With the rapid pace of change in today’s LMS technology and the seismic shift in e-learning across organisations of all shapes and sizes, perhaps more than ever, the performance of e-learning and your LMS is critical.
Learning management systems can be complex tools, and adopting the correct learning management system will help your organisation to create a continuous learning culture, facilitate behaviour change and drive business goals.
Unfortunately, many platforms make big promises but, as your needs evolve, fail to deliver. And if your LMS is a bad fit, it may be proving to be a costly mistake.
In this article, we're going to cover off some of the major ‘pain points’ that many of our clients have experienced before finding, and settling on, the perfect LMS and ideal partner.
1. Your current solution is too rigid and you’re having to create inefficient workarounds or are being constrained within the fixed boundaries of the platform
Over the years since implementing your LMS, your workforce has evolved, meaning that you need an LMS that is able to meet the changing needs of your growing and multi-generational learning audience.
Many businesses, for example, discover that the LMS solution that they've purchased is not at all suited for corporate use. These systems may lack the ideal features (e.g., automation or reporting) and integration options required for an enterprise software solution. Unfortunately, in these instances, they’ve chosen a system that wasn’t inherently designed as a management tool for business.
Moreover, expectations for a modern LMS have certainly shifted over the years, with today’s modern requirements now having to include:
Improvements to the user experience: Changes in front-end design to make the learning experience more intuitive, engaging and user-friendly
Significantly better administration experience: Greater flexibility in the configuration and so-called ‘back-end’ to make the management of the system much simpler and more powerful
Dynamic reporting options: Customisable and automated reporting to deliver the data needed to make more informed decisions for the business
Systems integration: The ability to seamlessly communicate with existing management tools such as HR systems to enable complete tracking of an individual’s learning activity
Multiple device capability: Enabling learning to be carried out, on and off-line, allowing learning to be done at a time and place (and their chosen device) that suits the user
So, if any of this sounds familiar, it’s clear that your LMS may be holding your organisation back. It’s time to invest in an enterprise-ready solution that offers all the features you need and is supported by a partner who understands your needs.
2. Your LMS doesn’t connect or integrate with other systems, creating data silos and inaccurate reporting
Your LMS should be the linchpin of an integrated e-learning network – creating an environment of many different management tools that work seamlessly together to create and support learning opportunities.
Admins and managers alike will reap the benefits of synchronised user data with a single place to manage training content, update and track enrolment, and oversee learners’ progress.
Integrating your LMS platform with a performance management solution gives you the ability to gather and store information about recruiting, retaining, developing, and managing your employees. This not only gives you a complete record of your employee’s training and certification progress; importantly, it also eliminates duplicate record-keeping and saves considerable management and admin time.
In short, your LMS should integrate with the systems that admins and managers use every day, including:
HRIS or talent management
Ability to access tools that gather and store data on learning activities that occur anywhere to facilitate deeper analytics, especially to enable your LMS to create detailed and robust reports on activities
A mobile app so that your system can deliver mobile courses, reaching remote and dispersed learners
Social and collaborative platforms
Ability to correlate learner data with ‘real world’ data, such as sales or customer service numbers to create valuable reports
Ability to integrate activity that occurs on a variety of online tools such as Teams to support collaborative learning and problem-solving with more traditional learning methods
Virtual classroom platforms and the ability to integrate with market leading tools to create e-learning courses, microlearning, videos, etc.
3. You need to improve your onboarding processes
The process of onboarding new employees and inducting them into your business should be as painless and effective as possible. After all, this key process is designed to introduce these new employees to the organisation and get them working productively as smoothly as possible.
Your LMS, in turn, should be providing the best possible means of delivering more efficient training, overcoming any hurdles, and making onboarding a beneficial and memorable experience.
Even with your LMS, onboarding can feel like an overwhelming and isolating experience!
If your LMS isn’t aiding in taking some of the ‘onboarding pain’ away, it’s time to question whether you have the right system in place.
Your LMS should provide a memorable learning experience that helps employees better access and retain the information they need
Your LMS should be able to offer a variety of resources in multiple formats, from basic HR documentation through to multimedia learning content
LMS users should be able to find the information they need when they want it, enabling them to take charge of their own onboarding
Your LMS should be able to ‘push’ and automate programmes of study
Your LMS should have collaborative functions that turn the learning process into a social experience, meaning that new hires immediately feel part of a team
From a manager’s perspective, the onboarding data recorded by your LMS should be able to be fed into a dashboard so that employees’ progress can be easily monitored and any remedial action or intervention (reminders, notifications, requests to complete tasks, etc.) can be automatically actioned
4. Your business is growing quickly and needs a solution that can scale
The LMS you decided was an ideal fit for your organisation a few years ago may have been perfect for the task of keeping your employees properly engaged, trained and skilled. But most businesses evolve over time, meaning that your business goals and objectives will have also changed. Thus, the LMS that was once perfect, is perfect no longer as it doesn’t easily respond to the changing needs of your business.
It’s always a good idea to check that your LMS is continuing to support all of your programs, systems and business processes, is still meeting your needs and is supporting your company’s goals.
Can your LMS:
Automate and improve onboarding?
Easily add new processes and functionality?
Highlight useful resources to get your employees up to speed quickly?
Enable knowledge sharing and powerful analytics/ reporting?
