Re-Train, Retain and Recognize Employees through a LMS
If you haven’t heard of a LMS (Learning Management System) by now, it’s time you did, or you’ll get left behind. LMS’s have been around for well over a decade, and they are changing the way employers interact with and educate their staff.
Technology of all kinds has transformed the professional world, from one where the employer could replace a talented and skilled employee at a moment’s notice to one where talent is no longer easy to find because of competition. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Technology was supposed to make everything easier…somehow. Instead, it highlighted just how important and valuable a talented employee can really be.
So how do we strike a balance between the costly formal education of a few employees while simultaneously addressing the need to increase and improve the skillsets of hundreds or thousands of employees? The answer is a Learning Management System (LMS).
A LMS allows an organization of any size to inculcate learning, track progress, track course completion and standardize merit based recognition. By leveraging training across the entire organization and tracking it, the employer can systematize the finding of internal talent, making the process more efficient instead of one that uses trial and error.
In addition, the company can tailor the courses to provide exactly the training the organization needs at each position or skill level and change it over time to stay current with market pressures. This also reduces the need for staff to be sent to external sources for training that may or may not be 100 percent useful, and provides total control over the learning environment. Staff can be trained and re-trained faster, as many times as necessary, until they are proficient – which saves a lot of money in many ways.
When employees have access to more training and are receiving training from their employer, trust and loyalty are established in ways that emotionally connect them to the employer. As trust increases, talent grows and turnover slows. It’s worth saying that again differently. When you invest time in training, teaching and tutoring staff, they will stay with you.
There are many LMS’s on the market and many different ways to get started. The easiest way (though the most expensive) is to use outsourced providers like Lynda.com, which was purchased by LinkedIn, or others such Udemy and Udacity. For general and basic subjects, there is Kahn Academy, and if you are looking for more college types of courses, you can try Coursera.
However, the more common approach for a company is to leverage a free or low cost solution and build your own with either internal or external resources. As an example, there are LMS tailored to certain vertical markets like grade schools, colleges, or even manufacturing. Some of these companies have been around for a decade or more, and some are relatively new. Examples of general LMS companies include: Absorb, Blackboard, Grovo, Knewton, Moodle, NIIT, Paradiso, Schoology, Tata Interactive, Thors, Upside learning, and Zeus Learning.
Of these companies, the largest installed user base is Moodle with about 89 Million users. It also has over 10 million created courses and over 1000 plug-ins and is available in over 100 languages in 232 countries. The software is open-source and is used all over the world by large and small organizations alike.
Moodle is like a vast set of Lego blocks or an ecosystem of modules that you can use to build almost any kind of simple or complex learning environment. The tool set and plug-in inventory is so robust that you can build pretty much whatever kind of learning system you can imagine. You can also contract with 60 worldwide partners to help you create your own unique LMS.
In the days of old, we all expected employees to learn on their own when a new skillset or technology became necessary, or we would hire new employees with that knowledge. In today’s ultra-competitive market for talent, time to market, and technology innovation, those strategies no longer suffice.
Today, we need to increase our staff’s abilities and our knowledge capital across the whole organization to survive and thrive. Don’t let talented employees go, when you can mold them into something better.
So if an LMS isn’t among your various project priorities, it’s time to add it to the list!