March-ending is undoubtedly one of the most frenzied times during the course of a year for every organization. It’s that time when organizations have a single agenda and an exhausting task-list that revolves around ‘Finances’, and rightly so. After all, by March-end all important financial obligations are to be fulfilled, audits to be done, balance sheets to be balanced and all discussions have the common theme of ‘ROI’. It also marks the beginning of a new Fiscal Year (FY) complete with fresh investments and a renewed business focus.
When speaking about investments, it’s natural to steer the conversation to Learning & Development (L&D) as it is one of the major investment centers for businesses today. Within L&D too, it’s eLearning and Learning Management Systems (LMSes) that are competing for attention, and for all the right reasons. An LMS, with its ability to reach learners anytime, anywhere, on any device, while offering continuous learning and development, motivation, engagement, and more, is the ‘go-to tool’ for managing small to large scale L&D interventions.
So it’s clear that organizational leaders understand the need to invest in a learning platform. But what needs some additional understanding, or rather uncovering, is how can businesses invest their dollars into the right LMS to maximize the ROI?
Here are a few things to look for when purchasing a new LMS in the new FY to amp up your ROI.
1. An Intuitive UI / UX
It is highly imperative for today’s organizations to have clear and precise understanding of the modern LMSes, because even the most incredible elearning programs alone cannot guarantee engagement if the delivery method (read LMS!) is complicated and not user-friendly.
A state-of-the-art User Interface (UI) in an LMS is undoubtedly a prime necessity that helps learners navigate through the LMS with much ease and comfort. With a seamless experience, the learners are more engaged, thus driving course completion rates. And, as more and more learners complete training, organizations get more value for money. Higher productivity simply means more return on investment.
2. Multi-lingual Support
An LMS that supports multiple languages enables its learners to be highly engaged, as it helps improve the learner experience, irrespective of the geographical barriers. Having an LMS with multi-lingual support is invaluable to a truly global organization, due to their presence in markets all around the world. With their employees working remotely in different geographies, organizations need the ability to deliver their employees with training programs in their respective native languages.
Employees that are effectively trained (in the language of their choice) are well equipped to provide quick and relevant solutions to customers’ questions. And, when remotely located customers are well informed about the product and service offering, they can thus opt to do more business with the organization. So, an LMS that truly streamlines globalization must be one of the prime requirements for a global organization.
3. Anytime-Anywhere Learning
Most organizations have a dispersed workforce, which becomes an obstacle when it comes to delivering relevant training materials to different geographies. An LMS makes this task less daunting and provides ‘anytime-anywhere’ learning through a host of mobility features, like responsive websites and mobile apps that deliver the content to learners ‘just in time’.
One of the first signs of a great LMS is that it is mobile responsive and comes with a customizable mobile app. With smartphones reigning supreme across the globe, an unresponsive LMS is at risk of losing the interest of today’s digital savvy learners. If organizations invest in delivering training through a mobile app, they can rest assured knowing that maximum amount of learners are accessing the training, thus driving the ROI.
4. Integrations with external Tools & Apps
User experience is often hampered due to things like multiple login screens, manual process of uploading new users and sifting through several tools and apps to maintain a sense of coherency.
Before zeroing down on the right LMS, organizations must think through a major aspect of LMS integrations. An LMS that provides seamless integrations with a range of online tools (already existing within the organization or otherwise) gives organizations more value for money by reducing the manual efforts required in integrating the LMS with several different apps and systems.
Powered by the single sign-on (SSO) functionality, an LMS provides enhanced UX by reducing the learners’ hassle, while integration capabilities with tools like CRM and HRMS, video conferencing, online payment systems, content providers and online content marketplaces for a wider variety of learning content, remove the hurdles that become an unnecessary barrier between the employees and their training.
5. Advanced Reporting & Analytics
Very few LMSes today come packed with the most innovative features to deliver the learning content in the most engaging way. And, even fewer LMSes come with the ability to track, measure and analyze the process in which this happens. Gone are the days when organizations could get away with just delivering training content to its employees. But how do you know if an employee is actually learning?
Reporting and analytics has emerged as a must-have feature for any leading LMS. Leading LMSes have inbuilt reporting and analytics tools that can map employees’ learning process and measure it against their performance. The reporting and analytics tool enables organizations to measure, analyze and give feedback and enhance the overall process based on reliable data and insights.
An LMS that is business-focused, has a fantastic UI/UX, with multi-lingual support and advanced integration functionalities, delivers learning content in an engaging and timely manner, and can track and analyze employees’ learning behavior as well as give valuable insights on improving the learning experience, becomes a truly prized possession. A great LMS will not only reduce your training costs, but also ensure that you get the maximum out of your elearning investment, and further drive your business ROI.