Most organizations consider a Learning Management System a mission-critical tool for fostering effective learning for their employees. This follows the fast-growing need for staff training for the organizations to survive and thrive in today’s economy. Implementing the LMS is just the first step towards learning integration, ease of access, and reporting analysis. This technology implementation by the project team is just the first step. Ensuring the LMS is fully utilized is the second, and even larger, step. The adoption of the LMS after implementation and launching it is where the rubber meets the road. This is a tough task. It involves getting every employee on board to understand and utilize the training and development opportunities.
Undoubtedly, a high adoption rate of a well-implemented LMS is a game-changer for any organization. The benefits are numerous. The first benefit is increasing employee performance. The LMS platform enables companies to provide opportunities to cater to emerging training needs on-demand. Consequently, the company establishes a solid foundation for performance improvement. Successful adoption of a Learning Management System in companies also minimizes the need for conducting face-to-face training, where logistics can be costly and time consuming. As eLearning methodologies and technologies advance, organizations can reduce the costs associated with traditional classroom training sessions.
For the optimum realization of the value of an LMS, organizations should have a strategic learning and development plan in place. This step contributes to employees embracing the system, and are willing to utilize it for required training and personal development. For many organizations, employee adoption of training initiatives and implementing an LMS is a tough task. The good news is that there are best practices to learn from to maximize the LMS adoption process. If your organization is having challenges in adopting a Learning Management System, consider the following strategies:
Effective Change Management
LMS adoption is both a technological and a psychological process for learners. Different groups of people receive new technologies or ideas differently— some are open to them while others can be resistant. Since the overall positive impacts of the system are evident, organizations should prepare their employees for the expected changes. Managing through change in your organization’s training and development efforts can be achieved through a comprehensive communications initiative. Consistently communicating, across multiple internal communications channels will help everyone understand how the LMS and the organization’s training efforts will help and impact them.
A smart approach is having a cross-functional team of communications, HR, learning and development staff, as well as representatives from other departments to spearhead the awareness process. The team should be accessible to employees for questions and concerns. When people feel they are part of the process and are kept abreast of changes, and what is expected from them, they are reassured and feel more secure. Consequently, they become comfortable with the learning environment and will embrace the use of the LMS.
Implementing a new Learning Management System is a comprehensive effort that impacts everyone at all levels of an organization. Through this transformation, it’s important that leadership supports the initiative, communicates regularly throughout their departments, and encourages their teams to embrace the LMS and its role in training access within the company.
Employee adoption increases when leaders acknowledge the importance of training and development for the company as a whole, and for employees as individuals. Leaders should not overlook their important role in contributing to a learning culture.
Seek Employees’ Opinions
Learners are the primary pillars for the success of the Learning Management System. Is it easy to use and intuitive? Is it accessible and convenient? Is the training valuable? These are just a few questions that the training and development team should ask in evaluating the new LMS and the quality of the training.
One mistake that organizations make is assuming that once the LMS is established, that employees will immediately engage and utilize the platform. After launching the LMS, it is important to continue to monitor its use and to gather feedback from users.
There are several ways to obtain input from employees regarding the LMS. The project implementation team can conduct surveys, attend department meetings to engage with teams for feedback, and provide communications channels for employees to ask questions and provide their feedback.
Consistent feedback throughout the transformation would help the company to make necessary adjustments and maintain the relevance of the learning system. This also helps leaders monitor that the learning and development goals are on pace. Employee feedback is important to understand where there are gaps in training or with the technology. Implementing an LMS is not a one-and-done project. It is part of the larger role of creating a learning culture. And everyone, at every level in the organization, plays an important role in achieving this.
Emphasize the Benefits
Consistent and effective communication across the organization before, during, and after the LMS implementation is critical to employee adoption. But what should the message be? Employees can learn how they will personally benefit from the new system. Many organizations run company-wide awareness campaigns to highlight to their staff about the importance of learning and development and the role it plays in their personal development.
Provide Training for the LMS
Like all new technology introduced in an organization, it’s important to provide training on its use for all employees. Leaders can require their teams to enroll in the training to fully understand how to access it and maximize its benefits. Often LMS vendors provide training for both learners and leaders.
It’s important for managers to be familiar with the intricacies of the system so they can evaluate their staff’s participation. The reporting analytics for managers are an important tool for managers as they develop their teams and monitor each employee’s performance. Some training, like compliance training, is required as part of doing business. It’s important for managers to know how to access reports to ensure their team is meeting compliance standards.
Learning and development plays a crucial role for any organization that seeks success. An LMS system contributes to an organization meeting it’s training goals. However, implementing the new technology is just the first step. Equally important, and often more difficult, is following best practices to ensure employee adoption of the LMS. Incorporate smart strategies to communicate the Learning Management System across the organization. As a result, engaged employees within a learning culture will increase employee performance, retention, and success of the organization.
If you are looking to implement a new LMS as part of your learning and development strategy, contact RTG Solutions Group today.