What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Often referred to as an LMS, a learning management system is a software application that provides an environment to manage all aspects of the learning process, it’s where you host, deliver and track your training content.

Types of learning management system LMS:

There are two main types of LMS, SaaS (Software as a Service) LMS which is a web-based LMS, and locally hosted LMS. An LMS in SaaS or cloud computing mode means that your learning management system is hosted on a web server and not on a local server.

It is therefore the provider of your LMS learning management system platform who is responsible for the operation of the platform, the data management and the overall management of the LMS. It is also your supplier who will be responsible for the evolution of your platform, the addition of new modules and new functionalities.

The locally hosted LMS is hosted on a local server, for example, a hard disk. In this case, the sole responsible for the management and operation of the LMS is the company. In this sense, the LMS is fully customizable according to the needs of the organization, but its management is on the other hand much more expensive.

LMSs are used both by companies and by educational institutions such as school service centers, colleges, CEGEPs and universities. They are suitable for any company that wants to develop the skills of its employees, partners and customers in order to grow in a sustainable way.

As we have just discussed, LMSs have various objectives according to different targets, namely:

Employee training

Employee training and skills development :

employees are at the heart of the company’s success. It is essential to place their well-being and professional development at the center of your concerns in order to help them develop, which will result in an increase in their productivity and therefore benefits for the organization. A Learning Management System (LMS) helps employees develop and broaden their skill sets, thereby supporting internal career development and reskilling.

Partner training: when you do business with business partners, it is essential to maintain uniformity in your processes in order to always correctly convey your brand image. Integrating a learning management system allows you to remotely train your network of resellers through standardized content so that they can better understand and sell your products and services.

Customer training and onboarding: training your customers means allowing them to take full advantage of the benefits of your products and services, and thus increase their satisfaction. Moreover, and this is often the case for online software providers, when new functionalities are added, an LMS makes it possible to inform customers directly and pass on the new benefits to them.

Onboarding new employees (also called “onboarding”): the LMS is an ideal solution to integrate and prepare new employees for their position as well as to help them familiarize themselves with the company and its stakeholders in general. Thanks to fun training content (videos, games, quizzes), new employees will quickly be able to understand and integrate your company’s values, and thus be more efficient and productive.

Compliance training: For many organizations, especially in the transport industry or the healthcare sector, ensuring employee compliance training is essential to maintaining their activities. Indeed, organizations must keep employee certifications up to date to ensure that they have the necessary skills.

Thanks to its scalable and customizable interface, an LMS can be configured in such a way that administrators can make compliance training more fun and original, automate training and set up alerts in order to anticipate the expiry of certifications, and Generate dynamic and accurate reports to always ensure compliance.

Why integrate a Learning Management System (LMS) into your organization?

Maintaining operations and supporting growth, digitizing and automating learning procedures with the aim of improving productivity and employee engagement, all of this is now essential. This is why the integration of an LMS within the processes must be at the center of the organization’s strategy. Let’s review the reasons why your company should have a learning management system:

Cost effectiveness

The integration of an LMS considerably reduces the costs relating to training expenses. Indeed, face-to-face training requires costs related to logistics such as transport for learners and trainers, as well as the reservation of rooms. Thanks to e-learning, these often considerable costs can be saved.

On the other hand, the costs related to the trainer can also be reduced, distance learning not always requiring the need to call on a trainer depending on the structures and sectors explored. Extensive research has found that distance learning saves up to around 45% of the time spent on traditional, i.e. face-to-face, training.

Flexibility

With the advent of cloud-based learning management platforms, information is centralized and easily accessible. Learners can access their data anytime and from anywhere, whether through their computer, tablet or smart phone. This not only ensures the accuracy of the data, but also prevents any loss of information.

Productivity

The learning management system ensures that employees receive in-depth training, enabling them to become more efficient and productive. A training management system also ensures that several users are trained simultaneously at the same pace, as well as offering them learning paths adapted to their professional development. When employees are productive, they also become profitable.

HR Magazine reports that companies that invest $1,500 or more in training per employee each year, on average, end up with 24% higher profit margins than others. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)collected training information from over 2,500 companies and found that companies that provide comprehensive training have 218% higher revenue per employee than those that do not.

ROI measurement

The main challenge of training is there: to ensure that the budget allocated to the training program has enabled the company to improve its results. A learning management system is designed and deployed to provide increased ROI to businesses in multiple ways. The main one being to replace traditional individual training.

Learning Management System
Shot of a businesswoman giving a presentation to her colleagues in an office

The LMS acts as a training hub, capable of hosting an endless amount of training content. By integrating a scalable learning management system, ie capable of adding specific functionalities or modules according to current or future needs, companies considerably improve their business results and ensure sustainable growth.

Finally, the LMS provides accurate reports to determine existing inefficiencies in training and thus allow learners to focus on the training content necessary for skill development. This has the effect of improving their retention and thus considerably reducing the staff turnover rate.

To cope with new work organizations and develop the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow, companies now have no choice but to rethink their training management. Learning management systems are therefore intended to support organizations in coping with the new work reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of maintaining their growth.

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