Strategies for LMS Implementation and User Adoption

businessman with headphones listening to training on laptop

Conducting a LMS implementation can be overwhelming. Yet, putting forth the right strategies will ensure high user LMS adoption.

So, how’s your organization’s employee training and development efforts going? Decide to add or upgrade a LMS? Or rather, maybe your team thought it time to maximize the use of the platform the company already had?  Does it serve as a model of effective learning and engagement? Or is everyone experiencing several bumps and potholes along the way?

Nevertheless, in this article we’ll tackle the benefits of a Learning Management System (LMS), strategies for implementing a LMS, and how to ensure LMS adoption.

So, let’s get started.

Most organizations consider a LMS a mission-critical tool to foster effective employee learning. The need for enhanced and accessible employee training, especially in an increased remote work environment, continues to escalate. An effective employee training and development initiative will help organizations thrive in today’s economy.

Implementing a LMS is the first step towards integrated learning, enhanced accessibility, and reporting analysis. Following the LMS technology implementation, it’s important to pave the way for user adoption. At RTG Solutions Group, we’re help guide organizations through the LMS implementation process.

Before we get ahead on the “how-to,” let’s start with a look at of the benefits of a LMS.

Benefits of a Learning Management System

24/7 online access

A LMS provides accessibility of course materials for employees and training developers 24/7. Despite location, time, or day, staff can tap into training modules and reporting data when they want. Maintained in the central e-learning location, and adaptable to all platforms, individuals can access via laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

Track Progress

A LMS provides all reporting functionality to evaluate learners progress, performance, milestones met, and overall effectiveness of the training. For required compliance training, the analytics provide data on employee completion, understanding, and execution. As part of the LMS transition, the project team can establish KPIs to measure.

Provide Engaging Content

Instructional designers utilize the latest employee training technologies to create dynamic content and experiences. Training tools such as AI, AR/VR, gamification, simulations, microlearning, and immersive training help to increase learning, retention, and adoption.

Boost Productivity and Employee Development

It’s not enough to check-the-box that employee training was completed. Rather, it’s important to have effective and engaging training that will impact employees’ productivity and their personal development for success in the organization.

Deliver ROI

A LMS delivers a return on investment as related to efficiency, accessibility, quality, time, learner engagement, data analysis, and overall costs. When transitioning to the LMS, project leaders can establish clear ROI metrics for evaluation and data reporting.

Effective Communication

A LMS serves as the central hub for distribution of timely information related to training efforts across the organization. Alerts and reports are delivered to managers about employees’ training participation and comprehension. As well, employees are notified of new course offerings, compliance training requirements, and progress of their personal development efforts.

Consistent eLearning

A LMS provides the pathway to store, maintain, expand, and update all eLearning courses and materials. The delivery provides training consistency across the organization. Trainers and instructional designers have ability to update courses 24/7 for immediate access to all learners.

The above benefits for an organization to implement and manage a LMS as part of their training efforts is clear. Yet to reap the full benefits of a LMS, leaders should recognize the importance and degree to which employees adopt the LMS platform.

Why is user adoption important?

employee_adoption_of_LMS

The most advanced LMS technology can provide a big wow factor to Learning & Development and HR leaders. However, the technology is only as good as the training content and the organization’s learning culture.

Do managers at all levels encourage and support their teams to participate in the training? Although compliance training modules may be required, other training may be voluntary. When both managers and employees embrace learning, the entire organization benefits.

Employee LMS adoption increases when managers support their personal growth. The ease of access, LMS functionality, and engaging curriculum naturally enhances employee adoption of the LMS and training components.

Employee adoption of the LMS and training efforts have additional benefits to the organization. When employees feel that their company is investing in their development and encourages them to grow, their retention and commitment to the organization increases.

LMS user adoption strategy

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.

Establish Effective Change Management Practices

LMS adoption is both a technological and a psychological process for learners. People receive and embrace new technologies or ideas differently. Yes, some generational groups, like Gen Z, may welcome new technology, while others like Boomers or Gen Xers can be resistant. Yet this is stereotyping those who are digital natives to digital immigrants.

The bottom line is that people can learn differently. The level of comfort to technology plays a role in learning through an online training platform.

Since positive impact of utilizing a LMS are evident, organizations should prepare their employees for the expected changes to training and development.

Managing through change in your organization’s training and development efforts can be achieved through a comprehensive communications initiative. Consistently inform across multiple internal communications channels how the LMS and the organization’s training efforts will 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 initiative. The team should be accessible for employees’ questions and concerns.

Instinctively, people like to feel part of the process and know what’s coming ahead. Keep employees abreast of training changes, timelines, and what to expect. It’s natural for employees to want to know: “How does this impact me and my job?”

Consistent information will help employees feel secure, and even excited about the impending changes. Sure, change can be scary. However, solid communications and change management practices will certainly help employees embrace the use of the LMS and enhanced learning environment.

Involve Leaders to Lead

Leader_guiding_employee_with_training

Implementing a new LMS is a comprehensive effort that impacts everyone at all levels of an organization. The process extends beyond executing the technology. It’s critical to follow through to employees’ adoption of the LMS and training practices.

Through this transformation, it’s important that leaders support the initiative. They should communicate regularly within their departments and encourage their teams to embrace the LMS and its role in learning and development within the company.

Employee adoption increases when leaders acknowledge the importance of training and employee development.  Their commitment to training and developing those on their team should be priority.  Leaders should not overlook their important role in contributing to a learning culture.

Additionally, leaders can assist with the steps for a successful LMS roll-out. The LMS and training program is not a plug-and-play approach. It requires a clear implementation plan and leadership involvement.

Seek Employees’ Opinion

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 rolled-out, that employees will immediately engage and utilize the platform. After launching the LMS, it is important to continue to communicate, monitor its use, and gather feedback from users.

There are several ways to obtain input from employees regarding the LMS. The project implementation team can conduct surveys and attend department meetings to engage with teams for feedback. Additionally, those in training roles can provide opportunities for employees to ask questions and provide their feedback.

Consistent feedback throughout the transformation can help the training leaders make necessary adjustments and maintain the integrity of the LMS. 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 issues with the technology. Implementing a 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 goal.

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. To reiterate, people instinctively want to know, “how does this impact me?” So, tell them.

Many organizations run company-wide awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of learning and development and the role it plays in their personal development. Being a part of learning culture, where one feels supported and empowered to grow and develop is powerful to employee adoption.

Provide LMS Training

Like all new technology introduced in an organization, it’s important to provide training on its use. Leaders can require their teams to enroll in the training to fully understand how to access the LMS 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 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.

Any technology that impacts how people do their job must have a comprehensive training component. This is not a “build it and they will come.” Rather, employees need to be shown the how’s, what, when, and why to ease their comfort and enhance how well they adopt the new technology.

Conclusion

Learning and development plays a crucial role for any organization that seeks growth and success. An LMS platform contributes to an organization meeting its 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 for guidance or a project lead for your Learning Management System implementation, our LMS consultants can help. As well, we can assist with developing your learning and development strategy or create engaging training curriculum. Contact RTG Solutions Group today.

“A vision cannot be realized without the ability to execute.”

Khris K. Bhattan
PresidentPresident, RTG Solutions Group
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