5 Tips for Ensuring the Best Use of Your LMS
Deliverables are due, there are nine fires that need tending right this second, the phone is ringing, and you have over 100 unread messages in your inbox. With everything you and your employees need to get done today, how do you also ensure utilization of your Learning Management System (LMS)?
I know this scenario far too well. As an HR leader, I understand how much you have on your plate and while learning and development is important, it is easy to let it fade on your priority list. Here are a few tips I've learned along the way over my career both as an HR leader and management consultant.
1) Easy Come, Easy Go
Your staff shouldn’t need a compass and a map to find and access your LMS website. Creating quick links on an employee portal or other central resource and utilizing single sign-on services make access quick and simple. Once there, navigating throughout the tool itself should be painless and intuitive. According to Google, 61% of users won’t return to a site after having navigation challenges. Consider making things even easier by assigning courses so required content loads with a click of a mouse and create playlists for tailored learning tracks.
It’s also helpful to keep the LMS easily top of mind by encouraging the incorporation of training course into goal setting. When one study surveyed over 4,000 employees, they found that 74% cited insufficient development opportunities as their primary reason for not achieving their full potential. Most platforms include hundreds, if not thousands of ready to rock content that can help enhance even your most valued player’s skill set. Everyone can pick one course as a goal for each review period to continue to build their professional repertoire.
Yes, the LMS needs to be utilized sometimes for our obligatory legal and compliance training. And, your LMS can do so much more than just that.
These systems can give your team opportunities to grow and enhance their skill set for both of your benefits. Logically then, the content available to your employees can be more than just harassment and ethics. The possibilities are endless: project management, difficult conversations, thought leadership, are just a few to get you started.
LMS systems can also be utilized to engage team members who may not be meeting expectations. Many employers assign training on applicable topics as a requirement in performance improvement plans. Let’s say one of your employees produces quality work, but has a time management problem on occasion. (You just pictured someone in your head, didn’t you?) A module focused on effective problem-solving or anger management training can be assigned to them as a part of their next performance review, or as a condition of their corrective action plan.
3) Make Training Snack Sized
Finding an uninterrupted three hours in anyone’s calendar is going to be a big ask for the majority of the members of your team. Further, most research efforts collectively agree that adults can focus for approximately 20 minutes. They potentially can re-focus and continue learning, but not without a gap that could be as long as five minutes in duration.
Enter “microlearning”, which has become a growing trend within the LMS industry for good reason. This concept breaks overwhelming training behemoths into smaller, more focused, and digestible segments. And because the employee hasn’t been overwhelmed with information, they’re more likely to carry that new knowledge forward, incorporating it into their day-to-day activities.
4) Mix It Up!
How many times have you listened to someone speak on a topic and the next thing you know you’re thinking about your grocery list and weekend plans?
Mixing up the presentation method – or incorporating what is known in psychology as multi-modal learning - increases the likelihood that the information will be retained. Break up the narration portions with quizzes or video content. If you’re creating the LMS content, consider two different narrators with different voices.
It’s also important to keep in mind that human brains don’t all work the same way. Some might retain more content if they hear the information – or auditory learning. Others process information more effectively through visualization. Ensure your content is created in such a way that it considers different learning styles.
5) It’s Not Me, It’s You!
Not all tools are created equal. The Harvard Business Review has reported that employers around the world collectively spend over $350 billion on their learning initiatives. And according to the Huffington Post, employers who invest in learning and development benefit from 24% higher profit margins.
Clearly, the value of workplace training is well established. But how much of the resources that are invested are wasted on tools that are outdated and underutilized?
More locally, you have invested precious time and hard-earned resources into selecting your LMS. Do you know if the system you selected adequately educates your workforce?
Find out! On your next engagement survey, ask targeted questions about the effectiveness of your LMS:
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Is the content relevant?
- Do your employees even know how to access it and what content is available to them?
- What changes might your users suggest making it more valuable?
Listen to the feedback you hear from your valued team and take action. You trust their input on so many other things, you should trust their input on this as well. If signs indicate the tool is not providing the services you had intended, maybe it’s time to break up with your current provider in search of a better match with your business and employee needs. If you need help assessing your options, we can help!