Irrespective of whether the company is a large corporate or a small business set up, training your employees is essential to a company’s growth and success. Budget employee training is quickly gaining popularity among many top organizations because most small or medium business owners know the importance of investing in their employees’ development and training. However, budget constraints can make it difficult to provide comprehensive training programs. One cost-effective solution is leveraging a Learning Management System (LMS) to train employees.
Training is no longer a luxury but a necessity for organizations that have the vision to grow and change in the ever-evolving business landscape. It can directly impact employee productivity, engagement, compliance costs, and retention, hence directly influencing business profitability.
While larger organizations have provisions and budgets for training due to their higher cash flows, better financial planning, budgeting processes, stronger financial reserves, smaller businesses need to be more prudent with their limited resources. Smaller companies need to plan their training spends much better in their annual budgets than bigger companies.
Smaller companies may not have the luxury of hiring an external training company every time a new employee joins.
They have to ensure that their budgets for training are needs-based and following the business requirements, their training programs need to have a balanced cost to effectiveness ratio.
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How can small and medium businesses implement an LMS on a budget?
One option is to opt for a cloud-based LMS, which eliminates the need for costly hardware and IT infrastructure. Additionally, many LMS providers offer a variety of pricing plans, including pay-as-you-go options that allow you to scale the number of users and features as needed. Additionally, small and medium businesses can benefit from the many free and open-source LMS solutions that are available, which can be customized to their needs, but really, such LMS are only good for extreme conditions where finances are extremely tight.
Effective Employee Training on a Budget – How Small and Medium Businesses Can Leverage a Learning Management System (LMS)
Opting for live virtual training/webinars vs. pure classroom training:
There are recurring and higher costs associated with in-person Instructor-Based Training (ILT) including logistics and trainer costs. The pandemic has forced companies to adopt live Virtual Classroom Training (VILT) or Webinars due to remote work and highlighted the relatively higher costs of classroom training as compared to VILT.
VILT is a simple and cost-effective manner to conduct budget employee training for a large set or a specific group of employees irrespective of location and time zone. Employees can attend the webinar live or go through the recorded content. This is cost-effective as the initial cost of setup equipment for the webinar is non-recurring and can lower expenses in the long term. Once set up, VILT/Webinars are scalable as per the training requirements.
A company can use VILT, along with self-paced eLearning programs if supported by a learning management system (LMS) that would allow the company to re-purpose and re-use their online content multiple times for upskilling or reskilling their workforce.
Subscribing to a cost-effective LMS:
A small training company can adopt a SaaS Learning Management System (LMS) to automate its internal training workflow. Gone are the days where an LMS is cost-prohibitive and required server setup costs and long implementation cycles. A training manager can evaluate several SaaS LMS companies, take a trial, request for an LMS demo, and get going by subscribing to a monthly LMS subscription or an annual subscription.
Some of these LMS subscriptions come with:
- Virtual classroom integration with systems like WebEx, Zoom, etc.
- In-built course authoring tools
- In-built digital content publishing capabilities (converting your PPTs, PDFs into simple digital content presentations)
- Video upload capabilities (ability to record your VILT sessions and upload and re-use these videos as digital self-paced learning)
- Content libraries – some of these course subscriptions may cost extra but you do not have to start from scratch.
Curating and re-using readily available training content:
Most LMSes will have the ability to upload existing internal content in the form of documents, links to URLs, external content sources, and video recordings of VILT sessions. They can also reuse existing resources like videos, PDFs, user manuals/user documentation/standard operating processes (SOPs), and append these to new or existing courses.
Leverage social and peer learning:
An organization is built with employees who have gained experience through their current and previous assignments. An eLearning platform could utilize this collective experience by adding social learning and peer training offerings to other employees. Using this, employees can interact and share learning and knowledge on this LMS which could reduce costs on instructor-led training.
This can be done via offline Expert Q&As, asynchronous discussion forums within the system, or through virtual training sessions where participants can meet and learn from each other.
Specific need-based training:
In case a new employee joins an organization, an LMS can ensure the new joiner is oriented about the company’s objectives, compliance training from the existing pool of standardized online resources and content. If a specific need-based training has to be conducted a tailor-made micro-learning course could be rolled out to a particular group, prioritizing specific training instead of wasting the time of going through standard training.
LMS for remote employees:
One of the biggest advantages of using an LMS for employee training is the flexibility it provides. You can create and deliver training programs online, which means that employees can access the training materials from anywhere, at any time.
Smaller businesses have employees working from home, on-site, or at the customer location. The costs and logistics of getting these employees to one central location at the same time for training can add to costs related to travel, stay, and instructor costs.
The pandemic and work from home have made in-person training very difficult and a safety issue. More and more organizations are hiring employees remotely and onboarding and training them remotely as well.
An LMS would allow a company to train their employees on an ongoing basis even if the employee is located across geographies, as this content can be delivered to them via multiple devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.
New content can be added by the LMS administrator which would negate the costs of hiring content creators for new products and services every time there is a change or update.
External partner training:
A company often has multiple partners, contractors, and vendors who are all part of the ecosystem of the business directly or indirectly. They are spread out over locations and it is cumbersome for a small business to get all partners together physically whenever there is a new update to their product or service. This can cost money and may not be feasible as partners may have their travel and time constraints.
A company can use eLearning to provide on-demand communication, re-training, and product updates to their partners through the LMS by just updating their existing training content and deploying it to existing partners and new partners.
Tracking and assessing training outcomes:
Another advantage of using an LMS for employee training is the ability to track employee progress and assess their performance. With an LMS, you can set up quizzes and assessments to test employee knowledge and understanding of the training materials. This allows you to evaluate their progress and identify areas where they need further training. Additionally, you can use the LMS to track employee completion of the training and generate reports on their progress.
Using an LMS to train your employees is a cost-effective solution for small and medium businesses. It provides flexibility, tracks progress, and can be implemented on a budget. By leveraging an LMS, you can provide your employees with the training they need to improve their skills and advance in their careers, all while keeping costs low.
An untrained employee could potentially cost a business more than training costs. This is especially true for smaller organizations. Not only is an untrained employee less productive than a trained employee, but training helps reduce attrition, costs of rehiring, and retraining, by upskilling existing employees. It further encourages their engagement levels and meets their professional development needs. New employee onboarding can be a seamless experience.
A small business can also use an LMS to train not just employees but external partners to boost their productivity levels and bring in uniformity of knowledge and skills, thus directly impacting their overall profitability.
An LMS is a software application that allows business owners to create, manage, and deliver online training programs. It provides a centralized platform where one can store and organize all of their training materials, track employee progress, and assess employee performance. With an LMS, you can provide your employees with the training they need to improve their skills and advance in their careers, all while keeping costs low.
We can provide a risk-free demonstration on how an LMS can be complemented by traditional training methods, making it a differentiator in your business growth strategy, thereby enhancing your overall productivity levels.
To understand how e-learning can provide a positive impact and help grow a small business, sign up for the 30-day free trial at Abara LMS, https://abaralms.com/free-trial/ ABARA offers a risk-free trial for 30 days. You can also visit us at eNyota Learning for custom eLearning development services.