Picture this scenario: You bought a learning management system (LMS) several years back, made investments in e-Learning Development, and what does your company have to show for it now? Not much. Employees keep forgetting about it, no one uses it, and it feels like a wasted investment. After all that, you’re thinking: “Should my company switch to a new LMS, or just give up on it entirely?”
If your organization is thinking of giving up on LMS, perhaps you should think again. It’s possible- likely, in fact- that your lack of satisfaction with the system has more to do with lackluster initial research when you bought it, rather than that you’re just not meant for e-Learning.
Even if you’ve never bought an LMS before, you should still read on. This article will hopefully help you see the benefits of making that investment. But if you have already purchased an LMS, and it didn’t work out, here are some possible arguments that may take place among key stakeholders in your company about whether or not you should enter the LMS market again.
1. “It’s too expensive!”
Response: LMS purchases, when properly used, have a great ROI.
Training is a necessity in the business world. That’s a no-brainer. Your employees are your greatest assets, and onboarding training, as well as continual learning initiatives ensure a smarter, happier, and more efficient workforce. e-Learning just makes sense in this modern age of training.
ROI, in the case of a training initiative, should be measured by improved worker efficiency, competency, and your unique KPIs. You can increase your “intangible” ROI with a few simple tips. First, improve the user experience for your learners. Providing your employees with easy access to training materials and self-help resources increases user satisfaction and general effectiveness of the software. Allow learners to measure and rate the learning effectiveness of the company’s learning management system. Encourage them to provide feedback as to how valuable they perceive the course to have been to their professional improvement. Getting this valuable feedback helps your company better track the impact that the LMS has on your workforce. You can also use positive survey results to encourage other employees to use the LMS more actively.
As for the more tangible data to calculate your ROI, just look at the money saved by installing an LMS. Using a learning management system to manage employee training means reduced travel costs, reduced facilities fees, reduced employee time away from home and the office, and reduced administrative costs. So whether you’ve already made that investment and need to upgrade, want to switch back to manual training processes, or you’re considering a first time LMS purchase, there’s no arguing that you’ll be spending more time and money without a functional LMS.
2. “The last LMS we installed wasn’t used!”
Response: Research vendor adoption rates and ensure that the system presents educational content in engaging ways.
True, some LMSs have a poor track record with user-engagement. That’s why, in your LMS research, it’s essential to ask vendors for data on the typical adoption rate of their product. How many learners do most of your clients have, what percentage of them are on the system, and how long does it take before they are trained and making optimal use of the software? Look for vendors who are dedicated to having a high usage rate through innovative learning techniques and involved customer support.
Ensure that learners are engaged immediately through short, timely messages and eye-catching multimedia content. You can also increase engagement through social media. Social learning provides a new perspective into the content offered through your LMS- plus, if your learners are tech savvy, these are platforms they’re already using in their day-to-day lives. Newer LMS solutions should have features that incorporate social networking in some way.
3. “Informal learning and tracking tools will replace LMS functions anyway. Better to just move on with an entirely social learning method.”
Response: Modern LMS is an essential business application which can provide far more learning solutions than previously imagined in the old-school business models.
Informal, social learning is great. After all, so much of what you learned in school you learned from your peers instead of your teachers. But formal training via simulations, assessments, role-plays, etc. are far more efficient at improving learners’ competency. Formal teaching prevents many of the possible inaccuracies or misunderstandings that can arise in a social setting. After all, there are many issues with social learning that can be difficult to address, such as regulatory, reporting, and privacy issues. You can’t just ignore training, either. Since 50% of the workforce has been at their current company for less than two years, proper onboarding is essential to getting new talent up to speed quickly and retaining well-trained workers.
Not to mention, modern LMS solutions can accomplish much more than older forms of LMS. Today’s learning management systems can…
- manage multimedia files such as video, audio, PPT, PDF, word docs, spreadsheets, and learner uploaded material.
- manage procedural necessities, such as eSignatures, renewals, reporting, certifications and CEU’s (a must for healthcare and legal organizations).
- oversee individuals’ skills and competencies, link those to learning, and efficiently help the learners when they have performance gaps.
- automate paper processes and streamline approval workflows.
- automatically assign training and assets to new hires.
- enable collaboration via virtual conferences, chat rooms, discussion boards, blogs, tag clouds, and wikis.
- and much more!
Some of these features can be purchased separately without buying a full-scale LMS, but integrating various applications to create a seamless learning environment (without wasting time and money) is extremely difficult.
Long story short, investing in a good learning management system and company training is an investment in your employees. As long as there’s room for improvement, which there always is, there’s a need for employee training.
The next step is to research into which learning management system is the best fit for your company. You can start with Capterra’s comprehensive directory of over 300 LMS software products, as well as request help from our expert software advisors.
Looking for Learning Management System software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Learning Management System software solutions.