The early days of your business always felt like the best time. You strived to get your company into that Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) banding (approximately between 30 and 250 employees), but now you’re there, a whole new set of problems have arisen.
I feel you, as I’ve felt it.
Looking after your employees is now more critical than ever - but certainly more of a challenge - as the family-like feel has expanded into a multi-generational and multi-skilled team, with differing opinions, goals, talents and interests.
You recognise the value of developing your team and providing the opportunity for them to learn and progress beyond their roles. You understand, too, that as a business, it is the best way to retain the best workers, identify future leaders and even attract top talent for future positions within your business.
Then you step back. You have no Human Resources (HR) department, no experience in the provision of professional development, and certainly no time to investigate, procure and implement a learning platform. Who is going to roll-out this new phase of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within my organisation?
It’s all about the right platform with the right features
A Learning Management System (LMS) main role is to do what it says, it's a system to manage your learning. The learning technologies of today however are a completely different picture from even that of 5 years ago, and the minimum you'd expect a learning platform to do is manage your learning.
If your organisation does not currently have a dedicated team to manage the learning and development of your team, you’re going to want to ensure you select an LMS that has a feature set that helps you effectively curate and manage learning in a time efficient manner.
You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.-Zig Ziglar
Key features you should look out for in your learning platform include:
📚 Integrated Content Library
Gone are the days that you had to source or produce your own learning content to present on your learning management system - many platforms include integrated content libraries which offer a wide selection of off-the-shelf eLearning content.
The libraries allow you to subscribe and select applicable learning material and enable it for consumption by your workforce. Popular integrations include Open Sesame, PluralSight, GO1, Skillsoft and LinkedIn Learning.
Survey the various content libraries and select the most appropriate content for your sector and employees and, within a very short period of time and at low cost, you will have a suite of eLearning courses, videos or articles to share or provide to your team.
📤 HR Import
Simplify or automate the provision of your users from an external system straight into the LMS, by utilising the HR Import feature from within the platform.
From the simple CSV file upload of your list of users, to an integrated automatic connection from your HR platform (like PeopleHR), adding and maintaining users on your learning platform shouldn’t be time consuming.
As your business grows, this simple automation can ensure that your LMS is not forgotten and remains a key advantage for your employees and a key strategy for your business, without it becoming a time consuming task.
💬 Zoom or Microsoft Teams Integration
Providing a catalogue of eLearning courses only forms part of a successful professional development implementation within your business - it’s important to remember that knowledge sharing within the organisation is another key element to the success of your team.
Your LMS should assist you on this journey, and blended learning functionality enables this vision. Fuse online learning with the offline and integrate eLearning courses with face to face calls via Zoom or Microsoft Teams to enable knowledge sharing between your teams.
Your LMS should have a direct connection into the video conferencing platform of your choice - allowing direct creation of virtual rooms - to encourage webinars, discussions, and educational meetings without the requirement of a HR team to manage and administer the events.
📜 Customised and Scheduled Reporting
Finally, track the progress of your employees through their learning journey with custom reports using powerful report builder functionality. Retrieve and discover key metrics (like completion statistics and pass rates) on valuable learning resources, and ease the burden further by selecting an LMS that features automated scheduling to provide the relevant analysis in your inbox at regular intervals to significantly expedite the review process.
So will an LMS work without a HR team?
It absolutely can.
There are advantages to Human Resource (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D) departments within your organisation and, as your business grows, it will be advantageous to ensure these roles are fulfilled. In the interim, however, with the right feature set your LMS should allow you to comfortably roll out professional development to your employees without high finance or time costs.