Employee training is an essential part of any business to help employees learn new skills and knowledge, increase productivity, and reduce employee turnover. As technology continues to evolve, many companies are transitioning from traditional training methods to a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver training content online. However, choosing the right LMS and implementing it can be challenging, and requires a methodical process to ensure a successful transition.
In this article, we'll discuss the steps you need to take to assess your training needs, research and select an LMS, prepare training content, and implement the LMS to make a successful transition.
Step 1: Assess your training needs
Before making the transition from training handbooks to an LMS, it's essential to assess your training needs. This step involves identifying your training goals, evaluating current training materials, and identifying potential training gaps.
A. Identify training goals: Begin by identifying what you want to achieve through employee training. This could include improving employee performance, increasing productivity, or reducing employee turnover. Having SMART training goals can help clarify a unified goal, and it is proven that having defined goals help attain them. As you’ll see later in this process, as we start to research and choose providers, this small but simple step provides an excellent framework
B. Evaluate current training materials: Take stock of your current training materials, including handbooks, manuals, and other resources. Evaluate their effectiveness in achieving your training goals and determine which materials can be updated and adapted for the new LMS platform.
C. Identify potential training gaps: Consider the areas where your current training materials fall short, and where additional training is needed. Identify any knowledge or skill gaps that exist and determine the most effective ways to address them through the new LMS system.
By completing this first step, you'll have a clearer understanding of your training needs and can begin to develop a plan for implementing the LMS system.
Step 2: Research and select an LMS
If you’re like most companies, you know you need training… the problem is how to find the right one. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to focus on a few providers that fit your needs. After these five steps, you should have created a methodical process to narrow your search, and are one stage closer to committing to a new training system!
A. Start the Search. Your first step in finding a new training program should always be to take a general look at the market segment and space. You can easily do this using basic web searches and specific search terms relating to the task or project you are trying to complete.
B. Evaluate Your Options. Once you have some service names on your list, it’s time to carefully evaluate them. Decide whether or not each app is in the right sector or area altogether. Look at each service’s website to gather more information, customer reviews, pricing details, and other essential information. In this stage, note who has transparent and clear pricing listed on its website.
C. Investigate Demos and Trials. After the initial evaluation stage, you will probably have narrowed down your list of apps considerably. There may be a few SaaS providers on your list that already seem promising to you. The next step is to speak to a salesperson to request a free demo or a trial of the service. See who offers free, personalized evaluations, demos, or trials. If customer service is important to them, training providers should be able to put you in touch with an eLearning expert somewhat easily. Not only is this a great way to test their customer service, but it also allows you to talk with someone about your exact needs, which you may not find on a search engine right away.
D. Tick the Boxes. Since you’ve defined your training goals in the previous section, go through the provider list again, alongside the checklist of your businesses and team’s needs.
E. Testing the Service. There are so many factors to consider when choosing the right SaaS for your team that it’s not always possible to have all of your questions answered in a sales call or even a demo. Your team will only really get an accurate sense of how easy the service is to use and whether or not it will meet their needs once they have had a chance to use it. It’s important to remember that not every evaluation will have a single clear winner. You might buy a SaaS with fewer features than you intended if it matches your budget, for example. If you still have a few promising products on your list by the end of your evaluation process, the best course of action is to try the paid product for yourself.
For a full guide on how to choose the best employee training platform for you, click here.
Step 3: Prepare your training content for the LMS
Moving from training handbooks to an LMS requires preparing your training content for the new platform. Here's what you need to do:
A. Converting existing content: Begin by assessing your current training materials and identifying which ones can be converted for use in the LMS. This could include PowerPoint presentations, videos, PDFs, and other resources. Convert these materials into the appropriate format for use in the LMS. Scormify does this for free by converting loose training materials and documents into SCORM compliant materials, ready for any training platform. Try it for free here.
B. Creator or curate new content: Consider what new training content needs to be created specifically for the LMS. You could create these yourself, use a training professional to create customized course content for you, or choose an LMS with professional Course Libraries.
C. Organizing content for the LMS: Once you have all of your content ready, you need to organize it in a way that makes sense for the LMS. This includes creating modules, topics, and learning paths that learners can easily navigate. Ensure that the content is easy to search, access, and use to make the learning experience as smooth as possible.
Step 4: Implement the LMS
Once you have selected the LMS that meets your needs, it's time to implement it. This step involves assigning roles and responsibilities to ensure a smooth transition to the new platform. Here are the key tasks to complete:
A. Assign roles and responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the LMS. This could be a dedicated project manager or a team of individuals with specific responsibilities.
B. Configure the LMS: Set up the LMS to match your training goals and the content you have prepared. This may involve configuring user roles, creating groups, and setting up the course catalog.
C. Use your support: As you're setting up your training program, get as much onboarding support from your LMS provider as possible! They should be able to walk you through best practices, common pitfalls, and next steps.
D. Follow the 60 day checklist. Just like a president’s first 100 days in office are imperative to their goals, so are the first 60 days after launching an LMS. Use this resource to find out what Training Administrators need to do in the time leading up to, during, and post-launch, as this is a highly important time for the future success of your corporate training. By following this timeline’s recommendations, you’ll be set!
By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to implementing an LMS that meets your training needs and helps your business scale employee training.
Step 5: Launch and Evaluate
After completing the preparation and implementation steps, it's time to launch the LMS and start delivering training to employees. Here are the key actions to take in this final step:
A. Launch the LMS: Once the LMS is ready to go, it's time to launch it to employees. Provide clear instructions for how to access the LMS and complete training modules. Ensure that employees understand the importance of the training and how it will benefit them in their roles.
B. Evaluate the LMS: After launching the LMS, it's important to evaluate its effectiveness. Use data and metrics such as completion rates and quiz scores to determine if the training is effective. Solicit feedback from employees on the quality and accessibility of the training.
C. Make necessary adjustments: Based on the evaluation results and feedback from employees, make any necessary adjustments to the LMS and training content. This may include revising modules or adding additional resources to the LMS. Continuously evaluate and adjust the training program to ensure it meets the evolving needs of the organization and employees.
Transitioning from traditional training methods to an LMS can seem daunting, but it's a worthwhile investment in your employees' development and your company's success. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully assess your training needs, research and select an LMS, prepare your training content, and implement the LMS. It's essential to remember that the LMS platform is only as effective as the content and resources you provide, so take the time to create high-quality, engaging content that aligns with your training goals. With the right LMS and training content in place, you can provide your employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed and grow within your organization.
For more information, download the free Insiders Guide to Small Business Training here or schedule an eLearning consultation with an expert here.