Canada Association of Tourism Employees

LMS For Company Coaching: Discover Your Good Match

A CPO from a leading company shares their tips

Getting a HR department excited about training and development programs is easy, but it can be more difficult to sell the idea to the rest of a company. CEOs resist because it sounds expensive, workers resist because it sounds boring, and supervisors resist because it sounds like one more thing to deal with. What if the planning process can be improved so that everyone is on board when a training program begins? The right learning management system (LMS) helps streamline processes, improve participation, and increase engagement.

Rather than pushing employees through one compliance course at a time, a learning management system consolidates learning content into a single system that is easy to use and easy to follow. As wonderful as that sounds, not all LMS are suitable for the needs of every company. Finding the perfect fit is possible, but getting it just right takes careful thought, a shared, open mind, and the approval of other departments.

Here are some things to consider when getting started in order to find a learning management system and build a learning culture in the office.

Choosing the right LMS for company training

Expand the process

Training is not just for a HR department, nor is it just used for compliance issues. It is easy to cater to the needs of a single group within an organization, especially when a department is in charge of planning.

Instead, representatives of various learner and leadership groups should be involved in the planning process. Contact the budget office, fulfillment centers, marketing, and sales. Anyone who could possibly use the system should take a seat at the table. Select committee members in the way that makes sense for your company. Sitting at the table and working together can be a challenge, but in the end you will have a vision that is bigger and better than the one you may have alone.

Clearly define organizational goals

More is not always better. When your team starts putting together a wish list for training, the features tend to turn into an overwhelming mess. The bigger the must-haves get, the fewer options there are. If you are able to find a platform that has all of the functionality under the sun, chances are no one will figure out how to use it when it finally launches.

Instead, ask the question: What does success look like for our organization? Make a list of clearly defined, measurable goals. Then determine which functions you really need to make them a reality. Finding the right features for your business is far better than having a long list of features that put a load on the platform and bring the rollout to a standstill.

Plan for the future

Since it is an enormous financial investment and obligation for everyone involved, a learning and development plan must last for at least three to five years. Make sure your focus is on more than current needs.

For example, most companies are currently heavily focused on virtual onboarding. It is undoubtedly an urgent need, but what other requirements will come in the future? Will your employees stay remote or are you planning to move back to the office? How do you plan to introduce new technology solutions? What qualification gaps do you see in your workforce? How do you think your customers’ buying habits will change and how can you adapt to them?

A successful training program should be based on the future plans and goals of an organization as a whole.

Don’t skip any steps

Before starting any exercise program, you need to have all of the parts in place. Remember, this is a significant change for everyone. People will take on new roles, and entirely new roles may be introduced to make your program easier. The ideal time to determine that your team isn’t ready to take on these new roles is before you buy and implement a learning management system, not after.

Discuss in advance who will handle each process. Add introductory plans before you begin. You need people to thoroughly review the training software and make sure that all functions work as each department needs. You need support staff who can rectify any malfunctions. Think through each step and make sure your team is ready to make the change.

Skip the alert, try a POC

The traditional process of tendering software solutions can sometimes result in a product that is checked but does not necessarily meet the needs of the end user. Once you have what you want, you can share it with vendors and find a solution that works for your business. If possible, bypass the RFP process entirely and consider building a strong relationship with a vendor. Think of the software provider as a partner instead of a name in a table. This partnership allows you to work on a Proof of Concept (POC) that is not just a cookie cutter.

Working together on a strong POC has the added benefit of giving your entire team the opportunity to get involved throughout the process. In the end, you will have a learning management system that caters to everyone’s needs. If a learning management system is designed for a single purpose, the end product will only solve a single problem. When you expand the scope to cover the needs of your entire institution through meaningful discussion, clear goal setting, and remembering the details, you have a platform that truly supports a learning community.

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