What is a Learning Management System (LMS) and how can it Elevate Your Employee Training?
Updated: Feb 3
Even if a company has a silky-smooth succession plan, the employee training process can still be a headache for all involved.
As the business owner or director, you’ll be taking time away from your day-to-day tasks to train the new employee, leaving you to catch up on work later on.
And the new hire? Well, they just got handed (or emailed) old-school training materials that have them questioning if their new workplace is as forward-thinking as they made themselves out to be in the job ad.
If this is how they train employees, what will the rest of my job look like? Will I be working on a typewriter? Sipping coffee to the sounds of a dial-up modem every morning? How cutting-edge are they really…
Okay, we might be getting ahead of ourselves a bit.
The point is, if an interview is your employee’s first impression of your company, the training process is the second date, where they learn a lot more about how you actually operate beyond the superficial stuff.
So, how do you make a fantastic second impression? By providing them with a training experience that’s so simple and streamlined, it’s a breeze for them and you.
Enter: the LMS.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What Does LMS Mean?
LMS stands for Learning Management System.
We also like to think it stands for Learning Made Simple, because that’s exactly what it accomplishes.
An LMS is an online platform that helps educators, HR professionals, business owners, and team leaders create, manage, deliver, and track training courses.
LMS technologies are extremely popular in the education industry, and that popularity has only skyrocketed over the last couple of years as online learning has increased.
But LMS platforms are also extremely helpful for growing businesses and established enterprises alike.
For example, say you had a training course that all new employees needed to pass. Right now, you may be sending out printed booklets or a link to a clunky, third-party website that’s, well, kind of embarrassing.
You have a hard time tracking employees’ progress, it’s not branded to your company, and there’s no way to truly customize it to your goals.
But with an LMS, you can manage all your different training programs and employees, create unique courses, track progress, and automate reports.
Basically, it’s the easiest way to educate and train employees.
Why use a Learning Management System?
If traditional training methods are the unpaved backroads of employee training, an LMS is the smooth new superhighway. In a silver lining kind of way, realizing you’re in desperate need of an LMS is a really good thing. Why? Because it typically means your company is thriving. Here’s how an LMS can help:
Your Company is Scaling, but You’re Struggling to Keep Up Great news! Your company is growing, and you need to hire more top talent to keep up with the demand for your services or product. But with every new employee comes new training, and you’re only one person (or team). You’re starting to feel overwhelmed with the increase in work, and you just know something is going to fall through the cracks soon.
You’re Losing Time to Employee Training Ideally, new employees are trained as quickly and comprehensively as possible to get them set up for success and into their new roles seamlessly. But when there’s so much other work to do, training can almost fall to the back burner, taking more time and becoming less effective and efficient.
You’re Constantly Retraining Employees The best employee is still going to have a few questions when they start a new job or role. But if you (or a team lead) are constantly going through the same programs or processes, it means the employee didn’t retain what they were taught. Even if they’re trained in-person, and not walked through a manual or three-ring binder, what they’re being taught is less likely to stick if they aren’t actively engaged and motivated.
Your Employees Want to Upskill, but They Have no Way to do It Another silver lining: Your employees have the desire to improve their skills while staying at the company. This is a huge achievement because it’s a testament to the workplace culture you’ve created. But when they have no resources to help them upskill, they’ll likely start looking outside the company for opportunities that allow for that desired growth. With an LMS, you can get ahead of that scenario and create customized courses designed to help employees upskill — and stay motivated and happy at the company.
LMS Benefits for Businesses
The purpose of an LMS is to help you help the employees you work with. Its job is to make your job easier, in turn helping your employees — and the company — succeed. An LMS can also help you:
Save Time Instead of spending hours overseeing or leading in-person training, employees can take it upon themselves to learn with self-led online training sessions. Online learning helps employees learn five times faster than traditional methods, while also saving HR professionals’ time so they can focus on other tasks.
Provide Flexible Learning Options Employees want to learn at their own pace and at their own point of need. With self-directed online courses, you can give them the flexibility they crave, not only in terms of self-management, but also in the way they learn. With the right LMS, you can create self-led online courses, video training, and blended learning options that are tailored to the learners, the business, and the learning objectives.
Increase Accessibility Learners are more motivated to learn and more engaged with what they’re learning when they’re using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This also helps them train when and where they want, whether it’s in-office, on their break, or on their commute.
Customize Your Courses An LMS training platform will allow you to easily customize your course designs, whether you want to brand the course to your company or to the goals of individual employees.
