An HR head of a mid-sized company wants to start an LMS program and wonders how to pick the right provider—
“Hi, I read a lot about the convenience and practical uses of LMS in employee training and I’m excited to apply it to our sales team. Since most of them are out, I like the idea of delivering our LMS modules into their mobile devices; that way, I can stick to my training deadlines without having to wait to gather them in one place. It’s my first time to use an LMS—we used to have quarterly training in pre-selected venues—please help me sort out how to choose the best LMS providers. Thanks!” – Sandy, Charlotte, NC
Hi, Sandy. Since you mentioned mobile, you already know that cloud hosted LMS fits you best. Still, there are other non-technical areas you need to clear off before going through comparing the specs between the top LMS software products.
I prepared five questions to help you to review the best LMS providers that fit your case.
The best LMS providers support popular files like PDF, XLS, TXT, and DOC. Make sure that your training materials are in any of these formats. If the materials are in print, you need to digitize them first so you can upload the files. In my experience, the more files the LMS software supports the better it is. By the way, if you’re yet to choose which format to use, go for DOC (unless it’s a spreadsheet then use XLS) because it’s more flexible than PDF, but more robust than TXT.
This is important because you should be focusing on developing the training materials, not operating the LMS software. An underling should help you unburden yourself of the daily task managing the LMS software, from uploading/downloading files, updating the materials, trouble-shooting minor glitches, and liaising with the vendor, among others. This underling will also be the course administrator, the person in charge of guiding learners through the course.
Get the approval of your bosses before you embark on an LMS program. Justify it by comparing its costs and efficiency versus the traditional training program, where, as you’ve said, requires logistics and schedule coordination to gather the learners. Getting your bosses’ green light also helps you to address the next question.
Just as you need your bosses’ cooperation, make sure the learners are receptive to the new program. As an HR practitioner, you can only be too familiar with a few employees from different departments who resist anything that’s new. The resistance can also be passive, that is, the employees are not keen on learning the LMS program. Make sure the software is easy to understand and use. The best LMS providers should have a support team to help you to orient the employees on how to use the program.
Lastly, what better way to find the best LMS providers than by trying the software first for free or using a demo version? Use it for two weeks at least to check for flaws or glitches that may arise during the actual run. The trial not only helps you to assess the LMS software, but also get the feel of dynamics on the interaction between you and the learners while using the LMS software.
Getting into the LMS infrastructure is the right step to take your training program to the next level. It gives you flexibility (put employees on training any time) and efficiency (finish the training on time). I hope the guide above will help you in your comparison of the best LMS providers for your company.
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