Every company needs to commit assets to long-term education and training of their workers to stay ahead of the development curve. Research company Bersin by Deloitte reports that in 2012, businesses upped their training budgets by 12%, only a year after hiking their spending by 10%. Not all training platforms, however, deliver the same results. For many companies, a social learning management platform can provide the most efficient means of training mass numbers at the same time while ensuring successful retention of the material.
What’s In A Name
Anyone who has worked in an environment that requires training, whether it involves Internet protocol or keeping power tools clean, likely has used a Learning Management System (LMS). William Watson of Indiana University released a report on these platforms, noting that they incorporate the goal of the company, contain all content of the training, measure the benchmarks of success and produce the data that managers can use to modify policy as necessary. Today, LMS can be found at nearly any Fortune 500 corporation as well as medium-sized businesses looking to train employees on new eLearning platforms.
Perhaps the greatest argument in favor of instituting LMS comes down to the ability to disseminate a message to a mass audience. A company that needs to hire new workers in large volume annually would commit a massive amount of resources and manpower to individual training or traditional classroom training. Sasha Corporation has studied the cost of employee turnover and new hires, noting that a company must invest thousands of dollars to hire a worker who earns as little as $8 per hour. LMS cuts down on these costs by offering an all-in-one platform to give to any employee, regardless of educational background or expertise or experience, the necessary training.
For medium and small businesses that cannot afford to invest large amounts of capital in new ventures, the question of utilizing an LMS can give pause to ownership. Tagoras’ study on the cost of LMS installations reports learning platforms can cost between $20,000 and $100,000 depending on the features you need. A good solution for small, growing businesses and associations of any-size is to look for learning management solution with no user fees.
A small company needs to consider finances, but preventative measures like Internet security may provide a pound of cure at the cost of only an ounce of prevention. After all, small businesses without a comprehensive online security plan face threats from hackers and phishers, who can drain a company’s finances if no protocols prevent their cyber attacks. This a good reason to review Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning solutions that are hosted and delivered remotely. Not only does this enhance security, it also reduces the IT burden internally for personnel and hardware.
What does the future of LMS hold? For one, the cloud will soon provide all of the instructional materials for many companies. Instead of needing to connect to a central hub or a specific computer, employees can process non-traditional learning on their own schedule and own computer, perhaps even from home. Companies may choose game-based learning rather than instructional efforts in order to better connect with employees and ensure retention. Ambient Insight reports the game-based learning market already exceeds $1.2 billion and shows no sign of stopping. Finally, interactive training could help talent acquisition by creating educational pathways for specific task-oriented new workers who demonstrate superior skills and enhance the retention and progression of existing employees.