By Chris Wright, Ph.D.
The most successful companies in the world have successfully developed a culture of learning. Learning is embraced by these companies not only in the way they innovate, manufacture their products or provide their services, but also in their commitment to training and developing their employees. Ever-changing technology, new laws and regulations, changing job requirements, and an increasingly diverse workforce are all factors that create an environment in which companies must efficiently and effectively deliver and manage learning experiences for their employees. These experiences must be easily accessible and easily tracked. A Learning Management System (LMS) is an excellent vehicle for training, evaluating, and tracking the results of learning initiatives.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is an information system that administers instructor-led and e-learning courses and keeps track of student progress throughout these learning initiatives. Used internally by companies and their employees, an LMS can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the organization’s education and training programs. It is also beneficial in ensuring state-and federal-mandated courses are delivered in a timely manner.
In my experience working with companies that utilize and LMS, there are five primary advantages companies realize through the use of an LMS.
1. Centralized training environment to ensure consistency: One of the primary challenges of training is to ensure that every employee receives a consistent, high-quality learning experience. An LMS enables a company to ensure that every employee can access the same high quality training and developmental content 24/7 from any location with web access.
2. Tracking and reporting: An LMS enables a company to track the success of training and learning initiatives across the enterprise and the ability to monitor training and developmental needs.
3. Evaluation of learning objectives: Another LMS benefit is the ability to evaluate whether employees have mastered learning objectives. Most LMS’s provide testing capabilities that can be administered before, during and after training.
4. Enhanced product and service proficiency: An LMS enables a company to continuously deliver new product and service information to employees ensuring that customer-facing employees are proficient in the latest company offerings. The speed at which employees can become proficient in new product and service offerings is greatly enhanced through the use of an LMS.
5. Regulatory and legal compliance: Most companies are required to meet some type of state or federal legal and regulatory compliance. The LMS, through its tracking and reporting mechanisms, ensures that the results of those who have taken required courses can be tracked in real-time. Companies can more easily identify areas of non-compliance and take corrective actions to reduce the risk of noncompliance with requirements.
How do you calculate the ROI on a Learning Management System (LMS)?
If you are a manger of training, development and talent you are already a believer that a Learning Management System (LMS) will help your organization cut costs or improve profits. However, how do you show that return-on-investment (ROI) to company leadership? A good LMS will provide you with the metrics you need in order to demonstrate ROI. Below are just some of the ways to measure the ROI of your LMS:
• Lower costs of managing training schedules (e.g. fewer hours spent managing training)
• Decreased travel costs with eLearning and virtual classrooms
• Increased revenues due to speeding employee time-to-proficiency (e.g. Sales professionals learn products faster, start selling faster & more effectively)
• Improve time-to-market training of sales professionals and partners
• Decreased support incidents and costs from well trained employees or customers
• Increased revenues due to higher customer satisfaction (e.g. faster, better trained employees provide better customer service)
• Reduced financial risks and costs of negligent regulatory compliance training activities
• Decreased employee turnover costs by providing better training and development
• Reducing IT hardware and support costs by utilizing a SaaS based Learning Management System compared to internally managed software
Dr. Wright is the founder, President and CEO of Reliant (www.reliantlive.com). He led the development of Reliant’s end-to-end Talent Management solutions and assessments. Over 1000 companies globally utilize one of Reliant’s talent management solutions.