If you train employees, you most likely heard the term “learning management system” at some point. Also known as an LMS, this type of software is designed to handle all aspects of the training process. Features will vary from one platform to the next. Some will be more inclusive, with everything from HR-related features to course authoring, distribution, ecommerce, and analytics. Others may be simpler, offering access to a pre-made course catalog and organizational features.
No matter how large or small your company may be, chances are you would benefit from using an LMS. According to Capterra, approximately 87% of users rely on some form of cloud-based LMS. The popularity of eLearning is growing at an impressive rate, with the market projected to reach $15.72 billion by 2021.
eLearning is a regular fixture in many colleges, with 4.6 million students taking at least one online course. That means that when they enter the workforce, they are already familiar with this type of training.
Many platforms also offer responsive designs or native mobile apps, making the LMS portable. That can give you an edge in a world where approximately 5 billion people already own a smartphone or other device.
If you aren’t already looking for a learning management system, consider asking yourself why? Your business could reap enormous benefits from adding an LMS to your training program or upgrading an outdated platform you already use. If any of the following applies, then it is time to start searching.
- You Spend Money Training Learners Remotely
Many businesses have branches that span vast geographic distances while others hire telecommuters. Being able to work with people who are far away will increase your potential hire pool. You can also reduce operating costs by maintaining a smaller office through a work-from-home program.
An LMS can eliminate expenses related to remote training with a platform that’s completely accessible online. You can connect with people from all over the globe, bringing them together into one virtual classroom. You never have to rent space to hold your training sessions, and there are no travel expenses. One trainer can manage a larger group because they spend less time moving from one location to the other and more time doing what you pay them to do: train.
Some LMS platforms have a built-in webinar component. Others integrate with a third-party app to get similar results. You can also setup self-paced courses that trainees can access anytime from anywhere, which is convenient when working across time zones.
- Your Trainees Require Different Specializations
While all trainees may need to complete basic courses, others may require specialization in different areas. That means breaking down your classes into groups and setting up separate training for each topic or job role.
This process is much easier when using an LMS. Many systems include groups, which let you divide up the training classes with a few clicks. Some permit membership overlap, so the same person can be in multiple groups to ensure that they get the training they need.
Built-in messaging or email allows you to instantly let the trainee know that they have been moved to a new group or to alert them to the start of a course that they need. Instead of looking for the employee in person or making a phone call, you can send them a note immediately and move on to the next task.
- You Struggle with Weekly and Monthly Reports
Data is necessary to track trends and performance. This is especially true when it comes to training. You need to know which trainees are rising stars and who may need more help to understand the material. Information can also show you which courses perform well, which don’t, and any areas where skill gaps exist.
An LMS can shave hours off your week by doing much of this automatically. Many compile data on an ongoing basis, including everything from activity logs to test scores and course completions. You can click and see who your top performers are, how many people are enrolled, and who may be missing training.
The majority of LMS platforms now offer data exporting capability as well as scheduled reports. You can set them up and let the system handle it for you.
- Your Industry Requires Compliance Training
Many industries require compliance training. Missing a deadline can mean paying steep fees and fines. It can also hurt your reputation. Some LMS platforms offer compliance-related features that take the hassle out of this process.
You can create compliance training courses that issue certificates upon completion. The system records the achievement on the learner’s profile and can be set up with end dates. When the end date arrives, the system will alert you and the employee that it’s time for a refresher course.
- Your LMS Doesn’t Offer Much Support
If you use an older LMS, you could be missing the level of support that comes with modern platforms. Many now include ticketing systems where you can submit a question or problem and get an answer by email – often within a day or two. Others provide phone support and live chat.
There’s more competition in the LMS world today, which means eLearning companies have stepped up their service game. You get a better experience, often at the same or a lower cost than what you already pay by shopping around.
- There’s No Mobile Component in Your Training Program
Mobile apps are all the rage these days. They are used for everything from banking to entertainment. They are also a key component in the modern LMS. Some systems offer responsive designs that adapt to any screen size. That means your employees can train from anywhere whether they have a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
If your training program doesn’t have a mobile component, then your employees are not getting the full experience they need to gain an edge in the marketplace. Letting them work through training material from anywhere will make them happier, let them accomplish more, and help them stay motivated to keep learning.
- You Don’t Have a Centralized Knowledge Base
If you don’t have a centralized knowledge base, then how do you know everyone has access to the information they need? Many LMS platforms offer a library to store all training related information. New hires to can use it to learn about their jobs while existing employees can rely on it to look for answers.
It’s much faster than searching for a senior employee to answer questions, and it can be accessed from any device. That means each computer in your office or facility can become an information hub.
- Employees Waste Time on Manual Tasks
Manual tasks can generate a lot of wasted time that you are paying for every day. An LMS shoulders much of the burden for managers, trainers, and others associated with the training process.
Many tasks can be done automatically. Self-enrollment lets employees take control of their training without interrupting trainers. Bulk import lists of users instead of manually entering them. Most systems can also issue certificates or streamline communication between employees and their superiors. Every minute saved is one that could be spent on more profitable tasks like improving products and services or checking in with paying customers.
- Distributing Training Material and Schedules Can Be a Chore
Distribution of training material can be expensive and time-consuming. In the past, companies would print pages or entire training manuals that employees had to keep. Not only does this add to the cost, but it also wastes a lot of paper and requires significant storage space.
An LMS connects to every person and department within your operation. You can instantly send notifications and reminders to everyone or a select group. Course authoring tools usually include distribution features so you can instantly add the class to someone’s schedule or send an alert so they can sign up.
- You Outgrew Your Current LMS or Training Program
Scalability is another major element favored in today’s LMS products. If you struggle to find room for all your employees without going over budget, then you likely need a better solution. Look for a scalable LMS that will grow with your business.
Some offer monthly subscriptions with a maximum user count while others let you buy individual licenses. You can find something that fits into your budget and offers what you need with the potential to expand.
Now is the best time to start looking for an LMS. The old-fashioned methods tend to cost more and require a greater time and resource investment. Going digital gives you the power to reach a wider audience with a smaller budget. Check out LMS.org to read LMS reviews and learn more about the latest features and benefits.