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Last updated: 22.11.18

How can an LMS help to future-proof your learning strategy?

Businesses are under increasing pressure to future-proof their learning and development strategies - and a learning management system can prove helpful in this respect.

Any organisation that is serious about learning and development will realise that training strategies cannot ever stand still, lest they be left behind by the relentless progress of a constantly-evolving business market.

With each passing year, established ideas fall out of fashion as they are supplanted by fresher concepts, while new legislative measures can lead to significant paradigm shifts. A failure to keep pace with these changes could put your company at risk of surrendering its competitive advantage to more agile rivals, or even open the business up to accusations of regulatory non-compliance.

As such, it's vital to make sure your organisation has a learning and development strategy that takes a long-term view, and is flexible enough to respond to shifting trends as and when they become relevant. To this end, it's worth considering the role that a learning management system (LMS) could play in this regard, and to think of the benefits that such a system could play in helping your firm stay a step ahead.

The need to stay agile with your learning and development approach

No matter which sector your organisation is part of, it's inevitable that your industry will be affected by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity as business conditions change.

Even the most well-established best practice guidelines will become outdated sooner or later, especially in a world where the pace of technological innovation is constantly accelerating. A training approach that seemed efficient and cutting-edge five years ago is likely to feel woefully antiquated today, with new innovations such as gamification, augmented reality and interactive video having reshaped expectations of what a modern, learner-centric training experience looks like.

Moreover, companies also need to account for broader sector-agnostic developments that affect businesses of all shapes and sizes. Recent examples of this include the introduction of the European General Data Protection Regulation - which has fundamentally altered the status quo when it comes to cyber security and data processing - and the ongoing Brexit process, which is likely to have legal repercussions for years to come.

As such, businesses need to put a learning and development strategy in place that's well-structured enough to be efficient and transparent, but also malleable enough to account for these changes.

Bespoke vs off-the-shelf training courses

When looking at ways to future-proof your training methods, it can be difficult to decide whether an off-the-shelf or a bespoke approach would better suit your company needs.

Off-the-shelf options do not generally offer the flexibility associated with a custom-built learning and development package, as they provide a ready-made suite of learning materials designed around industry standards and general needs. However, they can certainly be a useful means of quickly getting your company up to speed with the most recent requirements in your sector, and can be cheaper and easier to implement than a bespoke option.

However, there are benefits to a more personalised approach that off-the-shelf options cannot replicate. By working with a vendor to create a tailored learning package, you can devise a system that perfectly aligns with the specific needs of your staff, organisation and business strategy, and perform modular upgrades as and when they are needed. This increased level of control can give your corporate training a level of flexibility that could prove crucial in fast-moving sectors.

How an LMS can bring it all together

Whatever learning and development approach your company chooses to adopt, investing in an LMS could make a significant difference in helping to achieve your goals.

LMS solutions are powerful tools that bring all of your training and educational initiatives together under a single online interface, giving you instant visibility into the progress being made by individual learners and providing automated tracking, reporting and analysis features. They can also facilitate the creation and distribution of vital learning materials, meaning staff at all levels can access the information they require from any device or location - an important consideration, given the growing popularity of home-based and remote working.

Given how complicated it can be to keep a learning and development policy regularly updated, it can be immensely helpful to know there remains a consistent and flexible infrastructure in place to handle the back-end functions; additionally, it provides management with reliable company-wide metrics to help them measure the progress of any of the initiatives they implement.

Ultimately, future-proofing your learning and development approach is an ongoing process without a silver-bullet solution; however, an LMS can simplify the administrative and practical aspects of this work, allowing business leaders to keep their focus on strategy and results.

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