Learning Management Systems, or LMS, are software applications that are intended for training, learning, or development programs. LMS was based on the concept of e-Learning. Because of LMS, you will be able to deploy your training courses and offer them to your staff without geographical bounds.
Basic Features of an LMS
While an LMS can be used for a variety of learning purposes, you may find that the basic features of different LMS are similar. For one, it allows you to manage users, upload courses, assign roles and instructors, as well as generate reports. Aside from this, you will also be able to make a course calendar that will allow users of the system to view available training programs at a single glance. This makes it easy for the users to enroll in courses that they need to.
However, if you need something more adjusted to your training needs, you may find that investing in a custom learning system is a better option. Custom learning systems are tailored to meet the specific requirements of your organization and can be designed to include custom features such as custom branding, custom content delivery, custom user management capabilities, and custom reporting dashboards.
An LMS also features a messaging or a notification system that provides reminders to the users regarding the upcoming training events or deadlines. Along with the training courses, an LMS also comes with pre and post-assessments and evaluations. This helps assess the level of knowledge of the students before the course, as well as the learning they have gained over the course proper. An LMS can also provide certification and display the user’s scores and transcripts.
Basic Functions of an LMS
An LMS is beneficial for competency management, which includes tracking the skills and abilities of the staff of an organization. An LMS is also used to make a course calendar that enables users to view available training programs. It can also be used for instructor-led management and administration, as well as tracking and reporting within a centralized system.
In this modern-day and age, below are 9 reasons why every company needs an LMS.
1. Focused Services of HR Managers
One of the reasons why every company needs an LMS is to allow their human resources (HR) managers to focus on staff services, lifting the burden of holding training programs. In this case, the LMS will take care of the latter as soon as you finish setting up the learning paths that are relevant to your business. The good news is that there are certain LMS consulting services that you can get for free to aid you in your LMS software selection. All that you need to do is to identify the criteria that you need such as the features that you want to have, as well as the price that you are willing to pay for the software, and the consultants will match you with the appropriate provider.
The LMS will already be responsible for monitoring the training time, as well as providing insight for training improvement opportunities. Aside from this, an LMS also paves the way for the automation of certain administrative processes such as enrollments, registration, payments, record keeping, as well as course assignments and content updates. Assessments, certifications, course evaluations, as well as student communication can also be automated. All these yields to effective training time management.
2. In-house and Personalized Training
An LMS eliminates the need for you to outsource your training programs. This proves to be beneficial since you will be able to avoid the challenges that come with outsource training such as the restrictions when it comes to the programs that you can offer to your employees. Another is the time-consuming process that happens when your employees leave the workplace to take part in the training programs.
Also, with an LMS, you no longer need to build a training program from scratch. But alongside this, you still have the liberty of customizing the training program available in a course marketplace to suit the needs of your staff. In this case, you are guaranteed that the training courses are tailored for each of your employees. You will be able to do this seamlessly with just a few clicks or a button, or for some LMS, with a drag and drop functionality.
Your company will greatly benefit from the training consistency that an LMS brings forth mainly because you have a single source for content, related materials, and instructions. This is in contrast to an instructor-led training that can greatly vary depending on the engagement of the students in the course through the efforts of the instructor.
Factors Affecting the Success of a Training Program
One of the factors that can affect the success of a training course is the differences in the learning curves of each individual. Employees have varying skill levels and learning pace. This is where an LMS proves to be beneficial because it can cater to an individualized learning path, helping the employees learn at their own pace and explore what works best for them to retain information.
Another factor that can affect the success of a training course is the type of group that needs to be trained. For instance, customer service representatives need a different training curriculum compared to HR professionals. With an LMS in place, you can create and deliver training to different groups of employees with varying tasks and goals.
3. Easy Access to Training Materials
With an LMS in place, you and your employees will have easy access to the training materials that they need. In case they want to revisit a certain program to refresh their knowledge, they instantly know where to find the information that will help them. It is also through an LMS where they will be able to keep track of the training programs that they have finished, as well as the rest of the materials that they still need to take. This is because, alongside the training materials, employee records and HR data can also be stored in an LMS.
