Getting optimum results from your Learning Management System

Becoming a learning organisation is essential for powering productivity and creating greater competitive agility. When we can constantly upgrade our employees’ skills and expertise, we’re always prepared for new developments in our marketplace, changing regulatory environments, and fluctuating economic conditions.

A cornerstone of any organisation who is serious about creating a learning culture is a Learning Management System (LMS). However, while many organisations may have purchased or implemented an LMS, very few are getting the best possible return they can. Many organisations unfortunately see their LMS as simply a cost centre or compliance tool that only requires the bare minimum of investment or effort.

So, how do we refocus on using our LMS to drive greater skill adoption and knowledge transfer across our workforce?

Blend formal and informal learning – We know that the majority of learning happens on the job. The oft touted 70:20:10 model of learning puts the actual amount of learning on the job at 70%. By incorporating elements of your LMS into everyday activities, you’re actually blending informal and formal learning in a way that drives the best possible transfer of knowledge.

Embed short tutorials and learning modules into the tools and processes your employees use every day, and create topic-based communities for them to ask questions when they want more information. Most importantly, make these available on any device, at any time of the day.

Promote learning opportunities – It isn’t enough to simply create a course or learning module, then upload it to your LMS and hope someone finds it. To get maximum ROI, you need to let your employees know that these learning opportunities are available. Even if they don’t take up the opportunity immediately, they’ll still appreciate working for an organisation that willingly provides them.

Ensure that managers highlight learning opportunities in their weekly team meetings, and that senior leaders include them in their regular communications to the workforce. Another great idea is to ask employees to provide reviews of the training so that others can get an idea of whether the course is suitable for them, while also providing LMS coordinators with valuable feedback for making adjustments.

Ensure the content is relevant – Even if you are making LMS modules available on mobile devices and regularly promoting them to your entire workforce, if the content they contain is outdated or not relevant to the context of your employees, they will offer little value and get very little engagement. In fact outdated or irrelevant content is one of the chief complaints of employees about LMS learning modules, so it is vital that modules are routinely assessed and updated to ensure relevancy.

Feedback opportunities at the end of LMS modules are a great opportunity to hear from employees about which elements they found valuable, and which areas could use some improvement. Best of all, by engaging employees on the types of learning experiences they would like to see more of, you are creating ownership across your workforce over the learning culture.

An LMS is a significant investment, but when implemented and designed correctly, these systems can energise your entire workforce and create the kind of knowledge sharing that some of the world’s largest companies use to their advantage.

This article was written by Presence of IT’s Pranav Birla and was published on LinkedIn.