will leave, but you do know there is a real talent crisis companies are facing today.
A true commitment to L&D yields almost too many benefits to name. The money saved on lost productivity and turnover alone generate sizable ROI for your company.
Imagine you had taken the time to develop Susan from the beginning. When Ryan wins the lottery, good for him, and good for you, because you’re ready to pivot with a talented and viable replacement in Susan.
But, do you have a system in place to actually develop Susan’s skills? This is where a Learning Management System becomes a huge factor in your organization’s future.
What is an Learning Management System (LMS)?
In their article titled, “Learning Management Systems in a Changing Environment,” authors David Stone and Jack Zheng define learning management systems as “centralized web based information systems where the learning content is managed and learning activities are organized.”
A Learning Management System is a tremendous resource for employers focused on improving their internal training practices, eliminating expensive off-site training and the cost of printed training materials, and the professional development of their employees.
The powerful software solution combines database management with the digital framework for managing and creating courses, training materials, and analytics-driven evaluation tools.
An LMS is a one stop solution for you to deliver training materials to employees, administer tests and assignments, track their progress, and manage your organization’s historical learning.
Stone and Zheng emphasize that a “robust LMS integrates with other applications to meet business goals as well as ‘enabling management to measure the impact, effectiveness, and overall costs of training initiatives.’”
The system will help your organization track and scale consistency and compliance across the whole organization while also building a more competent, committed, and engaged workforce.
Among the many benefits of an LMS are the systems ability to “centralize and automate administration…assemble and deliver learning content rapidly…consolidate training initiatives on a scalable web-based platform…” and “…personalize content and enable knowledge reuse.”
To better understand how LMS platforms are shaping industries today, it is necessary to understand where they came from and how they’ve evolved to meet the demands of businesses now and into the future.
Learning Management Systems: A Brief History
“The history of LMS began in the 1960s when the PLATO learning system was created at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” PLATO was intended to house courses for university students and local schools, with course offerings such as Latin, chemistry, education, music, and primary mathematics
The prevalent features of the first learning management systems included student tracking, assessments to measure student progress, and extensive reporting features, which are all still prevalent features today.
With several steps along the way, the LMS took another leap in 1987, when Norway’s NKI distance Education Network first premiered EKKO, a platform developed specifically for education and distance learning. The ability to teach and train many learners over huge distances became the driving idea behind the continued development of LMSs.
In 1994, recognizing the need for learning in business, Rory McGreal, working for NB Learning Network, introduced the first corporate LMS. This paved the way for the next generation of employee training and education meant to facilitate business.
The turn of the Millenium ushered in the first open source LMS platforms. These open source LMSs were open to and allowed for many collaborators to build and expand courses, as well as opened access to millions of learners world wide, which drove adoption and early acceptance of more modern LMSs.
In an attempt to facilitate online access to information, the University of Zurich released a system called OLAT in 2000, for which they were awarded the uber-prestigious MEDIDA-PRIX, an award considered to be the most prized in German-speaking Europe. Among the criteria for winning the award is “outstanding innovations in e-learning and Eteaching.” OLAT was considered a trendsetting system in its time, and was the first open-source platform to gain major recognition.
The following year, Microsoft–recognizing the immense potential of eLearning systems–jumped into the fray with Encarta. Carrying the torch of open source, distance learning, Microsoft’s goals with Encarta included helping students to “complete assignments and interact with teachers wherever they have Internet access, while parents can use it to participate in the learning process and keep track of their children’s progress.”
Substitute “children” for “employees” and “parents” for “employers” and you begin to understand how the early developments in the LMS industry meant for schools and universities set the stage for corporate learning systems.
Employees get access to assignments and trainings wherever they have internet access, and employers can track their progress and participate in and facilitate the learning process.
The LMS industry continued to develop over the next decade, and applications that were specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses started hitting the market. With corporate training spending passing $150B, the need for scalable, easy-to-distribute content became evident.
The Learning Management Industry Explosion
In the corporate market in 2015, the six largest LMS providers constituted approximately 50% of the market. Yet in the last few years the market has become more fragmented as more and more vendors enter with new and improved solutions. Today, the LMS industry is valued at over $5B, and is expected to grow to $19B+ by 2022. Today, businesses have over 700 vendors to choose from.
This has empowered organizations to find more affordable, better options that fit their unique needs. Some vendors populate different spaces: enterprise, small to mid-sized businesses, and even more are built for specific industries like banking, healthcare, aviation, and more.
