How to Onboard Users on Your Cloud-based LMS Without Spending a Fortune Jason Silberman Published on June 10, 2014 In today’s fast paced technological world, an increasing number of organizations are seeing the benefits of moving from traditional employee training methods to online, cloud-based learning management systems (LMS). These systems are designed to deliver and manage instructional content, assess individual and organizational training goals, track learning progress, and can organize data and reports for training supervisors. Learning management systems can not only result in greater learning results for your trainees but also offer a more organized, cost effective training approach. A great LMS doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is important for organizations to take care in choosing the right LMS, and then to strategically plan and conduct the employee onboarding process to the software, in order to get the most value from the system. With that said, If you are looking to choosing and onboarding both your training team and new employees to a new cloud-based LMS, take a look at these tips below. Begin with the Learner in Mind When considering an LMS in your workplace, sometimes managers focus only on big-picture goals and ignore the user experience. LMS users will tend to have high expectations based on their personal web experiences. They might expect an LMS to be able to personalize to their needs, have more visual appeal, and also expect quick access to learning. Instead of presenting them a system that might meet the company’s needs simply in terms of administration and functionality, make sure a simple and appealing user experience is at the core of your requirements. WalkMe can help in this regard, as it makes the software simple to use and allows the user to complete each onscreen task with ease and confidence. Plan for the LMS to Not ONLY Be Used for the Initial Training Period Be gentle and have a long-term outlook for LMS value in mind. Don’t force new employees to use the software just for the initial, mandatory training period. It might backfire, as some learners – who are being asked to absorb a lot of new information about their daily work responsibilities anyway, may feel overwhelmed with having to quickly learn the new software. In addition, some might fail to fully see the value which the system brings to them, so motivation might be low to get the maximum value from the LMS. Instead, be sure to communicate the benefits that the LMS can offer them, and provide content that is directly tied to their regular tasks, as opposed to something too abstract. On that note, your learning strategy – as reflected in LMS itself – should be one that is forward thinking and continuous, long after the initial training period has been completed. Humans learn most effectively through both repetition, and relevance, in the moment of need. Keep that in mind. Communication, Feedback and Monitoring – Critical to LMS Success This last point is important to both the learning management system itself and to your employee training and development plan in general. We live in a less “top-down” world than once existed. Employees, especially among the younger generation, want to feel valued and fully engaged, and that has a direct impact on how well they absorb information and are motivated going forward. It’s necessary to have an environment conducive to regular multi-directional communication, a place in which employee feedback and input are both sought out and valued. The LMS should reflect that as well, especially during the onboarding process. Additionally, and of close relation to the previous point, of equal importance is the ability of the LMS – and the learner and manager utilizing it – to monitor and analyze where the employee is progressing and where there remains room for improvement. Be sure to provide an opportunity for employees to evaluate their learning experience. Surveys are quite simple but can be very informative when used effectively. And the LMS should have a comprehensive analytics function which can provide accurate data as the learner continues to progress. This data will be invaluable in justifying the continued investment of resources in the LMS itself, and will provide guidance as to potential refining of the learning plan. Ultimately, taking care of LMS onboarding is all about delivering an effective learning strategy for your employees. Creating a great user experience isn’t accomplished by simply spending money but having a well-organized implementation strategy that suits your talent base and meets the goals of your company. This is a guest post by Jason Silberman Marketing Director at WalkMe, the Enterprise Class Guidance and Engagement platform, which reduces training times and costs, while raising performance levels. He is the lead author and editor of Training Station, a blog devoted to news and ideas on training, learning and employee performance. He recently published a free eBook – “Express Train: How to Accelerate Employee Time to Competence” – with tips on overcoming some of the common challenges in employee training.