Docebo is a cloud-based LMS that allows companies to deliver formal, informal, social, and experiential learning with a single platform. It sports an easy-to-use interface and is mobile-ready. Because it’s a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Docebo can be fully customized and scaled based on company needs.
A division of Cypher Learning, Matrix rolls out new features and user-interface improvements every couple of weeks. Its innovative rules engine allows administrators to automate many aspects by setting pre-established rules. These rules award badges, enroll employees in learning groups and paths, and lock/unlock learning modules.
Mindflash checks many of the boxes outlined above. It's device-agnostic, and can be used on any platform. It supports multimedia courses and quizzes. Administrators can define learning groups, assign individual permissions, and schedule customizable course-completion emails. It also offers specialized features to companies in fields like healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.
Brightspace can be deployed alongside an existing LMS to improve onboarding, leadership development, and sales enablement training. It can also be tailored to both corporate and educational environments. It's a good short-term solution if you're looking to temporarily cover a legacy system's insufficiencies.
Focused on “OmniSocial Learning,” Mzinga fosters an open, productive work environment by emphasizing collaboration and interactivity. The system especially prioritizes ongoing communication, knowledge sharing, and peer support.
7. NetDimensions LMS
This LMS is part of NetDimensions' comprehensive employee management suite. It's available in both SaaS and on-premises options. If you already use other NetDimensions software, switching to their LMS will provide easy integration and company-wide digital compatibility.
Inquisiq allows companies to upload their own custom learning materials, but it also comes with a series of high-quality employee performance improvement courses. These pre-made courses can be retrofitted with customized branding and company-specific URLs. It's a great option for companies that are new to the LMS game but want to appear as if they’re seasoned pros.
9. Latitude Learning
Your own employees aren’t the only people you have to train. Latitude is a great option for expanding training to business partners. Partner networks are often comprised of multiple field organizations without a centralized command structure, and Latitude is designed specifically to handle these sorts of challenges.
Not only does SmarterU deliver a solid LMS, it also helps you craft compelling learning content. If you're willing to hand over whatever mess of PowerPoints, Word docs, PDFs, and videos you have, SmarterU will make sense of it all and build a cohesive corporate curriculum for you.
How to Choose a Cornerstone LMS Alternative
Now that we've seen a few of the options available, it's time to get down to the question at hand: how do you choose a learning platform to replace Cornerstone OnDemand's legacy system?
The answer is a bit complicated, but we'll break it down for you here.
To appreciate a truly modern LMS, there are two things to understand:
- How modern learners function
- What makes a good LMS
At the end of the day, only you can make the call on which LMS is right for your company. But the following insights will help make your decision as easy as possible.
Understanding the Modern Learner
Corporate learning – or any learning, for that matter – is about people. The primary purpose of an LMS is to grow your human capital and to improve your workforce.This is most easily achieved when you understand what makes your employees tick. Today’s workplace is multi-generational, geographically dispersed, and device-independent. Corporate learning practices need to be adjusted accordingly. Consider the following:
- Millennials will constitute (at least) half of the global workforce by 2020.
- Some 60% of workers believe they have a right to work remotely and on a flexible schedule. This is in large part because 70% of workers think being in an office on a regular basis is not a necessary component of high workplace performance.
- In many workplaces, over 60% of employees use a personal device for work, both because they are more familiar with their own equipment and because it’s becoming increasingly normal for companies to institute BYOD (bring your own device) policies.
The changing face of the workplace is driven by a number of factors, but foremost among them is the simple fact that the internet – especially with the advent of social media and smartphones – has redefined how people go about their everyday lives.
In its “Meet the Modern Learner” infographic, Bersin by Deloitte delivers a collection of statistics that strongly support its assertion that today’s employees are overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient:
- Overwhelmed: Workers spend 41% of their time on tasks that offer little personal satisfaction and do not help them get work done. 66% of workers complain that they don’t have enough time to do their jobs effectively. As a result, the average employee only has 1% of her typical work week to focus on training and development.
- Distracted: In the early days of the Internet, the average worker would go online 5 times a day. Now, that number is 27 times a day. This perpetual connectedness has been driven in large part by smartphones, as the average person unlocks their phone 9 times every hour. As a result, modern workers get interrupted as frequently as every 5 minutes, often by workplace collaboration tools that are, in theory, supposed to foster productivity.
- Impatient: Most corporate learners won’t watch a video – at least not attentively – that's longer than 4 minutes. When it comes to static media, the window is even narrower, as designers have between 5 and 10 seconds to grab a person’s attention before they click away.
What does this mean for corporate learning?
Employees want to work on their own time, in their own space, on their own devices. So what does this mean for corporate learning?
1. Corporate learning must be “micro.”
Most employees don't have the time or attention to dedicate to drawn-out learning processes. If a worker isn’t willing to watch a 5-minute video, why would they be keen on completing an hour-long learning module? Employees are far more likely to engage in ongoing corporate learning if it is delivered in flexible one- or two-minute micro-bursts.
