If your business is serious about developing employees by offering regular training and the opportunity to learn new skills, then you’ll likely know about the advantages of a learning management system (LMS).
Learning management system software allows you to store, organize, create, and monitor all training materials used by your business. It streamlines the training process for a business owner and HR personnel point of view, as well as the employees taking the training.
But how do you decide which LMS is best for your business? There are so many learning management systems available that the choice can be overwhelming. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the features you need to look out for, how to make sure an LMS aligns with your business goals, and how employees can get the most out of their e-learning experience.
While every business will use a learning management system with a slightly different goal in mind, the basic reason is usually the same: to provide a simple, convenient, and accessible e-learning experience for all users.
With that in mind, there are several essential features you need to ensure an LMS has so it can provide a well-rounded experience.
AI in LMS is essential because without it there can be very little automation. AI removes the need for long-winded manual processes and can help identify skill gaps, provide real-time assistance and feedback, improve accessibility, generate content, and provide a personalized learning experience.
Some learning management systems don’t offer instant reports, which instead have to be requested - which can take a few days to be generated and sent. Good LMS reporting features need to be instant, easy to understand, and offer the option to present the data visually so it can be quickly digested by stakeholders and decision-makers.
While it’s important that an LMS is simple and accessible for HR employees and business owners, it’s more important that greater focus has been placed on making the learning experience easy for students.
Your LMS should never share your users’ data and should have all the necessary security in place to protect it.
You want your LMS to reflect your brand, and the option to personalize the experience so it has your business’s colors, logos, and messaging is a must.
By grouping employees, you ensure the right employees get access to only the learning materials appropriate to them. This also bypasses lengthy manual admin processes.
When employees join your business, ensure onboarding is simple, and new starters can be assigned courses and materials quickly. An LMS is also a great tool for making sure new employees complete compulsory training.
You want to be confident that students are absorbing what they’re learning so they can put new skills into practice, so assessment tools make sure employees engage with the material.
For more information, read our blog on what do people want from their learning management system?
One of the major features of an LMS is the ability for it to work with other key pieces of software. Without LMS integration you’ll find that you’ll spend just as much time on administrative tasks as if you weren’t to utilize an LMS at all.
Software you will likely want to integrate with your LMS includes:
There are seven different learning styles, which means it’s unlikely that all employees will be able to learn from just one training style. For that reason, your system needs to support a wide range of LMS course content and learning materials so all employees have the opportunity to develop.
Good LMS content management also makes a big difference to engagement, and low engagement will affect the impact the training has on employees.
The types of content your LMS should support include:
Videos are one of the most common forms of e-learning content and help visual learners retain information. Videos may be embedded from platforms such as YouTube, or uploaded directly to the LMS - you’ll want to clarify which if you intend on uploading your own internal training videos.
Video content includes recorded and edited footage, webinars, recorded face-to-face content, whiteboards, and interactive videos.
A lot of training content is presented in written form, often accompanied by images, charts, and graphics. Copy must be formatted in a way that makes it easy to read and digest, and not presented as a wall of text.
Presentations are a frequently used tool in business and can be an effective way to learn. While slides are commonly accompanied by somebody presenting the information, they can also be a useful e-learning tool.
Podcast-style content is ideal for aural learners, and is also a useful way to learn when traveling or undertaking menial tasks that don’t require the full attention of students.
Dialogue simulation is a useful interactive learning tool that is good for teaching customer service and communication skills, by encouraging the student to interact by simulating real-world scenarios.
Not only do quizzes and assessments encourage employees to engage with the course materials, but they also help them retain information so they can use their newly developed skills and knowledge.
Not for everyone, but gamification adds a fun and competitive angle to e-learning. Utilizing points, awards, and league tables incentivizes learning by rewarding top-performing employees.
Many learning management systems will offer basic content creation - which you may want to consider if your organization intends on producing its own training material.
However, if your business wants to create a large volume of detailed content, you may want to consider also implementing an LCMS - Learning Management Content System. An LCMS will often have more content creation tools and features than an LMS. However, if you’re interested in creating simple content then this should be possible with a good LMS.
You need to be mindful of whether or not your LMS can change dependent on your business’s requirements as it grows. Does the LMS provide scalability to grow alongside your business?
Adding users to your LMS is vital, and you want to ensure there are no caps or limitations, either imposed by the service level you have, or whether the software can cope with thousands of users.
An LMS that cannot keep up with your business will invariably hold you back by preventing you from training and developing your employees.
Make sure your LMS can handle the following as your business grows:
A learning and development strategy is vital for any business. Without one, you’re not going to get the most out of your employees, who are going to become frustrated as they stagnate.
You need to ensure that your LMS shares similar values to your business. If it doesn’t, then you’ll quickly realize that it’s not the right LMS for you. Your e-learning strategy must align with your LMS strategy, or else the two won’t work together effectively or efficiently.
While employees will do a majority of their learning at work, such as during time blocked out for development or periods of downtime, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, employees may find themselves in a position to learn while away from their desks, such as during a commute or while visiting a client.
Because of this, LMS access shouldn’t be restricted to just desktop users. A good LMS will be mobile-friendly, so it can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet. Some learning management systems even have a dedicated app.
While organizations shouldn’t expect employees to learn outside of working hours, the option should be there for students who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge at a faster rate.
There are hundreds of learning management systems available, and choosing an LMS that’s right for your business can be challenging. Make sure to consider all features offered, and that it aligns with your goals and values.
Go1 integrates with many platforms, including leading learning management systems, enabling you and your employees to conveniently access our vast range of learning resources and courses quickly and conveniently.