LMS Explained: What Is It and Why Do You Need One?

Management, Training

The world of employee training is ever-evolving, and chances are, someone somewhere has tried to tell you that a learning management system would improve your training program – but what is a learning management system?

What Is a Learning Management System?

A learning management system (or LMS for short) can come in a wide variety of formats and configurations, but let’s start with the basics.

The Basics of an LMS

The definition of an LMS is right there in its name – learning management system. In a nutshell, it’s a software program that allows for the administration, tracking, reporting, and delivery of employee training programs. While an LMS can be delivered in various ways, the most common is as a software as a subscription (SaaS) service.

An LMS can house any or all materials related to your employee training program – from courses, quizzes, and reports that track progress to documentation and certification for compliance training. With the right LMS, everything you need is all in one place, managed by your training administrator.

How Would a Learning Management System Benefit Me?

Once you have answered the question, “What is a learning management system?” the next question you might ask is “How would a learning management system benefit me?” We’re living in a digital age, and there are many ways in which an LMS would benefit your training program.

Benefits of a Learning Management System

Like anything else, you don’t want to commit to a new training program without knowing how it will benefit your business. Fortunately, an LMS offers multiple benefits not only for your management team but for your employees as well. An LMS:

  • Increases efficiency – An LMS allows training administrators to complete tasks related to scheduling and tracking training within just a few clicks as opposed to hours of manual work.
  • Decreases costs – Training is proven to reduce turnover within organizations. By properly training employees who stay, you’ll save the money it would cost to hire and train their replacements.
  • Maintains consistent training/learning – The messaging employees receive through an LMS will remain consistent with your brand and your goals.
  • Improves knowledge retention – Combining the use of an LMS with on-the-job training and scheduled refresher training creates a blended learning program that reinforces the skills and knowledge your employees need.
  • Tracks learner progress – With an LMS, training administrators can track employee progress to identify knowledge gaps that need to be addressed through on-the-job training.

Do I Really Need an LMS?

Truthfully, only you can answer that question, but before you make a decision, be sure to consider the long-term benefits of an eLearning platform. Recent business trends suggest that 77% of US companies used eLearning in 2017 with 72% believing it gave them a competitive advantage. Companies are clearly trending toward using eLearning for their employee training, and since the pandemic, those numbers have only increased. Adapting to training with an LMS now will allow you to build a strong, flexible training program that will grow with your company.

How Do I Choose the Right LMS?

Once you’ve defined what an LMS is and how it might benefit your training program, it’s time to consider which LMS would be the right fit for your organization. This is where it’s important to evaluate your training program, identify your requirements, and start researching what’s available.

Choosing the right LMS can be tricky, and there are a lot of options available. Below are a few features that you may want to look for when selecting an LMS.

Key Features of a Learning Management System

  • Trackable results per user and per course.
  • Consistent messaging that supports your brand.
  • Interactive and user-friendly interface for employees, training administrators, and managers.
  • Quizzes and exams to test comprehension and retention.
  • Automated reports that prove compliance on regulated training topics.
  • 24/7 access to training.
  • Excellent technical support when you need it.
  • Ability to incorporate your own training materials seamlessly.

Try It Before You Buy It

The best way to determine if an LMS is well-suited to your employee training needs is to give it a test drive. Reputable LMS developers offer free demos that walk you through their LMS features as well as customization options. Take advantage of an LMS demo to get a realistic view of what an LMS can and cannot do.

What Does an LMS Cost?

The cost of an LMS varies greatly. Most LMS companies use a SaaS model, meaning there would be a monthly subscription fee to access their services.

Factors That Affect LMS Pricing

Many LMS platforms work with pricing models that are dependent on multiple factors including:

  • Company size.
  • Courses selected.
  • Frequency of training.
  • Additional features selected.
  • Support options.
  • Standard training vs. custom training.
  • API integrations with payroll and/or HRIS companies.

LMS Scalability

Keep in mind, the right LMS will not only include the features you’re looking for but will also have scalable solutions that fit the needs and budget of your business. Nobody wants to be paying for features they don’t need or won’t use. When researching pricing and gathering quotes, be sure to work with LMS companies to put together a solution that is right for your needs and can grow and evolve with you as your training objectives evolve.

Cost vs. Investment

Just as training is a process and not an event, the price of an LMS is an investment not a one-time expense. The LMS you use to provide training and career development for your employees shows your commitment to long-term success — both theirs and yours. Your employees need training not just to do their jobs today, but to maintain high quality work down the road. When you make an investment in your employees, they’ll be more invested in your long-term goals and profits. The benefits of a satisfied, well-trained team go far beyond your bottom line.

Get Started with trainingGrid™ LMS

The right LMS can help you manage your training by streamlining training and administrative tasks and by identifying employees who need one-on-one coaching. trainingGrid™ is an LMS developed with you and your employees in mind. Its intuitive design makes learning management simple and allows employees to begin training with just a click. This flexible system comes with a variety of robust features customizable to fit your needs in addition to built-in reporting and certification tools that track your compliance documentation.

Request a guided demonstration of trainingGrid™ today!

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