We have all read a dime a dozen articles on the benefits of using an LMS. These range from onboarding efficiently to managing training costs, and centralizing all training content. Yes, these are true, but, there is more to using an LMS than these commonly repeated points that surface in every LMS related article you read or every time you speak to an LMS salesperson.
A few crucial points are often missed out by salespeople, industry authorities, and even yourself when trying to answer the question on “just why is an LMS so important?”
For most parts, these points may seem small at first glance, but, the bigger picture over extended periods of time, reveals otherwise. These points are not that small or insignificant as they may seem, they pack a great punch and should be at the back of your mind at all times.
Let’s take a look at a few things we miss out very quickly, quite often.
Increased learner participation: Learning and development for an employee are integral, there is no doubt about its place in the corporate sector. Therefore, it goes without saying – if an organization wants to be the best at something, its people have to be the best at it first. To be the best, train more than the rest. However, this is something everybody takes for granted, after all, how many of your employees participate in training activities aimed at improving skill sets or attend training activities outlining correct procedures that benefit the organization?
- Books, manuals, lectures, and documents aren’t attractive methods of training anymore. There was a time (as students) when these forms of training were inevitable, but, even that has changed, most colleges and universities are progressively adopting the LMS as an ideal method of training students. The key here is- technology makes everything slightly more interesting, this includes training and learning.
- Modern means of updating and learning new developments happen by consuming content available online via social media posts, updates, blogs, videos, and other media. Amidst exposure to such forms of knowledge dispensers, traditional methods of training are positively perceived as archaic, time-consuming, and boring.
By introducing a technologically advanced LMS which facilitates training at your employee’s convenience, the perfect mix of micro-learning (10 – 15 minute) videos (animated or simulated) with ILT (instructor-led training) can make a boring topic interesting, or a complex subject simpler to understand. The point being, if training and learning something is an inevitable task, your employees would rather do it on an LMS, accessible on their phones, than study a text-heavy textbook.
Covers complex topics easily: Traditional training is a two-dimensional approach, it consists of training using mediums such as books, lectures, images, and sometimes videos. The second part includes assessments which are paper-based, in person, or occasionally via a computer machine. Traditional training works fine as long as topics are simple and fall under the spectrum of being two dimensional compatible.
However, what happens when the topics in question are more than two dimensional? What happens when subjects require the additional dimensions of simulations, re-enactments, social learning, and the ability to refer to content outside the realm of books and manuals (online)? Followed by the need for in-depth assessments highlighting the areas of improvement, strong-points, and areas where learners face most issues for both individuals as well as a group of learners?
The ideal method of covering such complex topics is via eLearning courses (simulation based, re-enactment) stored on an LMS, which allows you to generate reports that are in-depth and accurately provide you with a host of information to make informed decisions regarding your learners. Industries which rely on complex manufacturing processes or industries where safety training is a concern will agree that learning via simulations and videos is far better than plain lectures and assessments. The topics covered here are just too complicated to be understood via text. An LMS capable of storing simulated courses and other visual media is a better training tool here.
Managers can train and build their teams: As an HR or L&D professional, an excellent question to ask yourself is “are the tasks of administering courses and assessing outcomes strictly only your job, right down to the micro-level?” Not surprisingly, with an LMS, the answer is No. A modern LMS is built not only as a course administrating system, instead, it’s also an effective authority delegating system. Put simply- as an HR or L&D; you can delegate the authority of administering courses to team managers/leaders, who understand their team’s current requirements and assign relevant courses based on real-time needs!
Team managers stand a better chance of assessing their teams and identifying areas where improvement is necessary. They know which team member is lacking at a specific skillset while identifying members who are ready for the next step. Armed with such critical information, team managers/leaders are better equipped at using an LMS to administer courses specific to individuals. These courses are more fine-tuned towards solving actual problems faced by team members and defer from person to person, team to team.
All you have to do as an HR or L&D personnel is assess the performance of each team leader and their teams on an organization-wide level. The real benefit, however, is not the reduced burden of training on your shoulders, instead, it’s the ability of allowing your team managers to build their team like true leaders, by identifying weaknesses in it and fixing it. Not only is this a great team building activity, but it is also a leadership defining process.
A tool to identify true future leaders/managers: Be warned, shocking facts up ahead: Gallup estimated that 82% of the team leaders/managers promoted are in fact not capable of handling managerial responsibilities. With figures such as these, there is a good chance the next person you are considering to promote may not be an ideal candidate.
The statistics may be shocking, but the reason is very straightforward and simple “most organizations promote individuals based on their past performance, with zero knowledge or experience on heading a team, or simply put- just do not possess leadership qualities.” It’s no surprise that Vince Lombardi’s famous quote read “Good leaders are not born, they are made.”
So, how do you make good leaders? The simple answer is- with effective training aimed at identifying and developing an Individuals leadership skills, and what better system to help in this other than an LMS? With historical records on an employee on his ability to learn new concepts, his performance graphs, combined with the ability to provide training to build leadership qualities, helps identify, outline, and produce a real leader. You might almost say- it’s the agile process of nurturing talent, selectively identifying, and carefully picking a few from a lot of many based on historical data, further assessing them on higher level topics such as psychology, empathy levels, stress management capabilities, and the ability to handle human relations. All of these tests can easily be carried out on an LMS providing you with in-depth reports on every aspect about the candidate you are considering to promote, needless to say; the LMS is an excellent leadership identifying tool.
As an HR and L&D personnel, the benefits of including technology such as an LMS to fuel the dynamic training scenario of a corporate is immeasurable. Keeping aside the points mentioned above, with actual usage on a personal level, even more, benefits come to light and show themselves. No wonder Statista has pegged the LMS market to grow to $16 Billion in the next four years.