10 Must-Have LMS Features for Any Employee Training Program

Introduction

One of the most important things you can do as a business is to have highly-trained, skilled employees in every level of your organization. And just as important is to figure out how to keep those employees from leaving.

Having engaged employees leads to a more productive workforce and increased profits. One way to keep them engaged is by offering them a robust employee training program that can teach them the hard skills they need to perform their job functions, soft skills to move up the ladder and compliance training to satisfy workplace requirements. A good training program also offers career development so they can look to the future.

Offering a training program to your employees enables them to add needed skills to their repertoire and fill in any knowledge gaps. This leads to more confidence in their abilities, increased satisfaction and, according to the Workplace Research Foundation, upwards of 38% more productivity. This also helps increase employee retention, which not only keeps top talent around, but costs the business less than if they need to replace someone. Training programs that produce engaged employees can also increase earnings per share by 147%.

What to Do Before Implementing an Employee Training Program

Before you implement a new training program, it’s a great idea to first determine your needs and goals, as well as the kind of training that makes sense for your workplace. Here are some helpful questions to get you going:

  • What kind of training programs do you want to offer? Are you looking to provide onboarding training, compliance training, hard skills training or soft skills training?
  • What goals do you want to accomplish with your training? Will you require all employees to pass a certain compliance test or simply offer courses for them to take when they want?
  • Who will be taking your courses? It could be all employees, just managers or those with a certain job function.
  • What kind of courses do you want to offer? Do the courses already exist, or do you want to create new content specific to your company’s needs?
  • What delivery method would be best? Providing training in-house – for instance, from the HR team – may be great for training employees about your company culture, but might be limiting.
  • Do you need to scale? Having on-site, in-person training is great for small teams, but what about large companies with hundreds or thousands of people to train, many of whom are now working remotely?

This is where a Learning Management System, or LMS, can solve all of the questions about employee training, and can provide sustainable, much-needed benefits to your team. An LMS has the ability to offer large content libraries with courses that can be accessed on demand. This type of system can also offer tracking and reporting, is easily scalable and is quick to set up.

10 Features Your LMS Should Have

Whether you’re looking to make the switch from in-person training to online, or are looking to set up your first employee training program, here are some must-have features when it comes to your LMS.

1. Content Library

You can’t have an employee training program without content, so you should evaluate the LMS’s course library first. You want to give your employees the breadth and scope of training they need, so look for an LMS that offers courses on hard skills like software and industry-specific training, soft skills like leadership and communication, compliance training and employee onboarding. The LMS should also offer courses in high-demand skills as well, like coding, innovation and design thinking, and diversity and inclusion management.

2. Custom Content

You’ve already checked the box on a robust course library that will come standard with your LMS. But does your LMS allow you to upload custom content? You may need to offer training specific to your company to address certain required compliance or unique elements of the culture, in which case you’d want the ability to upload custom content. Even better is an LMS vendor who will help you create it.

3. Ease of Set-Up

Look for an LMS that’s ready to go right out of the box. This not only means a few clicks to get started, but also means easy integration with other systems, if need be, and easy mobile optimization. Think about implementing a single sign-on (SSO) so that users are able to access their training quickly, as well.

4. Branding

You may not think that having a website look a certain way really makes a difference, but make sure your LMS offers the ability to brand its interface. Seeing a branded interface – or one that has the company name and colors rather than a third party’s branding – can create higher engagement in the training and more trust in what’s being offered. 

5. Gamification

Having an LMS with gamification is an important psychological driver, and has been shown to improve motivation and completion rates. Gamification may mean to simply add points or rewards for course completion, yet doing so gets learners excited to finish their training. It can also increase knowledge retention.

6. Reporting and Progress Monitoring

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why an LMS with built-in reporting is key to tracking success and value. Use an LMS’s tracking feature to measure KPIs for the goals and objectives you’ve set around employee training, and measure individual improvement to add to yearly performance reviews.

7. User Interface

Since you want your LMS to be a hub of employee activity, find one that your employees will enjoy using. Look for a user interface that’s easy to navigate, fun to use and visually appealing. Make sure it also guides employees toward the courses they’re required to take, shows their progress, and lets them search and browse to find what they want when they need it.

8. Customer Support

An LMS is only as good as the vendor behind it, and if something goes wrong, you want to make sure that it’s taken care of in a thorough, timely fashion. Look for an LMS that provides 24/7 support via phone, email or even live chat. Being unable to get the LMS vendor to solve issues quickly isn’t just an annoyance – it can waste productivity and employee time.

9. Accessibility

Another key feature to look out for in order is to ensure that your LMS meets (and ideally exceeds) accessibility standards for employees that may need it. This means that the LMS offers options such as high-contrast colors, alt text on images, closed captioning or transcripts on videos, screen reader optionality and more.

10. Price and Licensing

Finally, while employee training programs have been shown to save companies money through retention, engagement and productivity, an LMS still needs to be affordable. As you’re evaluating a new LMS, look not only at pricing, but at subscription models, pricing tiers, pricing by user and any lifetime licensing options.

Implementation and Beyond

When it comes to implementing an employee training program, going with a robust LMS is the best option by far. But don’t just release it and forget about it. A key way to get employees excited is to communicate the many benefits of employee training and follow up on employee satisfaction with the product. You’ll see immediate improvements in knowledge, skills application, engagement and an overall happier workplace.

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