Top 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Your First LMS
Updated: Feb 8
If you’re here, it’s likely because you’ve made the decision to find a corporate learning management system for your team, which means you’re one step closer to a headache-free training process—and that’s something to celebrate.
But first, you have to go through the process of choosing an LMS (Learning Management System) that fits your company, goals, and needs.
With hundreds of options on the market, choosing the wrong LMS can end up doing more harm than good. To help you avoid unnecessary headaches and finally have a stress-free system in place, here are the top 12 mistakes to avoid when purchasing your first LMS:
1. Not Knowing Your Goals
Why is right now the right time for you to purchase an LMS? Is it to increase sales? Improve training retention? Save time on employee training? These are all common reasons for purchasing an LMS. But before you make your purchase, we encourage you to dig a bit deeper into your “why” by creating clear, attainable goals.
If you’re struggling to establish specific goals, try filling in the blanks of the following statements:
I want to improve sales by __% in __ weeks/months.
I want to reduce employee onboarding time from __ months to __ weeks.
I want to reduce our annual employee training costs by __% in __ months.
I want __ employees to complete __ training courses in __ months.
By setting specific goals before you purchase an LMS, you can better measure your success and return on investment.
2. Not Setting Employees up for Success
One of the key benefits of an LMS is the ease it brings to course instructors. But really, it’s the employees who should be kept at the front and centre of every decision. Ask yourself:
Who will be using the platform? Will it solely be for training new employees, or will it be used company-wide?
How tech-savvy is your company? Depending on your employees’ demographics and skill levels, some people may be more comfortable using an online learning platform than others. Look for an LMS that’s intuitive, user-friendly, and speaks to all ages and abilities. Can you customize the look and feel of the LMS? To make employees feel comfortable on the platform, it’s best to find an option you can customize with your company logo and colours so it’s instantly recognizable for each and every visitor.
What does your team think? Distribute a survey to gather insight from those who will be using the LMS to measure expectations, identify employee needs, and eventually choose the best LMS for corporate training for your team.
3. Not Considering the Purpose of the Purchase
While trainee testing is the most-used LMS function, you can also use the platform for everything from record-keeping to content creation to advanced reporting and more. Before you purchase your LMS, first consider the purpose behind your purchase:
Are you looking for a way to simplify administrative tasks, improve document organization, or deliver your training materials?
Will you need e-commerce integration to sell your courses?
Will you only be using it for employee onboarding, or for continued training and development?
4. Not Making it Accessible
Today’s adult learner wants to access their training courses anytime, anywhere. While mobile-friendly courses and cloud-based hosting used to be nice-to-haves in an employee training platform, now, they’re must-have features.
5. Not Determining Your Training Methods
Creating employee training courses that are as effective as they are enjoyable all comes down to providing a variety of learning methods. You’ll want to find an LMS that offers different course sizes, from microlearning courses to a single course to a comprehensive module series.
Next, consider the type of media you want to use in your courses and make note of any that are make-or-break in your final choice:
Quizzes and tests
Instructor-Led Training (ILT)
Social learning (discussion boards, messaging systems, etc.)
Certifications and awards for course completion
6. Not Automating Your Reporting
Through robust reporting, you can track learner success, course completion rates, and more. Then, you can compare the outcomes against the goals you set at the beginning of your purchasing process to determine if the LMS is helping you produce your desired results.
While most LMS providers allow you to create and deliver reports manually, an automated system will add ease with a set-it-and-forget-it schedule.
7. Not Including Hosting Services
With cloud-based hosting, your courses can be accessed by your team with ease, no matter where they are or what device they use. To ensure your company receives safe and secure hosting and regular maintenance, you'll want to work with a provider that offers hosting and support.
8. Not Prioritizing Integrations
Integration is the biggest challenge for a third of LMS users. At Learning Studio, we believe the best LMS for corporate training is one that integrates seamlessly into your day-to-day workflow. If it doesn’t, is it really that helpful? Look for an LMS that can easily integrate with some of the most-used workplace apps and platforms, such as:
9. Not Establishing Your Budget or Timeline
Whether you’re the sole decision-maker or need to present leadership with multiple LMS options before purchasing, your budget and timeline will play a vital role in deciding which platform you choose. Possible costs vary from platform to platform, depending on:
Whether it’s a monthly or annual cost.
Whether you’re purchasing pre-made courses or designing them yourself.
Whether they charge a flat fee or charge per user or course.
Additional or hidden costs for hosting, course updates, or tech support.
10. Not Planning Ahead
More than likely, one of the main reasons you're looking to invest in an LMS is because your company is growing, which is fantastic news! But if you don’t choose an LMS that can grow with you, it can end up holding you back. A scalable LMS will make it easy for you to update your courses (either yourself or through the support team), add additional courses, and can accommodate the number of users you need on the platform.
11. Not Choosing a Corporate Learning Management System
Not all LMSs are created equal. An LMS built for schools and educators won’t cater to your corporate needs as a mid-size business. Adult learners engage, retain, and apply information differently than younger learners. The best LMS for corporate training should include features and structures that allow you to embrace adult learning techniques in a corporate setting.
12. Not Testing it First
Like any investment, you want to make sure the fit is right before you make your purchase. Confident LMS providers know this, and they’ll provide a free trial or demo of their product so you can see it for yourself. During your test run, check to see how intuitive the LMS platform is to a new user like yourself, as well as how easy it is to create courses, add users, navigate the backend, customize the look, and deliver the learning materials.
BONUS: Learning Management System Evaluation Checklist
Ready to finally find the best LMS for corporate training and employee onboarding? Use this checklist while you search to determine which platform has the technical features, course creation options, and support you need:
Must-Have Technical Features of a Good LMS:
User-friendly across multiple devices (computer, tablet, smartphone)
Customizable to your company’s brand
Easy integration with the applications and platforms you use on a daily basis
Robust automated reporting that helps you track, evaluate, and create reports on employee training and progress
AI integration to ease the course creation process and improve your courses
Must-Have Course Creation Features of a Good LMS:
Flexible course development that allows both do-it-yourself and done-for-you options
Diverse learning methods like gamification, quizzes, instructor-led training, social learning, and more
Course development that’s made for adult learners and enterprise training instead of students
E-commerce options for selling courses
Social learning capabilities for informal learning
Must-Have Support Features of a Good LMS:
A support team of real-life humans instead of automated bots
A free trial or demo available ahead of purchase
A team of specialists; everyone from LMS Technologists to Instructional Designers to Success Managers and more
A roster of clients that include companies and organizations similar to yours
A helpful knowledge base (blog or FAQ) that provides valuable insights into the industry, company, and processes
A team that’s up-to-date with the latest online learning and training trends
Not to be Dramatic…
But the right LMS can transform a company from the inside out. You can increase employees’ learning retention up to 60%, train five times faster than traditional training methods, and gain a competitive edge in your industry. First, though, you need effective, engaging training materials. With Learning Studio's custom elearning course development, 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.
Book a call to learn more about our custom elearning services today!