Digital learning and support platforms are revolutionising staff management and development. Tim Buff, CEO and chief learning strategist at Agylia, advocates a ten-point process for companies looking to upgrade their human resource management technology.
The world of human resource management (HRM) has been transformed. Older established suppliers have found it hard to keep up with newer specialists emphasising focused business solutions and providing quick and easy integration into other HRM systems.
A learning management system (LMS) is a digital learning and support platform. Previously, these have been limited to managing and tracking elearning; all-pervasive mobile access has led to dramatic shifts in learner behaviour. Any company that is considering its first LMS, seeking to change, or perhaps supplementing its existing system, ought to consider the following ten things.
Know your business objectives
What problems do you want to solve? It may be all about improving sales with just-in-time refresher training delivered to phones, or digital job aids on desktop PCs for clerical teams, induction programmes to accelerate new starter productivity, or highly interactive leadership programmes delivered across a range of devices to managers. Pick an LMS with the flexibility to handle all these scenarios well and deliver business benefits.
Making an impact
Make it a pleasure to use with attractive, responsive, multilingual interfaces that make it easy to find and consume content. Don’t underestimate the extent that a clunky, old-fashioned user-experience will discourage learners.
It has to be mobile
Being mobile is vital in order to supply job aids and training wherever learners may be. Ensure your system comes with apps and fully supports a ‘bring your own device’ policy, so that you don’t have to buy everyone a phone or tablet. Remember, ‘mobile’ means the ability for learners to cut the connection and continue working offline, with tracking data and content updates resynchronised later.
Microlearning is powerful
Break larger pieces of content into accessible one-to-four-minute modules and deliver as part of a spaced curriculum, or make available as searchable, just-in-time training or refresher materials. This approach is successful because it lends itself so well to mobile access; educationally it is very powerful and learners love it.
Social and gamification
Your organisation has a wealth of knowledge and experience built up within the individuals who work for it. Social features, particularly when supported by gamification, help people to want to spend time within the system, and also unlock the expertise that has built up over the years.
Any LMS must meet the very highest standards of security and data integrity. Make sure the supplier is ISO 27001-compliant at the very least, and can provide additional tailored security options.
Certification and compliance
The ability to test, record results, issue certificates and manage certificate renewal is often a necessary prerequisite of doing business.
This usually means distributed, cloud-based delivery architecture, enabling a company to choose the location of its content and learner data, as well as being able to support six-digit learner audiences.
The importance of tracking
Older LMS solutions used SCORM as the elearning tracking mechanism; newer ones tend to use Experience API (this enables the tracking of videos, PDFs, external learning and much more). As legacy libraries will be SCORM, a new system must be able to support both.
Previously, companies often compromised on getting the best in exchange for a single overarching solution from one supplier. Fortunately, those days are gone; companies can now choose the products that best fit their needs and then integrate them seamlessly using APIs.