There are systems built directly for employee training and others built for customer training, and still more that are built for both.
The continued refinement of platforms discovering their own niche has made LMS software more accessible than ever, and even more important for businesses today than at any time previous.
Now, 39% of formal learning hours are delivered via technology-based methods, in multiple formats including online courses, mobile delivery, videos, and self paced-learnings.
New learning management systems are making distributing information to employees as easy as ever and managing the time and expenses invested in educating employees more intuitive and insightful.
Today, LMS platforms are fully customizable and accommodate all types of evaluation mechanisms.
Essential Features of a Learning Management System
With technology advances and resource availability constantly changing learning environments, LMSs have had to evolve to satisfy the growing needs of learners and facilitators. This evolution includes features that make the LMS more personal, social, flexible, and mobile.
Along these lines a LMS providers have designed and implemented a plethora of features that makes understanding and choosing the right system more challenging for businesses.
To cut through all the noise you must first understand which features are essential features of any good LMS.
Any system that is going to give your business immediate, measurable results should have these 5 features:
- Course Creation Tools
Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at how many LMS options on the market today lack a course building tool.
In their 2007 article, An argument for clarity: what are learning management systems, what are they not, and what should they become?, William R. Watson and Sunnie Lee Watson identify the ability to develop “content, including authoring, maintaining, and storing,” as a “functional requirement for a corporate LMS.”
To recognize the maximum benefit of an LMS, it’s essential your organization has the capabilities to build courses that fit your unique business practices.
LMSs without a course building tool work by connecting you to a library of course content, some free and some you have to pay for in addition to the costs of the software, but these courses aren’t always customizable and may not fit the specific needs of your organization.
Some LMS platforms require you to build your own content outside the platform and then import the courses into the system.
This isn’t ideal either.
Not only should your LMS have course creation tools, but those tools should be intuitive and easy to use for even the most tech-illiterate people in your organization. Unless the people who manage your training initiatives are also “techies,” your system needs to be built to accommodate the everyday employee.
The best systems will connect to a content library and have an intuitive course builder tool.
- Certification Tracking
Skills and certification tracking is another essential feature for corporate LMSs. Certification tracking helps ensure you’re in compliance with government regulations by automating notifications when certifications are set to expire for employees and giving them an easy to access method to renew and test for certifications.
As William R. Watson and Sunnie Lee Watson put it, “Assessing learners’ competency gaps and managing skills acquisition and status,” are “functional requirements” of any corporate LMS.
An added benefit of tracking course completion and certification is a complete overview on employee progress, which shows your immediate returns on learning efforts.
Automatic notifications when courses are due to be completed and certifications are set to expire based on an employee’s job, responsibilities, and location are essential for businesses.
- Custom Assessments/Assignments
Businesses need tests and assessments to ensure the information employees are engaging with is sticking.
In “An Argument for Clarity,” Watson and Watson lay out the necessity for any LMS, either education or corporate based, to provide and support the “authoring of assessments.”
The LMS must collect “the results of student performance,” and have learning pathways designed so that “lessons are provided based on the individual student’s learning progress.”
Assessments will help you track improvement over time, which gives you an overview of how employees are engaging with the system, and how they are progressing in their skills development.
The best LMS platforms allow you to implement tests throughout courses, which allows for quick and meaningful assessments on the information employees are retaining and ensures they understand each aspect of training before moving on through the course.
Assessments work to discover specific topics employees are struggling, and that data will inform you on additional learning modules to assign–or reassign–until employees are more confident and competent with the information.
A properly designed test is one of the best ways to measure how much information employees retain and helps you to identify deficiencies in employee knowledge while providing insights on ways to improve the courses and trainings.
- Reporting and Analytics Dashboard
Stone and Zheng highlight the importance of reporting and analytics features for businesses, noting that reporting and analytics features will capture “historical records” that are necessary to “track the longitudinal impact of the learning module on future performance.”
Without this essential feature, you will struggle to track how employees are engaging with the content, determine if their skills are improving, and calculate the ROI the system provides as the “data captured allows for the reporting of performance for return on investment calculations.”
A good LMS platform will offer metrics that will help you evaluate every aspect of your online training courses: from assessments, to engagement, to how employee performance has improved over time.