Help Employees Retain Important Information Remember those never-ending questions from the new hire? You can decrease them with online training courses that help them retain what they’re learning. Online learning can help engage learners and increase learning retention anywhere from 25% to 60% through gamification techniques interactive courses.
Assess and Report Employee Progress Your LMS should include comprehensive assessment and reporting features, allowing you to easily track and review who’s completed their training, and how well they did. With easy access to reports, you can ensure no critical employee training has been missed.
Stay Ahead in Your Training Many companies make constant shifts in their best practices, compliance courses, and training over the years, which can be a pain to update. With an LMS, though, those updates are pain-free. Updated courses can be shared instantly with employees, ensuring teams are kept informed and up-to-date.
Save on Costs Traditional training costs can include instructor payment, travel expenses, and accommodation costs, not to mention the printing fees (Have you seen the cost of printer ink?). Suffice to say, it adds up quickly. Investing in a high-quality LMS eliminates those costs, and instead, streamlines your investment into a high-quality training platform.
Retain Employees Learning and development professionals agree that upskilling and reskilling are more important than ever before. With an LMS, you can create courses that keep employees motivated within their roles and create learning pathways to help them move up in their careers. With that opportunity for internal mobility, they’ll be twice as likely to stay with the company.
Scale Your Business With Ease All that time it takes to train employees using traditional methods can eat away at the time you should be spending growing your business. There aren’t always enough hours in a day to train everyone and reach your business goals — unless you have an LMS doing the work for you.
10 Things to Look for in a Learning Management System
Not all LMS technologies are created equal. An LMS created for educators won’t effectively address the needs of a corporation. And even if an LMS is designed for corporations, many aren’t as efficient and modern as today’s employees need.
So where do they go wrong? Learning and development professionals say the six biggest barriers to using an LMS are:
The inability to integrate the LMS with other digital platforms
Poor user experience
Cost of the program
No mobile capability
Poor customer and technical support
Instead, look for an LMS with:
1. An Easy-to-Use Platform
Your LMS should feel intuitive for you, and the learner. Through the Learning Studio training platform, you can either build your own courses within the platform or have our team design or upload courses for you. We’re here to make training easier for you — not harder.
2. Automated Tracking and Reporting
At Learning Studio, our admin dashboards allow you to easily assign courses, view learner progress and see automated reports that provide you with measurable results and testing records.
3. Customized Course Creation
When you already have established training materials, you’ll need an LMS provider (and support team) that can take those PDFs, PowerPoints, and binders and turn them into engaging online courses that are tailored to your company.
4. A Branded Interface
Branding your online training courses to match your company is a subtle detail that makes the employee’s training experience feel much more seamless. It signals to the learner that your company is tech-savvy and consistent; there’s no uncertainty of where they are or who they’re learning from.
5. Instructional Design
The online training courses you create with your LMS should be driven by instructional design. Instructional designers are specifically trained to create learning materials. They analyze the needs and goals of the course, and design and develop a product that helps learners achieve the set goals in an engaging and effective way.
6. Gamification Elements
Another sign of a great LMS is one that uses gamification techniques in its course creation. Adult learners especially benefit from the use of gamification, such as timed quizzes, role-playing scenarios, puzzles, or challenges.
7. Rewards and Achievements
Hand-in-hand with gamification are reward-based elements such as leaderboards, badges, certifications, or gated content that can only be reached once the learner passes their current course level or exam. This approach to LMS course creation is also especially effective for adult learners, as it provides tangible motivation to achieve their goals (and beyond).
8. Human Support
Few things are more frustrating than needing to talk to a human, but only getting a robot. Look for an LMS provider that provides a dedicated success manager who will deal with the tech, set-up, and maintenance side of the process for you.
Online training courses should be so accessible that there’s no reason an employee can’t use them. You’ll want to look for cloud-based LMS hosting that allows for this, as well as mobile- and tablet-friendly course designs. Through our employee training platform, learners can even access their courses through an app, adding even more ease to the training process.
10. Affordable Costs
At Learning Studio, we believe every business should have access to better employee training options. While we use a high-quality LMS that’s also utilized by Fortune 500 companies, we’ve made our platform affordable for small to mid-sized businesses, too.
It’s Time to Ditch the Three-Inch Binder
If you’re like 79% of learning and development professionals, you’re focusing more on online learning and leaning away from instructor-led training, anyways.
With Learning Studio, you can ditch the tech-headache and time spent on training, and streamline your approach to train more efficiently, more effectively, and in a way that employees will actually enjoy. Our instructional designers and elearning developers will create online courses your colleagues will love. Get in touch today to learn more.