4. Innovative Learning Tools
Innovative developers now have discovered better ways to present training courses. For instance, there is the integration of virtual simulations that allow trainees to be in the moment, practicing their knowledge and skill while eliminating risks and dangers. Interactive videos also provide a better engagement to help students understand the course content. Aside from virtual simulations, whiteboards, chatrooms, and forums, as well as virtual reality (VR) technology are already available in most LMS. All these techniques improve the knowledge retention of the students
5. Central Knowledge Hub
It can be deemed, therefore, that an LMS acts as a centralized knowledge hub. It offers a streamlined place where knowledge can be stored and maintained. Because of this, the information can be easily shared and maintained, eliminating the possibility that any data is lost.
Because all the training materials are stored in a central location, the personnel in charge of these materials can quickly change and update them accordingly. They will be able to directly incorporate the feedback that they get from the trainees. In parallel to this, the company can also provide feedback to the LMS vendor, which the latter acts upon immediately, providing a course content or a training program with new products and features accordingly.
An LMS also ensures that the most recent training content is the one that is distributed to the employees in need of training. As a result, team members will be able to easily set up new employees with the relevant training materials available in the hub. While this may not seem like a great deal with a small team, it can prove to be beneficial as the number of people in your organization increases.
6. Train Remote Employees
Thanks to the advancements in modern technology that brought about the LMS, even remote employees can already be trained seamlessly. In this case, remote employees will have access to the same level of detail training, development, and onboarding that employees reporting physically in the office obtain. This can be attributed to the fact that LMS provides access to the same quality training for all the members of the organization, paving the way for consistency with how they receive information.
7. Seamless Reporting and Tracking
More often than not, an LMS includes a feature that can produce reports regarding the training programs taken and completed by an employee or the whole of the organization. This will provide help to team members in tracking where they are in terms of their goal progress or knowledge gains. The reports can even demonstrate the cost savings for the training initiatives and techniques implemented in a company.
The overall goal of a training program is to enhance the skills and the knowledge of employees that took the course. In this case, an LMS will provide a clear measurement in terms of the knowledge gains of the employees. This is through the comparison of the tests that they take before the training program, as well as the exams they undergo after finishing the course.
Apart from the knowledge gains, an LMS also provides a great feedback system because it can track the employee’s course satisfaction. This information is beneficial in uncovering opportunities in modifying the course content for it to be more effective for the students taking the program.
8. Save on Training Costs
When transitioning into an LMS, you may need to invest in a hefty upfront cost. However, you may realize that in the long run, the LMS you implemented in your company has saved you some training costs. Without an LMS in place, you may need to spend a couple thousand dollars annually for the direct learning of each of your employees. Through an LMS, you will be able to save a couple of hundred dollars per employee per year.
Through an LMS, a company will also have an overall view of their return on investment (ROI) in terms of all its training initiatives. In this case, the training programs in your LMS should closely be linked to the objectives of the business for you to be able to make a connection. In the end, you can even monetize your training material by selling them to generate more revenue for your company. In line with this, it is a good idea to go for an LMS that features e-commerce tools. In addition to this, an LMS that allows you to bundle courses together or even offer subscriptions, maximizing your ROI.
Aside from saving on costs, an LMS can also help your employees be more productive, allowing them to spend less time learning and more time on earning. Once they understand the concept of a certain training course, they will be able to put their efforts into using what they have learned to achieve the goals of the business. Again, this makes an LMS a more cost-effective option.
9. Keep up with Compliance Regulations
Lastly, an LMS will ensure that you adhere to the training regulations and standards set in your industry. With a simple click of a button, you will be able to get the training that you need to have yourself certified accordingly. This serves as evidence to satisfy any legal requirements. This also demonstrates the company’s drive-in ensuring that employees are trained, making it a priority. Keep in mind that noncompliance may prove to be costly and damaging for a company because of the legal issues that they may face should training and certifications be neglected.
There are several reasons why a company already needs to ponder about the implementation of an LMS. The automation that it brings paves the way for better time management in terms of training programs. Your staff will also be able to take advantage of in-house and personalized training materials that they can easily access remotely.
With an LMS, you will also have seamless training, reporting, and tracking which will provide you with a good insight into the areas where you can still further improve your programs. While you may need to invest in the upfront cost of the software, in the long run, you will be able to save on your training costs, while ensuring that you are keeping up with compliance regulations. Just make sure that you check for the basic features of the LMS that you need to ensure that you will get the functions that you expect.