This type of real-time reporting feature helps you refine and improve your courses and processes while also showing you what type or returns the LMS is generating for your organization.
Reports should be presented in an easy-to-read dash view and also be downloadable in various file formats like .pdf or .csv for presentations, budgeting, and board meetings.
- Interactive Discussions and Peer Support Network (aka a Social Learning Network)
Like much of what we do in the workplace each day, learning is inherently social, and an LMS should have features that take advantage of this.
Features that allow for interactive discussions and creation of a peer support network fits into what Zheng and Stone describe as “human nature” when it comes to learning needs. An LMS needs to also work as a “social learning network…created specifically for the purpose of learning.”
When employees have the chance to learn from each other, the learning process is not only enhanced, but the strain on your organization’s training and support employees is also reduced.
A peer support network also fills the need of “learners and professionals to maintain connections with experts in a wide variety of topics,” which has become even more important “as professions have become increasingly specialized.”
Message boards and social learning features are the best way to answer questions and support your employees learning. Plus, when an employee takes the time to explain a topic to other employees, he enhances his own understanding of the topic. This adds value “for corporations who are seeking to build knowledge networks within their organization,” according to Stone and Zheng.
Learning at your own pace, on your own and whenever you want is great. Yet learning is often enhanced when difficult or confusing concepts can be discussed and broken down by people currently interacting with the course materials, and those who have already successfully passed the course.
Learning is certainly enhanced through community, which is why good LMS platforms have discussion boards where peer-to-peer support and subject matter experts can work together and discuss issues learners are facing.
The purpose of a social learning network is “to be able to see, network, collaborate, and share with people” that have “similar learning experiences,” and to create an environment “to facilitate communication and collaboration, and ultimately learning and doing” within your organization.
You can create a dynamic environment with a great experience when your LMS has collaborative forums and support tools.
Employees can use these tools to solve problems, work through challenging concepts, and help one another through the entire learning process.
Any LMS you seriously consider bringing on should have, at minimum, course creations tools, certification tracking, assessment tools, reporting and analytics dashboards, and a social learning environment. After these, many features are simply icing on the cake for your organization.
But, without these 5 features, an LMS is likely to be a hefty financial burden on your organization, and whatever returns it does provide will be diminished or less than what you would receive from a fully developed LMS.
Even with all these features, Learning Management Systems still come with specific advantages, and few disadvantages, of which you will want to be aware.
Advantages, Disadvantages, And What You Need to Know about an LMS
Out of all the tools your organization can adopt, few directly benefit employees like a Learning Management System.
With an LMS you can automate training and certification, create a compliant, uniform workforce, and build out course and learning paths that scale as the business does, but the truly wonderful thing about an LMS is that while it helps a business hit all types of goals, the system’s biggest benefit is how it empowers employees.
Besides instant access to courses anytime, from any device, and in any location (with an internet connection), an LMS provides three HUGE benefits to employees, which translates to benefits to you and your organization.
Benefit #1: Competency and Confidence
In short, a Learning Management System empowers your employees, because it allows for open up access to training, options to retake courses, and fully-developed learning paths designed to help employees shore up deficiencies.
Without an LMS, employees are at the mercy of training schedules and have limited access to course materials after the training is complete. The problem with this is not everyone learns perfectly right away. Some people will want to retake courses, or review training materials and re-listen to lectures.
For any number of reasons: stress from their other duties; lack of sleep because a child was sick the night before; or a case of the early morning, pre-coffee haze; not all of your employees will maximize their learning and benefit the most from trainings at the same time. Expecting them to be able to do so if setting up yourself, and them, for failure.
Traditional training methods have no built in responsiveness to immediately address when an employee or manager recognizes a clear deficiency.
At best, you can schedule a training for some later date to help the employee. Unless you have an entire group of employees who need that specific training, this is not a cost effective solution. And in the meantime your employee continues to come to work everyday and perform well below their potential.
Employees who have access to trainings when they need them, or when they’re primed to learn best, will engage with the courses more. Zheng and Stone call this “self-directed learning,” a process in which learners can assess their own needs, “set learning goals, monitor learning progress, and evaluate learning outcomes by themselves.”
The self-directed learning approach is bolstered by the openness of an LMS, as the same analytics and reporting features that benefit employers and administrators so much also have “tremendous potential for providing…these tracking measures” back to the employee for “self-monitoring.”
