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What Is a Corporate LMS? (And 6 Reasons You Need One)

Corporate learning and development are changing fast. If you’re stuck in the days of flying trainers out to your headquarters, putting them up in hotels, catering huge in-person trainings, and still not seeing results, you’re living in the past.

Now is the time of the corporate learning management system (LMS).

Corporate learning systems are changing the game for human resources, sales, and other departments around the world. Let’s take a look at what a corporate LMS is and why you need one.

What Is a Corporate LMS?

The idea behind a corporate learning management system is simple: it’s a place to organize all of the training materials within a single business. In some ways, it performs similar functions to corporate intranets.

Instead of a general-purpose platform for sharing information and collaborating, learning platforms are highly focused on information storage, sharing, and distribution.

For example, if you have a video course on how to sell your company’s products, each video could be part of a defined learning track. The LMS will guide users through the track in the right order, assessing learning along the way.

A learning management system might also contain product information, customer success playbooks, calling scripts, and any other information that’s useful to employees. While the focus is on learning and development, an LMS is primarily a central place to store information.

As you can see, learning management systems have a fairly simple purpose. If that’s true, why do you need one?

Here are 6 reasons:

1. Single Source of Truth

It’s hard to overstate the value of organizing all your training material in a single location. Employees know that quickly logging onto the LMS is all they need to continue their learning. They don’t need to log into different systems for different types of training. They don’t need to dig through their email accounts trying to figure out where to go for the next video or guide.

And we all know what it’s like to not be able to find the files you’re looking for. A corporate LMS ensures that whenever you need information about training, development, products, HR policy, or anything else, you know exactly where to look.

This central storage also aids coordinating processes that go between departments. Sales and marketing departments, for example, benefit from shared information and processes. If both groups keep their own versions of documentation, updates aren’t shared and miscommunications result. A single source of truth solves this problem before it starts.

2. Convenient Access

Getting employees to make time for learning and development is one of the most significant challenges facing trainers today. In LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning report, it was second only to budgeting concerns.

And it’s no wonder; traditional trainings require the coordination of many packed schedules. It’s hard enough to schedule an hour-long meeting, much less a half-day (or longer) training.

Modern teams are highly mobile—they travel for their jobs. They work from home. They’re distributed around the world. Corporate training software lets employees access the system from any device. They can learn from their computer at their desk, on their tablet at home, or from their phone when they’re on a business trip.

By structuring trainings as a series of microlearning sessions, you can make it even easier for your employees to get the knowledge they need. Shorter sessions of “bite-sized” learning provide more engagement, improve knowledge retention, and are more motivating than traditional trainings.

Microlearning isn’t feasible with traditional training. Corporate learning management systems make it easy, and that means more engagement and more learning. The added convenience for trainees is a game-changer.

3. Performance Tracking

With employees accessing training materials from all corners of the globe on their own schedules, how do you know who’s completed the training? Effective evaluation of training is a complicated beast. But corporate LMSes include advanced performance tracking features that keep managers abreast of training progression.

(Are you evaluating trainings or instructional design? Download our checklist to make the process easier!)You can see information about each employee—which trainings they’ve started, which they’ve completed, and the results of follow-up assessments. Follow-up quizzes also let managers see how well employees are learning the information in the trainings.

If employees are having difficulty with a particular module or topic, it might be time to update the training with something new.

4. Easy Updates (and Fewer Compliance Headaches)

All corporate trainers know the frustration of creating a set of training materials only to find that they’re already out of date or no longer necessary. Online trainings are much easier to update than printed materials, and the new information is instantly shared with everyone completing the training.

That amounts to big savings in both time and effort. And that doesn’t even count the cost of employee error or non-compliance. Not sharing the latest compliance updates can have significant consequences.

Compliance guidelines change regularly, and your company needs to be ready. Updating hundreds of printed binders or books is costly and time-consuming. A corporate LMS will save you money on updating and delivering trainings when regulations change.

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5. Scalability

Growing businesses face a lot of challenges. Onboarding new team members, teaching current employees new skills, updating documentation . . . it all takes time. And the stakes are high. If your employees can’t keep up with the expansion of your company, you’re going to face setbacks.

Learning management systems are significantly easier to scale than traditional training programs. You don’t need to print more booklets; you just set up more accounts. You can quickly develop, test, and deploy new trainings.

And because of the pricing models of LMSes, you’ll often find that the scaling the system is more affordable than you might expect.

6. Decreased Costs (and Increased ROI)

In 2017, U.S. companies spent over $90 billion on training.

That’s an absolutely staggering number. On average, companies spent over $1,000 per learner. And while that’s great for the learners, it places a huge amount of pressure on trainers, managers, and supervisors. Are they getting enough of a return on investment to justify this expenditure?

Learning management systems not only give you the reporting tools to start assessing ROI, but also help decrease training costs. You might be surprised to find out just how affordable some of the best LMSes are.

That lowered cost, combined with increased effectiveness, results in an increased ROI. That’s the ultimate measure of whether your trainings are working.

Modern Learning and Development

As businesses adapt to the quickly changing modern world, training and development need to adapt as well. Traditional training and development methods were sufficient for many years. But with the faster pace of business, more globally dispersed teams, and changing technologies, they no longer do the job.

Corporate learning management software brings training and development into the modern era. In addition to easy access and scalability, they provide the performance tracking that growing companies need. Employees learn more effectively. And learning platforms’ function as the single, central repository for information across the company mean they’re useful even beyond training.

All of these factors come at significantly lower cost than traditional training, as well. Increased effectiveness and decreased costs ensure that your training program passes the ultimate test: the bottom-line effect.

If you haven’t yet adopted a corporate LMS, you’re missing out on a wide variety of benefits.

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