Is your current Learning Management System (LMS) fostering a supportive corporate eLearning culture? Does it give employees access to personalised online training resources that fill gaps and help them be more productive on the job? In this article, I’ll share 8 tips to choose the best LMS for workforce development.
How to choose the best LMS for Workforce Development
While many organisations focus on training, the most effective L&D programmes center on nurturing in-house talents. Instead of merely giving employees the resources they need to complete tasks today, an LMS for workforce development provides a longer-term solution. It allows every member of your team to hone their abilities at their own pace so that they can tackle any work-related obstacle. How do you find an LMS that specialises in workforce development so that you can offer your geographically dispersed employees ongoing support?
1. Diagnose Current Performance, Skill, and Knowledge Gaps
You must know your employees’ needs to find an LMS that cultivates their talents and addresses areas for improvement. Thus, it’s essential to diagnose individual performance, skill, and knowledge gaps beforehand. This also helps you create more effective online training content that allows them to achieve their goals. Conduct on-the-job evaluations, online assessments, and surveys to diagnose key issues and choose the ideal LMS for workforce development.
2. Collect Feedback to Identify Essential LMS Features
Another advantage of gathering feedback from employees is the ability to identify essential LMS features. Get input from your L&D team to see which functions they use regularly, as well as those that are lacking from your current system and hindering their daily workflow. For example, the tool you have now falls short in reporting capabilities. Thus, your L&D team is unable to track workforce development as effectively and adjust your L&D strategy accordingly.
3. Create an Accurate Budget after Taking Inventory
Gather all your assets and tools, then create a detailed LMS implementation budget. This allows you to allocate your resources more efficiently and cut costs. For example, you may not need an LMS with built-in authoring features if you already have a robust eLearning authoring tool on hand. Likewise, you can save on content creation by repurposing assets you already have to bridge gaps and provide moment of need support. Don’t forget to account for hidden expenses when developing your LMS budget, such as ongoing maintenance, software upgrades, and L&D payroll hours.
4. Read Online Reviews and Ratings to Get an Insider’s Perspective
Online reviews and ratings give you the chance to see things from the users’ perspective. The LMS vendor may sum up the key selling points on their landing page and directory listing, but it’s also wise to see what fellow eLearning professionals have to say about the tool’s functionality, features, and User Experience. Particularly those with similar use cases or training needs. Pay close attention to the pros and cons, as well as the User Experience ratings. Chances are, if a high percentage of users claim that the customer experience is lacking, you’ll experience more of the same if you invest in the platform. Ratings and reviews serve as track record for LMSs, so that you can avoid trial-and-error.
5. Choose a Tool That Supports Personalised Online Training Paths
Your workforce is, undoubtedly, made up of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experience levels. Everyone has their own unique training needs, and your LMS must accommodate them to be worth the investment. As such, you should look for a system that supports personalised online training paths so that employees can pick-and-choose their own online training activities. For example, some learners may opt for narrated presentations or podcasts, as well as resources that help them bridge personal gaps and improve job performance.
6. Make Reporting and Analytics a Top Priority
Regardless of which LMS you choose for workforce development, it must be equipped with sufficient reporting capabilities and customizable metrics. This allows you to track individual performance and disclose trends that require your immediate attention, such as online training courses that are causing cognitive overload and need to be revised as quickly as possible, or online training certification modules with low completion rates that need further review to pinpoint the problem. You should also be able to specify the method and frequency of report delivery. For instance, it must be delivered to your HR or customer service manager weekly via email. This ensures that LMS reports get into the right hands in a timely manner, so that relevant supervisors or department heads can follow up or provide support to their subordinates.
7. Look for a Multiplatform-Friendly LMS to Improve Accessibility
Your modern workforce needs a modern LMS that’s multiplatform-friendly and easily accessible. Developing their talents and skills shouldn’t be an inconvenience. A responsive LMS ensures that they can get the information they need whenever and wherever. Offline and downloadable content via Apps is a must for remote workforces with limited internet access. For instance, your sales team can download online training tutorials or demos to build product knowledge when wi-fi isn’t an option.
8. Get Employees Involved in the LMS Test Drive
Most LMS vendors offer LMS free trials during which you can test the tool before making your investment. You need to get the entire team involved to try out the features and ensure the system meets their requirements. That includes your development staff, admins, and corporate learners. Invite a select group of staff members to test drive the LMS platform and offer their feedback.
Your geographically dispersed workforce expects easily accessible online training resources that provide support during their moment of need regardless of their preferred device, performance gaps, or job duties. In return, you get to retain your top performers and improve your online training ROI. The secret is choosing an LMS that supports your L&D objectives, fits your budget, and aligns with employees’ skill sets.
What are the warning signs that you should look for in your current LMS before deciding to buy a new one? Are your top LMS choices going to deliver the superior customer experience you deserve? Are you setting the bar so high that no LMS will ever suffice? Are you considering LMS customer experience when evaluating vendors? Download the free eBook LMS Customer Experience: How To Find A Platform That Offers The Complete Package to find out why LMS Customer Experience really matters, the benefits of delivering a superior Customer Experience for your organization, how to set your LMS expectations before purchasing a new platform, and much more.
Guest blog by Christopher Pappas
Christopher Pappas is the Founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning field. Christopher holds an MBA and a MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU.
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