A learning management system (LMS) is a digital platform that tracks and guides formal employee training. Historically, these systems have enforced structure, handled administration activities for corporate learning departments, and served as a “check box” for annual employee compliance expectations. However, new solutions have emerged that are built for the modern learner. These solutions defy old norms and are reshaping the learning industry. With the right LMS, learning professionals can track, personalize, and supplement the development of an employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Below are five things to consider when evaluating a learning management system:
1. How will a LMS support your employees’ professional development?
A LMS should complement the way your employees learn every day – whether that be self-directed and highly specific to their job function or for compliance purposes, given the industry your company operates within. The best learning platforms connect people to information and enable continuous opportunities for professional development. The content and system you choose should add value to your employee development model, not mandate unnecessary training hours.
2. What learning activities do you want to track?
Identify which learning metrics are important for your company to track and report on. Each company’s training needs vary, so the LMS you choose should capture the metrics that your organization values. If employees need to take courses for compliance purposes, the system chosen should carefully track completion of these courses. If your approach is to personalize learning to each individual and enable content curation, utilize a learning platform that allows you to track the informal learning activities to engage employees.
3. Will you host proprietary information within the system?
Confidentiality is another important factor that should be taken into consideration when selecting a LMS. If you plan on having a new LMS host proprietary material, the system must be secure. You should feel confident that the security features of your LMS will protect your company and employees’ information.
4. What is your budget?
Learning management systems vary greatly in price. Before you start your search, you will want to understand your budget for both the LMS and the content that will be hosted. If you have a tight budget, you might consider purchasing a LMS that has content included. If your budget is more flexible, you could consider implementing multiple learning management systems that offer the best of both worlds – high quality content and administration capabilities.
5. Put your employees first.
Ultimately, the LMS you choose should support your employees. Consider where and when your employees learn and how you can supplement the learning that already occurs in their day-to-day activities. By making learning convenient and personalized, you can increase employee performance and engagement.