Employees who engage with the courses will have an increased understanding of your product, service, and procedures, as well as the specific needs of the customer, and as they continue on a self-directed learning or prescribed pathway their confidence and performance will improve hand over fist.
Confidence will drive employees to take charge when necessary, to own issues as they occur from day to day and resolve them without always having to look to a manager or higher-up to resolve issues.
The benefit to your business is competent employees who provide a better experience to your customers, streamlined services, and managers that are free to work on higher level tasks.
Benefit #2: Engagement and Loyalty
When employees feel lost in the workplace, or feel under equipped to handle even the most basic functions of your business, they will quickly become disengaged.
In their 2016 State of the American Workplace Report, Gallup identifies 12 factors that lead to employee engagement or lack thereof. The top two influencers of employee engagement are
- I (employee) know what is expected of me at work, and;
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Chief among the materials and equipment employees require to do their work properly is the knowledge necessary to perform and succeed in their everyday tasks.
When employees feel confident in their ability to perform their everyday tasks, are equipped to do their work right, and are competent in their understanding of higher level issues, the likelihood of them being engaged increases.
Too often, employees are left to their own devices.
They’re not equipped properly, which allows them to “shrug their shoulders” when issues arise that should require immediate action, thinking to themselves that since they’re not trained to handle the task, it must not be something they need to worry about.
Leaving employees to figure it out on their own is not a sound business strategy. Gallup’s #4 indicator of employee engagement is that the employee has, in the last seven days, “received recognition or praise for doing good work.” Without this recognition, employees are left to their own devices, and are likely to “clock out” mentally.
When you empower employees to own their work and their environment, to self-direct their learning and progress, and handle situations without always having to defer to their manager or supervisor, they will not only rise to the occasion, but do so willingly.
Suddenly, your workforce is engaged in what they’re doing.
Yet when you allow employees to become disengaged, they are way more likely to leave your organization. Or worse, they stay on and collect a paycheck as long as they can while also killing productivity and hurting morale. Gallup also reports that companies with engaged workforces see an average of 24%-59% lower turnover
Take the steps to equip your employees with skills and knowledge.
In so doing you create a feedback loop: employees feel empowered by you, then feel thankful for your trust and for equipping them with the tools they need to succeed, which leads to more loyal, productive, and engaged employees who stay at your business longer and continue to advance up the organizational hierarchy.
Benefit #3: Growth and Opportunity
Expose a sprouting plant to the sun, water it regularly, and watch it grow. The same goes for your employees.
When you bring an employee on, you’re most likely hedging your bets in a few ways:
- you are looking at the employee’s experience and body of work and;
- anticipating that she will maintain or exceed that level of output when she joins your organization.
Although this is sound reasoning, how often does it actually happen?
You can’t just stick a seed in some dirt and expect it to grow and flourish, even though every seed has the potential to do just that.
Without sunlight, some water, and nice, clean oxygen, your seed is going to take forever to sprout, and when it does it will never reach its full potential.
An LMS is like a nourishment system for your employees, it helps them grow into the fully productive individuals you imagined they’d be when you hired them. An LMS is what you use to grow a Susan into a Ryan.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all seeds that sprout end up producing the same amount of fruit. The nourishment and care a seed receives is going to heavily influence its growth, and eventually, its production. The same goes for your employees.
When you equip your employees with all the resources they need to grow, you are intelligently guiding them to be the best employee, the best human they can be. And when that employee reaches their full potential, the possibilities are endless for what they can give back to your business.
With an LMS, you’re creating future managers, supervisors, executives, and representatives for your brand and company.
Do You Actually Need an LMS?
A learning management system is a powerful resource for employers focused on improving their internal training practices, eliminating expenses related to off-site training and the cost of printed training materials, and the professional development of their employees.
The powerful software combines database management with the digital framework for managing and creating courses, training materials, and analytics-driven evaluation tools.
There are many reasons organizations worldwide are adopting LMS platforms, from engaging employees, preparing your best talent for advancement, and building a more well-rounded and consistent workforce.
LMS platforms are helping organizations hit their goals and preparing small businesses and start-ups for scale.
Among the many benefits an LMS can provide your organization, the following are measurable, and actionable results you can expect:
An LMS is an amazing tool for addressing deficiencies and getting more productivity from your employees. An LMS gives employees quick and easy access to learning tools, which helps them become better at their jobs.
Any time a situation occurs that has an employee feeling out of his depth, he can quickly circle back to the online trainings in the LMS to brush up on any important information.
