A Learning Management System (LMS) is the backbone that supports both your online training courses and your learners. Its imperative to invest the time to ensure your LMS is setup according to your organizational needs guarantees buy-in, long term service, and healthy results from your online training program.
The proper setup and configuration of your LMS therefore becomes a critical step in your training program. Because of its importance, there are three pivotal points which, when executed, will build momentum. Ignoring these points will create complacency.
There is a wide selection of online training software on the market today; each with different methods of accomplishing a task. However, there are overarching principles that will improve every LMS rollout. With that in mind, make sure you perform a thorough learning management system comparison before you make any commitment.
The number one concern for any LMS rollout must be the learners. No matter how shiny, new, and feature-packed the LMS, if it is in any way onerous or difficult for your learners to log in, take a course, and be tested on their learning, you will likely see usage drop off. Even further, you will see completion rates fall, and youre left with an unnecessary burden.
In order to secure employee buy-in, be sure to:
Clearly communicate Your Training Plan
Keep your employees abreast of your entire plan. Surprises can be poorly received and will undermine the success of your program. Explain why you purchased the system, what you hope to achieve, and how the system will be used. Encourage participation and input from your employees by creating an LMS brand. For example, I know of one organization that named each of the components in its network infrastructure after their favorite muscle cars. They had servers called Mustang and Charger, two databases named Firebird and Camaro and their LMS was called GTO.
Mirror Your Organizational Structure
Most learning management systems have an Administrator / User structure. This mirrors a classroom where a single individual (the teacher) is responsible for all of the students in his/her classroom.
Not many large organizations have one individual responsible for all employees. In a large organization, a supervisor is responsible for the frontline, a manager oversees the supervisors, a director the managers, and so on until you have a group of Vice-Presidents answerable to the CEO. For the larger organization, Its more efficient that way.
Management of your LMS, course and student delivery should follow a similar structure. In other words, frontline workers look to their supervisors for training support, managers to directors, and so on. If a communication framework already exists, there is no need to reinvent it for your LMS. Your students / employees benefit because they are working with familiar individuals with whom they have already established trust relationships in the workplace.
Content, Content, Content
The quality of your content and the learning experience delivered through your LMS has a direct effect on the success of your LMS rollout. Whether you create your online training courses in house or have custom online training courses from an elearning developer, make sure your courses are the best: absorbing, effective, and proven. If not, your learners will lose interest, not learn, and paint the entire package (including the LMS) with the same brush of negativity. Keep your content fresh, updating the look and feel even if the content itself doesnt change.
These steps may seem simple to introduce but diligently maintaining them can be demanding. Your role is to help set the tone that will make their implementation seamless. Following these three suggestions will help you succeed in that process.
The features you need to manage your learners and courses can vary depending on the online training software you choose. To learning about all the other features you need, download our free ebook Whats The Difference Between An LMS And An LCMS?