Getting the most out of your LMS
The most commonly used features of a LMS are conventionally: administration, documentation and data collection and these are all useful features. However, most LMS features have other features outside of these three, and it pays to explore them and the ways in which they could enhance your working environment. For example, many administrators use their LMS to find out more about their employees, but the LMS can also be used to help employees learn more about one another.
By sharing more information with your employees, you can not only enhance their understanding of the business and what’s going on in other departments, but also develop the feeling that they’re a part of a collective, rather than a cog in some great machine.
Below are a few examples of how you can use your LMS and company intranet to enhance your worker’s productivity and the work environment.
If your LMS offers a blogging platform this can be a real boost for your employees to share their professional thoughts. Blogs are a great way for your employees to keep others informed about their current and past work, post updates about ongoing projects, as well as find out more about one another and form new contacts within the company by following other blogs.
Basically, a blogging platform on the intranet will afford your employees the opportunity to better form community.
By implementing a company Wiki you can cut down on the amount of time employees spend researching something which there’s already plenty of information about. Wikis allow you to centralise all of your companies information into one easy to use, easy to access place.
This information is then available to anyone in the company who wants it, with no need to go trawling through email threads or file systems on the intranet. Wikis also encourage collaboration amongst workers, who can submit their own extensions to any article or even submit their own article in any area they believe will be useful.
If there’s a social media site, such as Twitter, that you think would be useful to your business, then check if your intranet has integration for that site. Placing your company’s Twitter feed in a visible location on the CMS/LMS not only ensures readership of the feed, it also makes sure that your employees are up to date with what’s going on in the company.
Further to upping employee engagement with the company, setting up some kind of social network within the company intranet will both encourage your employees to use it, and also provide them with yet another resource to refer to. Different departments in your business could set up communities for their work force, and encourage conversation between departments to encourage innovation.
Setting up an RSS feed in your LMS serves a similar purpose to integrating a twitter feed. You can have relevant blog posts and articles appear in a visible location for your workers to check out during down time. Interesting blog posts can then be shared in the LMS forums or retweeted by the company. Ensuring that the LMS is always saturated with interesting and relevant content is a great way to ensure that your employees are learning and improving.
Provide targeted training
Regular training sessions on the LMS are useful for maintaining staff knowledge, but they can also be used in a more surgical manner. If, after a series of testing, you see that a certain employee is really flourishing in a certain area, you can keep them in mind for any work that they obviously have a flair for.
Furthermore, if they showed an aptitude in tests which do not directly correlate to their area you might consider moving them to a division that allows them to harness their talents more efficiently. This could also work the other way around, if a worker doesn’t portray as much aptitude in LMS tests as others, then you know that they either need more training or would benefit from being relocated to an area where they are more likely to flourish.
Whilst LMSs are very well suited for targeted employee training, it can also be a great source of social learning. Employees spending time on the LMS community forums can learn from one another, picking up hints and tips about the inner workings of the company, as well as offering advice on businesses outside of the company as well. By centralising these conversations on the LMS, you make it possible for employees who may never have otherwise met to learn from one another and feel more a part of a community.
Assess your employees beyond tests
LMSs also provide you with a chance to observe your employees’ interactions with one another. You can, for example, find out which of your employees are good team players by keeping an eye on the forums and communities. These communities may also serve as a great place for employees to brainstorm new ideas which may benefit your business in the future. By expanding your LMS, you give yourself to opportunity to find bright sparks in your company who might have otherwise been passed over because they don’t test as well as others.
Employee engagement is important to a business, and taking the occasional poll of your employees to see how they feel about the business/if there’s anywhere that the business could improve can have a big impact. Not just on the business but on the employee’s sense of worth to the company. It benefits a business to have workers who enjoy being there, and small things like a poll can make all the difference.
Ease movement between jobs
The aforementioned Wiki can serve multiple purposes, but one of the most overlooked is the easing of employee movement. With a well developed learning management system you can ensure that anybody new to a department has a tremendous amount of material to reference, while getting established, as well as add to as they go on. Essentially, if you manage it correctly, each new person to join a project will be more prepared with the last.
So, take another look at your LMS and consider what it could do for your work force and your business. If you take just a few of these steps you should be well on your way to a more efficient and comprehensive education system that engages with your employees and enhances their work flow.