Automate and streamline performance management?
5. Your distributed teams/ partners/ resellers/ customers need regular training
Even before COVID-19, many organisations were already digitising their training efforts. The past 18-24 months has forced virtually every organisation to face this challenge head on, and today, digitisation is now the norm in their L&D processes, and the LMS sits at the heart of this revolution.
Your LMS needs to be a key part of the solution that facilitates the scaling of training away from face-to-face to a blended learning approach.
Easy-to-use e-learning software has enabled organisations of all types and sizes to reach out widely to its employees and increase its training operations effectiveness.
User-friendly e-learning authoring software enables trainers to create a range of virtual course content – info sessions, step-by-step guides, interactive learning games, quizzes, webinars, and so much more
Your LMS should have features such as hosting and result-tracking to help in this digital transformation
Your LMS should be able to easily build groups and hierarchies to organise training
Your LMS should be able to build learning playlists, encourage knowledge sharing
The upside of this switch from face-to-face to digital training majorly is much more cost-effective and allows for greater consistency in the training programs – and your LMS needs to be able to support leading-edge features that can make this happen.
6. Your current supplier does not provide enough ongoing support
One unfortunate LMS pain point that we often come across is having a difficult to use LMS and the support element of the solution doing little to alleviate the situation. And poor support is, in effect, the same as having no support.
Unfortunately, all too often we come across prospects whose biggest LMS mistake was failing to identify what kind of support they were looking for from the LMS provider. While every LMS offers some level of support, some providers charge extra for personalised or unlimited support services.
At Hubken, unlimited support is standard – we strongly believe that our LMS solutions are robust and will work exactly as your expect.
As such, identifying how much support you need and what any potential vendor offers is essential before making your final decision. And the best way to find out? Make sure you ask your potential LMS vendor about the support options and what your package entails.
7. You need to streamline and automate your workload
Learning management systems have seriously evolved over the past few years, becoming increasingly sophisticated, particularly when it comes to the number of automation features now available.
If your LMS is not enabling you to take advantage of the considerable time and cost-savings associated with automation, it’s time to look again.
Indeed, your LMS should be able to automate things like:
Employee database synchronisation
Ability to create user groups
Enrolment in learning paths
Creation of up-to-date management dashboards and reports
Course completion notifications
If your current LMS requires your admins to manually assign individual learning assets, plans and/ or certificates to each of your employees (or indeed external contractors, part-time interns, suppliers, etc.) unfortunately you’re not alone.
Everyone’s learning needs are constantly changing – promotions, changing job descriptions, new legislation requiring new certifications…the list is endless. And in every instance, existing assignments need to be changed/ removed with new ones being assigned. In short, an administration nightmare if having to be done manually.
It doesn’t have to be this way if you have a highly automated LMS, where one person can manage thousands of others.
In fact, many of our clients successfully manage thousands of users with a team of one or two!
Automation can not only eliminate an all too common LMS pain point, but it can also save your organisation hours and weeks of administrative work while simultaneously ensuring regulatory compliance.
8. Your organisation needs better performance tracking and intelligent reports
One of the key features of an LMS should be the ability to pull reports and manage the data captured by the system. You must be able to view analytics about the courses on the system and the people using it to learn new skills. Without this information, your organisation is crucially missing out on the full LMS experience.
Poor reporting and analytics on the chosen LMS platforms is frequently a major pain point, particularly because poor reporting options make it hard to evaluate your learner's progress and don't offer the actionable insights needed to help support your L&D goals.
Reporting and analytics tools are one of the must-haves in a learning platform and if your LMS doesn’t offer robust, customisable, and automated features, it’s time to look for a new LMS that isn’t short-changing you by poor reporting functionality.
9. You need to balance tight e-learning budgets
It’s a fact that your e-learning project will not have an unlimited budget. This means that, before starting any e-learning project, you need to make sure that you have a realistic estimate of what the costs are going to be. As such, the drafting of a detailed budget that includes any and all expenses is vitally important.
Whatever the size of your organisation, it still makes sense to pay close attention to the kind of LMS solutions you buy, as a bad decision isn’t simply represented by the cost of the LMS, but will also negatively affect your overall productivity. Unfortunately, a Capterra survey found that 17% of respondents reported experiencing higher costs than what they expected from their LMS purchase.
If your LMS platform costs too much, whether as a SaaS subscription offering, continuing software upgrades, or rising support costs, then it's time to evaluate alternative LMS options.
A key caveat is to be aware that, while the cost of your new platform is a relevant factor to keep in mind, you should never base your selection purely on its price. Opting for the cheapest solution all too often ends up being more expensive in the long run. This is particularly true if it’s not fit for purpose or there are hidden or unclear pricing plans.
If you’ve had to choose a new learning management system in the past, then you already know how challenging the selection process can be. With so many LMS platforms and partners to choose from, it’s critical that you have a clear list of must-have features.
Now is the time to take away the pain caused by using your existing LMS. It is essential that your LMS provides your organisation with an enjoyable, informed, and automated user experience.
If you’re feeling any of the above pain points, you’re clearly not getting all that you could be – it’s time for an LMS upgrade.
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Hundreds of clients and thousands of users rely upon Hubken for their learning and development needs. If you have an LMS question and would like to explore how we can work together, contact Hubken today.