What to Look for in Learning Management Systems
Learning management systems are software that help HR leaders provide access to courses and training content in an easy-to-access, one-stop shop. Typically, these LMS options allow employers to create their own coursework and offer classes from third-parties. Learning management systems allow employers to administer, manage, and measure the performance of employees.
As employers continue to shift to hybrid and remote work, this type of HR technology is particularly important. Onboarding and upskilling are necessary to keeping teams on the cutting edge, so the business can compete. In addition, during this era of the Great Resignation, offering upskilling and reskilling are ways to attract talent.
The pandemic accelerated the arrival of the future of work in many ways. As a result, employers are continuing to try and narrow the skills gap for a competitive advantage. Certainly, HR leaders are out front on building a culture of continuous learning and providing innovative training options.
In fact, 43% of respondents to the latest State of HR report said they would stick with online learning even after the pandemic. They also listed LMS as the third priority for investment. As people attempt to understand the new normal, 35% want to transform training and development efforts.
For starters, HR leaders should determine what to look for in LMS when considering their options:
A Single Platform
When Dean Saunders, Vice President of Product Development at Open LMS, spoke in an HR Exchange Network webinar, he advised the audience to look for a single learning system as opposed to multiple platforms for different kinds of training.
After all, the goal, he says, should be to reduce obstacles to accessing education. A single platform means people do not have to question where to go when they want to learn a skill, maintain compliance, or stay up-to-date on the technology needed to do their job most efficiently. Having one platform also means only having to keep track of one username and password.
Good for Those On-the-Go
With employees working remotely or in a hybrid workplace that offers flexibility, they should have access to education no matter where they are. Therefore, when investing in LMS, HR leaders should consider whether the system is functional on mobile devices, tables, laptops, etc. This is another way to demonstrate flexibility to employees, make learning more accessible, and keep employee engaged.
Employers should consider LMS options that allow for personalization of coursework. The employer should be able to create tailor-made coursework that helps employees learn the business through the lens of their company. Another form of customization that is important is the employee’s ability to devise a uniqe course menu that can help them achieve personal goals, as well as those of the company and their departments.
“There is a need to develop a wide variety of skills, so doing skills-based learning, rather than role-based learning, becomes critical,” says Sonia Malik, Global Program Lead, Education and Workforce Development at IBM. “Being able to allow people to personalize their learning journeys is critical.”
Cloud Storage System
A solid LMS features hefty cloud storage to allow for coursework and materials, performance measurements, and other documents for tracking participation and progress. Of course, like any other online software, the storage should be protected and safe.
Easy to Use and Intuitive
For employees, the ability to both easily access and use the materials available on an LMS are probably most important. An intuitive system that requires little effort to make function is vital. After all, people will not use the LMS if it is complicated or difficult. Then, it will not allow for the training necessary to remain competitive.
“Learning should always be an enjoyable experience. When I say an enjoyable experience, I don’t mean cartoons and sunshine and unicorns jumping over rainbows,” says Saunders. “It should be challenging where it needs to be. But it should be easy to consume. It should be created in a way that is palatable for a wide-range of learners.”