Every learning management system is going to offer different sets of features. This is part of why it can be so difficult for HR professionals to find the right software to meet their organization’s needs. How can you choose when there are so many different options available?
Learning management systems do, however, have some core features in common that you should make sure any LMS you consider has.
Learning isn’t one-size-fits-all. People in different departments and in different positions at a company will have different skills and knowledge that they’ll need in order to effectively perform their jobs. A good LMS should allow you to select learning modules for each employee to create a completely personalized learning experience for them. Each employee should have recommended and required courses and materials that are most relevant to their current jobs or for advancement.
Mobile devices like smartphones are much more pervasive than in the past. More Internet searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers. Many employees may find using a mobile device for learning more engaging and convenient. A mobile app also means that employees can more easily access learning modules and materials from wherever they may be instead of having to wait until they’re back in the office or at their computers.
With a learning management system, the courses should be customizable to suit your organization’s needs. You should be able to design your own courses and materials. Only you know what materials are useful and what you want your employees to learn. A good LMS should make the course design process as easy and user-friendly as possible, but you should also be able to customize your course style and design.
Centralized Learning Materials Database
Your learning management system shouldn’t just offer courses, it should also be a repository of all of your training and learning materials. User guides, manuals, and more should all be stored in the same, easily-accessible database. That way, employees can reference materials any time that they need them instead of having to rely on memory.
Some employees will bring skills with them when they start working for your company. It’s important for employee engagement to not require them to relearn what they already know. Your learning management system should offer a test-out feature so that employees can take a test to show that they already have that skill or knowledge. That way, they can skip ahead to focus on learning things they don’t know and actually expand their skillset.
Integrations with Other Software
Your LMS system should also integrate with other software platforms. The data from your learning management system could be useful in your performance management system or talent management software, for example. It’s also useful in succession planning, as managers will know which of their employees have the skills and knowledge required for advancement.
Data Tracking and Reports
It’s important for any software system to track data and compile reports from that collected data that can provide valuable insights. For a learning management system, reports can help you to improve your learning modules and materials as employees use the system and progress through the available courses. This data can also be used in succession planning and hiring strategies.
While the courses offered within the learning management system itself will all be online, the system should be able to work with offline learning as well. You should be able to manually add skills and knowledge that employees have learned in a real-world setting. This is especially important for any organization that needs to offer in-person training or hands-on training that can’t take place online.
Your LMS software should also include automated alert features so that managers can monitor employees’ progress and performance. With automated notifications, managers won’t have to remember to log into the system to check progress but instead will be alerted right away.