learning management system

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a platform that enables the storage and delivery of learning content for the purpose of training and educating employees. The idea of choosing an LMS can be daunting. But before you decide to jump into the LMS search, it’s important to identify why you need this system in the first place.

In addition to providing a platform that makes it relatively easy to deliver—and in some cases develop—eLearning, an LMS provides the opportunity to track and measure training content.

Here are three benefits of tracking eLearning content via an LMS:

User completion

First and foremost, you should be using an LMS to see how many learners are enrolled in and completing your eLearning courses. While creating eLearning content is fun, designers aren’t developing courses for the purpose of keeping themselves entertained. The purpose of training materials is to help educate learners and improving their skills.

User completion tracked in an LMS might help identify what is and isn’t working regarding your design. For example, a completion report might uncover the fact that no one finishes a course if it’s more than 20 minutes long. Likewise, an enrollment report might highlight those departments that need to increase their focus on employee development. If it’s been two years since anyone in finance enrolled in a course, it’s probably time to provide them with some relevant training.

Business results

Once you understand how many learners have enrolled in and completed your courses, an LMS can be used to link that information to business results. For example, did your sales team see a dramatic spike in their sales after they finished the course on Competitive Selling? Likewise, you might be able to draw a correlation between low customer satisfaction scores and a customer service team that hasn’t completed required training about handling customer complaints. Without the data an LMS provides, it’s harder to make the connections to results.

If you’re in a position where you need to convince senior leaders that an LMS is worth the investment (they’re not cheap), this connection to business results—and the benefit to the bottom line—is an important one to make.

Compliance

I hate to say it, but it’s a litigious world out there. Having an LMS that tracks training assignments and records completion data will help your organization protect itself in the event of legal action. That executive who is accused of insider trading but claims he was never educated about the difference between public and non-public information? Thanks to an LMS, you can pull up his learning history to demonstrate that he was enrolled in the Insider Trading eLearning course, and he successfully finished it not just once but every year since he was hired. Suddenly, thanks to the LMS records, his claims no longer hold the power they once did.

Now that you understand a few of the reasons why you might need an LMS, don’t purchase the first one you find. Do your research and test drive some models to choose the right LMS for your business.

Not all LMS platforms are created equal, and they’re not all the perfect solution for your business. First, be clear about why your organization needs one. Then take the time to find the right one. After your new LMS is in place, use it to drive your learning strategy forward and positively impact business results.

LizSheffieldBioLiz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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