2. Corporate learning must be easily accessible.
Nearly 70% of employees search for answers to on-the-job questions through search engines. Google is so appealing because it's always at their fingertips. No need to dig around for an answer; just open a new browser window and ask away.
Of course, the reliability of answers gleaned from a Google search will vary, and most companies prefer that employees consult official corporate materials when answering on-the-job questions. The only way this is going to happen is if in-house content is just as accessible as Google.
3. Workplaces need to be more aligned.
Even if workers have easy access to small-dose learning, there's a risk that they won’t be able to absorb it properly. As mentioned above, workers are interrupted as often as every 5 minutes, making it incredibly difficult to learn.
Further, in organizations with poor onboarding and lackluster continuing education, employees are often presented with conflicting answers. One’s supervisor may say one thing while the official company manual says another and a senior departmental colleague says a third.
In order to provide employees with an environment suitable for learning, companies must take steps to ensure that everyone on the workforce understands when and how it is appropriate to interrupt one another. This alignment takes time, but once it’s perfected, both corporate learning and workplace operations will run more smoothly.
4. Companies need to invest in ongoing employee education.
Recall that the average employee can only find 1% of her time to dedicate to personal training and development. That’s less than 5 minutes of every workday. A mere 38% of workers report that they have access to long-term skills training at work.
Part of the problem with corporate learning stems is a general lack of investment. If, as a company, you don’t provide your employees with the resources they need in order to learn, how can you expect them to improve?
What to Look for in a Modern LMS
Adopting a powerful, flexible LMS is one of the most productive ways companies can invest in their employees.But with over 700 LMSs currently on the market, sorting through every feature of every offering is a daunting proposition. Fortunately, top-of-the-line LMS's share a number of elements that are useful in any corporate setting.
1. Intuitive User Experience
While over 85% of companies utilize some sort of LMS, 40% of them are looking to replace their system. This isn’t entirely surprising, considering that 61% of corporate learning platforms are rated “difficult to use.”
A less-than-intuitive user experience drives employees away, resulting in reduced engagement. The best systems are simple to navigate, pleasant to use, and provide learners with an enjoyable, glitch-free experience.
2. Social Learning
According to Bersin by Deloitte, 80% of workplace learning happens via on-the-job interactions with peers and supervisors. As such, an effective LMS must foster this collaborative tendency and recognize that learning is a deeply social experience.
The workplace community is an essential support system for each constituent member. Embracing the value of blended learning (that is, learning done both online and in-person) is critical to the smooth integration of any LMS into your learning processes. Even features as simple as the ability to comment, like, and share learner successes can go a long way toward increasing collaboration among your employees.
3. Content Authoring
When it comes to workforce alignment, customized learning content is tremendously important. A good LMS will come equipped with a content authoring tool that lets you develop training materials that are focused on your company’s needs. This functionality should allow you to craft your own lessons in whatever format you desire, letting you include videos, slideshows, and other mixed-media components.
4. Learning Tracks and Automation
It's not just important to create learning content that's unique to your company. It's also important to deliver that content to employees according to their unique needs. Your LMS should allow you to string together multiple lessons into natural courses, tracks, or workflows that employees can work through at their own speed.
There’s no point in quicker learners waiting for slower learners to catch up. As long as your LMS has automation capabilities, you can rest assured that the right employees are receiving the right learning content at the right time. There's no oversight necessary.
5. Assessments and Quizzes
Corporate learning is pointless if your employees don’t retain the information you give to them. To that end, your LMS needs to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your materials. This doesn’t always mean formal exams at the end of extensive learning modules. Gamification is a great way to test employees’ knowledge outside the high-pressure context of a formal test. And it's been shown to help learners retain more information for longer periods.
6. Reporting and Analytics
Testing the effectiveness of your learning materials is one thing, but keeping track of the results is an entirely different beast. Finding an LMS that offers reporting and tracking features is vital to measuring the impact of your materials.
Look for a system that enables you to track performance on both individual and group levels in addition to keeping track of assignment completion and other critical data.
On the operational side of things, you need to consider whether your existing digital infrastructure will work with your new LMS. You’re likely already using things like an HRIS system, a single sign-on service, and a host of internal communication tools like Slack.
It’s important to check with your IT team to make sure the LMS you’re looking at is compatible with everything you have in place.
8. Multi-device Learning
Given everything we’ve covered about the modern learner, the importance of cross-device learning should be obvious. As the workplace becomes more mobile, finding an LMS that supports mobile learning is critical to long-term growth and usability.
For most corporate settings, you should only consider platforms with either native applications or responsive interfaces that allow for mobile consumption.
No two companies are alike, so it’s hard to make a blanket statement as to which LMS will be best for you. Effective LMS's have most, if not all, of the features we’ve discussed, as well as a commitment to catering to the needs of the modern corporate learner.
At Continu, we eat, sleep, and breathe corporate learning, and we’d be glad to help answer any additional questions you might have about learning management systems in general or our platform specifically.
If you’re interested in learning more about the ins-and-outs of modern learning management systems, consider checking out our frequently-updated blog.