New employees have to assimilate a ton of information when they first start with your company, meaning training and onboarding at the beginning of their tenure with your organization is especially susceptible to being lost or forgotten. With the LMS, employees have the opportunity to retake courses to solidify information they lost in their first days.
When you are able to identify these situations, or bottlenecks in productivity, you can build out and assign learning modules meant to directly address these deficiencies.
By shoring these up right away, you solve issues related to productivity and give your employees the opportunity to stay fresh and up to date with the most important information for success.
Reduce Training Costs
The traditional methods for training employees are outdated and costly. Forget the fact that people learn better when they can take on information at their own pace, instead of trying to force every detail of a training session into their brain all at once. Methods for training employees like off-site training, hiring instructors to teach employees, and paying for the printing of manuals, handbooks, and exams makes training employees a very costly proposition.
An LMS gives you the opportunity to automate, optimize, and digitize training. Instead of paying for an instructor to come train your employees once or twice a year, you can record the training, break it into subject-based modules, and assign them one at a time for employees to study at their own pace.
Materials that used to have to be printed–like manuals, handbooks, onboarding pamphlets, and assessments–can be created and stored in the LMS. Again, you only have to do this once and then you have access to the materials, and the ability to duplicate and assign them as many times as you need.
As you start to scale your business and your workforce expands from 50 to 100 to 1000 employees, the cost of disseminating training materials remains the same.
Centralize Data Storage
As I just mentioned, centralized storage of all your training materials and courses is one of the biggest and most overlooked benefits of an LMS.
No matter how large your workforce becomes, all of your materials can be easily assigned again and again. You can save and store historical data from all of your learning modules. Assign them again and again, or expand and improve them based off real-time data.
Centralized data storage also reduces the risk of losing important content. Instead of having your training content spread out over different hard drives and devices, you can store all of your materials in one location.
Your employees have access to the information at any time, and it doesn’t go away unless you want it to.
Easy to Expand (Grows as you do)
If you want to add additional online modules in order to update information based on new trends, products, and policies, you can simply login to the LMS and make the necessary modifications without recreating your entire training course.
All of the content is in one location, which allows you to change only the master eLearning course and then deploy it to all of your online learners. This is in stark contrast to a traditional course, where you would have to send every employee an updated manual or handout.
One of the most significant benefits of an LMS for small businesses is that it is so easy to tailor to meet your needs.
The system can be as reactive as you need it to be. You can easily update modules to include new information or training materials for employees. And all of this is infinitely scalable.
Employee training leads to improved customer service, given that employees have the tools and knowledge to successfully represent your brand and know the basics of customer care.
An LMS gives you the ability to offer learning materials and courses to your employees that will significantly boost customer service skills, which will inevitably lead to increased customer loyalty and increased profits.
If you have new products that you’d like your employees to become experts with or newly enacted company or state-mandated policies, then an LMS is a tool that helps you keep your employees updated and in the loop.
If you are launching a new product that involves a variety of features your sales people need to know about in order to effectively sell, you can create a course or learning module that highlights all of the current information.
The Full View on LMS(s)
With learning management systems, you gain the ability to keep track of employee development and progress. LMS analytics tools give you an 10,000-foot view in the form of reports on all of your learning initiatives and employees’ progress.
If you want to see how a particular employee is faring in terms of skill development, you simply log on to the platform and view their stats and reports.
You can then work with them to fine tune any skills that may be lacking and, based upon your findings, place them in the area of your business where they will excel the most.
You can also give employees the opportunity to work in new departments should they prove that they have expanded their knowledge base, or start building them up to take on management and executive positions within your organization.
Essentially, an LMS allows your organization to become an Employee Success Machine.
The return an LMS provides you in savings on traditional training modalities alone more than justifies the move to adopt a system for yourself. But when you factor in the benefits to employee performance, the endless scalability of the system, the ability to expand learnings as you need, and the opportunity to develop junior and entry level employees into effective, powerful future managers for your organization makes adopting an LMS a need, not a want.
You Have Options
A Learning Management System is technology’s answer to the talent shortage in today’s ever-decreasing workforce. An LMS is the tool that savvy business owners and managers are using to ensure their Susans are ready to replace their Ryans when the time comes, without sacrificing productivity or talent, and without spending thousands on recruiting a candidate who may not fit in with the organization’s culture.