The workforce is changing. 87% of millennials have cited professional development as an important element in their career path. Providing your employees with instruction that truly reaches them is a win-win for both you and your staff. With the net flooded with information about how your company can purchase a Learning Management System (LMS), how do you separate fact from fiction? Every LMS has its own unique selection of features. Many platforms specialize in a unique focus. Some are geared toward compliance while others are more tailored to integrations and media. Others meet the needs of a particular industry sector. Here are some tips to cut through the clutter.
By Michael Strickland
In the past, businesses regularly hired training experts to deliver face-to-face seminars. This practice proved to be costly, especially for small businesses. Employees involved in the training needed to be taken away from their assigned jobs, often leading to disruptions in the services a company provides. This, in turn, added to the cost training. But such training is invaluable. According to Troy McClain, CEO of Tovuti, “Businesses that engage in good teaching and learning enjoy up to four times better employee retention. They also earn three times more revenue.”
There is a solution. The best Learning Management System (LMS) software can be administered without a full-time trainer. Find a system with a competitive price, easy setup, and administration, as well as the ability to host both instructor-led and online courses. The LMS is also user-friendly for employees.
Here are five reasons that such a cloud-based Learning Management System will significantly reduce your small business training cost and increase efficiency.
1) Tracking. By using an LMS to deliver and track employee training, businesses can minimize disruptions in the workplace, and personalize training modules. When employees train at their own pace, retention of learning materials is enhanced. Because they can train anywhere and on almost any computer or mobile device, there is no need to pay costly travel bills that come with off-site training.
2) Recognition. Companies with a solid strategy to let their employees know that they are valued and appreciated enjoy stronger engagement and increased employee morale. Better customer service and lower turnover also happen. According to Snacknation.com, acknowledging achievement can bring ROI up to 50% higher productivity and as much as a 20% increase in business outcomes. This area is one of the biggest motivators for employees. But employee appreciation doesn’t have to be that glamorous or expensive. Keep track of milestones your team members achieve during their orientations and training. At the same time, save your business money. Offer badges as rewards as employees complete progressive levels of training.
3) Customization. With platforms that serve students well, you can import training materials or create your own. Look for ones that provide a range of tools. Complete course builders, comprehensive performance review dashboards, and popular gamification strategies are very effective. Real-time notifications and built-in survey tools help instructors and students stay connected. They are also equipped with eCommerce features that help monetize your courses. Utilize salesforce integration and tracking options during both online and instructor-led live training. Upload PowerPoint, video, Word, SCORM, and PDF files to customize your training program. Managers should also make use of an assessment engine that supports multiple test types.
4) Access. Trainees can complete courses from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. A good LMS has security features, reporting tools, and world-class customer support and also has one log in to all dashboards. In many cases, as each client jumps from one add on to another they must re-login, update their information and can never be credited for payments, points earned or progress made from one application to the other. The need for a fluid client journey that tracks, reports and credits clients for progress made, credits earned and payments applied is critical! This intuitive learning management system helps drive improvement through gamification and streamlined course implementations.
5) Reach. With a good LMS, the number of active trainees allowed and the features available are vast. Some of the best programs can include up to 1,000 active trainees and 50 admin accounts. Trusted by businesses of all sizes, they will accelerate internal and external learning. Classroom, mobile, social, and eCommerce capabilities become unified in one secure, scalable platform. With the right online learning strategies, companies can delineate the learning environment into segments, branching out to learning paths according to the appropriate pace. Courses created in the system can be used to train employees, salespeople, and customers. They can also be packaged and sold to clients or other companies.
Such systems are the future of corporate training. They promote proactive learning and personable coaching for small, medium, and large companies.
Work with an easy-to-navigate user interface that supports numerous integrations, one that allows you to integrate your brand, learning portal, and curriculum to your heart’s content. Finally, find a program that offers various quote-based subscription plans. The feature list and long-term costs should combine with functionality, flexibility, and usability as vital considerations. Find, choose and compare learning management systems for employee training and get the maximum return for your investment.
Michael Strickland is an instructor of Communication and Media at Boise State University. He brings his three decades of experience to the dialogue — helping students, faculty, businesses, and nonprofits transform and grow — keeping pace with the ever-changing dynamics of teaching, training, and learning.