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How can an LMS improve your approach to staff development?

schedule 3 weeks, 2 days by Alex Bateman in Virtual College

Employees looking at computer screen

The emergence of the learning management system (LMS) has, without a doubt, been one of the most significant developments for workplace learning and development in recent years.

HR managers and training professionals who may have previously struggled to find the best approach to maximising the efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness of their learning interventions can now rely on highly personalised web-based tools. These LMS solutions offer staff the ability to get the training they need at their own pace, while also helping bosses to get a clear idea of individual performance and areas where knowledge gaps still exist.

As such, the LMS has revolutionised the way staff across multiple organisations receive training, solving many of the most common challenges and helping companies to make sure their workforces remain well-drilled and ready to contribute in an ever-evolving business landscape.

A more flexible learning approach

One of the biggest challenges faced by managers responsible for organising training is making sure that their approach offers the necessary flexibility to meet the needs of workers and the company as a whole.

Many businesses find that training often becomes obsolete within a matter of months due to the constant need to provide staff with the very latest skills and information, while others struggle with the fact that pre-planned training sessions do not give workers access to insights at the point when they require it. This means that those who encounter a problem while on the job need to wait until the next session before they can learn more about it.

An LMS solves both these problems, allowing organisers to constantly update training resources and send out automatic reminders when skills need to be updated. Moreover, since LMS tools are web-based, they offer a continuous learning experience that can be accessed at any time, even via mobile.

Greater engagement

Many businesses spend huge amounts of time and money developing their approach to learning and development, but all of this investment can come to very little if they are not able to properly motivate their workers to engage with the training.

This can be a particular issue when classroom-based learning methods are employed, as these sessions can often be inconvenient and time-consuming for participants, increasing the likelihood that they will eventually drift off and stop retaining the information being presented.

LMS solutions can address these challenges in a number of ways, using slickly designed user interfaces and highly engaging gamification techniques to introduce a tactile level of enjoyability to the experience, as well as offering learners the opportunity to create and contribute their own content. Engagement is enhanced further by the wide range of multimedia content – including videos and interactive elements – that the LMS experience can provide.

Moreover, the on-demand nature of this form of training makes it much easier for staff to take learning at their own pace and to focus on the modules in which they have the greatest personal interest, bolstering engagement even further.

Easier monitoring and assessment of results and outcomes

Establishing a rigorous corporate training system can involve a considerable amount of work, but it is often difficult for companies to determine whether they are actually achieving a decent return on investment.

This is because old-fashioned learning approaches make it very difficult to assess exactly how effectively the system is performing, with relevant metrics and data often housed in multiple locations. This makes it hard for managers to determine whether their interventions are working or not, or whether any knowledge gaps remain that still need to be addressed.

The all-encompassing nature of an LMS means that all of these issues are much easier to handle, with the majority offering detailed on-board data analytics and insight tools to allow managers to see at a glance where their staff are excelling and which areas need more focus. By providing all of these points of information through a single system requiring only one login, it is now easier than ever before for bosses to gain the visibility they need to make sure the outcomes delivered by their staff development programme are at least equal to the time and money they are putting into it.

Summary: For companies that are serious about improving their approach to staff training and development, a learning management system can offer a unified solution to multiple problems.

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Alex Bateman - Virtual College

Author: Alex Bateman

Alex is interested in the strategic application of learning and development. In particular how organisations can promote engagement with ongoing learning campaigns. He spends his spare time renovating his Victorian house. Ask him about his floors, I dare you.

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