What is an LMS? (Learning Management System)
October 21, 2022
As your organization grows, your learning needs become increasingly complex. This creates a new problem: The need to train as many employees as possible with the latest knowledge and skills to maintain a competitive edge.
Employees want to learn, too. Recent studies have shown that learning is more important than ever, with 76 percent of Gen Z employees believing learning is the key to a successful career.
A learning management system (LMS) bridges the gap between an organization’s resources and employee expectations. Learn more about the ins and outs of a learning management system-what it does, how it works, and how it enables organizational growth.
What is an LMS? Learning management system definition
Learning management systems are applications with tools and frameworks to streamline learning activities. Whether you need to deliver, build, track, or update your learning efforts, an LMS system makes it easier and more accessible.
Learning management systems are built specifically to manage learning in real-time or as self-paced courses. You can also track learners’ progress and access learning and development (L&D) metrics to improve your program and reach business goals. Some 83 percent of surveyed learning professionals use an LMS.
Learning management systems also help manage and track team or individual learning requirements. This can take the form of an onboarding course that new employees use to become familiar with their new role and the company. You can also use it to create internal training courses that train your team and track their progress, lessons, and certifications.
Because an LMS has a wide range of applications, it’s a critical tool across industries as a fundamental learning platform.
“We didn’t have a training or L&D function at Reddit before my team, so there were low expectations around training and development. After establishing our enablement team, ramping up our training strategy, and deploying an LMS, internal NPS increased by 13 points.”
– Ashley Crisostomo, Principal Program Manager, Reddit
What can you use an LMS for?
Now that we’ve answered the basic question of what is an LMS, let’s look at the different use cases for a learning platform in your organization.
Learning management systems are versatile. Instead of limiting you to one use case, the best ones let you do things like:
One of the biggest goals of onboarding an LMS is to properly train your employees with standardized training material that’s both trackable and accessible.
The more employees you have to train, the more onboarding an LMS makes sense to track progress and monitor learning activities.
Onboard new hires
Organizations waste valuable resources without an onboarding workflow. An LMS tailored to your company’s unique needs can create an onboarding and training program that’s cost-effective and helps retain employees. This is how Reddit decreased its new hire ramp time by 33 percent.
Train partners and customers
More than half (65 percent) of channel partners think vendor content is poor or inaccessible. An LMS changes that. Inviting your partners and customers to learn on an LMS is a great way to manage training.
As a result, partners and customers have access to the materials and knowledge they need to sell more.
Retain employee knowledge
Most learners forget what they have heard, seen, or discussed within hours of learning something. An LMS helps to reskill and retain knowledge, so they can better apply learnings to their work.
Enable sales teams
Increasing win rates requires effective sales enablement. However, that won’t happen without a process that supports each sales team member when it comes to training.
Create online courses
Learning management systems enable eLearning by providing tools to build online courses. These can include both written and video content to enhance the learning process.
Fulfill compliance training requirements
Providing compliance training year after year is an important aspect of workforce maintenance. Staying compliant and mitigating corporate risk is a lot easier with the help of an LMS, especially if it’s fully automated.
“When I evaluated Learning Management System options, I prioritized ease of use. With some platforms, there’s an element of having to learn the system itself.
“We wanted to make sure that our partners and employees were able to focus on learning content, not learning how to navigate our LMS. WorkRamp did that for us. It gave us a platform that was accessible for our entire audience.”
– Chauncy Cay Ford, Director of Enablement, Quantum Metrics
What is an LMS? Learn more about how an LMS works
The functionalities of an LMS can differ depending on how it’s built and the pain points it solves. From an LMS user’s point of view, Director of Global Training and Operations at 8X8 Nadia Provencio explains, “WorkRamp is incredibly easy for trainers and reps to pick up, bolster organizational agility by centralizing training content in one system.”
Beyond content centralization, an effective LMS can help with these functions:
Create eLearning courses
An LMS allows you to create immersive courses across various developmental needs. A robust learning management system enables teams in need of:
- Learning and development
- Leadership and manager development
- Customer education
- Consolidated learning
- Compliance training
- Sales enablement
- Revenue development
- Support enablement
Customizable drag-and-drop course authoring features make eLearning and course creation easier for administrative leadership.
With WorkRamp, you can customize your courses with your unique visual brand as you tailor each course to the needs of your business. Each of these features come together to bring comprehensive courses to life.
The organization is a critical part of the learning process regardless of your end goal. Managing all your learning content from one central command center ensures that learning resources are reliably monitored and kept up to date by content contributors and collaborators.
As an admin user, an intuitive and uncluttered interface does a lot for organizing the course material. This way, connecting and creating learning paths for specific skills and training needs is easier.
Versatility is a defining feature of the eLearning content experience. The best LMS enables you to deliver training programs, including instructor-led training, in several formats.
These can include:
- One-on-one live coaching calls
- Face-to-face scenario simulations
- Virtual role plays
- Video and written content
Whether a customer-facing or internal training course, a worthy LMS provides the tools to make content management easy. For example, suppose you’re running an SKO (virtual sales kickoff), the right LMS features can help you repurpose any recorded sales presentations and learning materials into digestible course modules for online training.
Who uses an LMS?
Any organization can use an LMS to save on administrative costs and standardize training.
Common groups that use an LMS include:
- HR departments to provide employee training and improve ramp time
- L&D teams to run upskilling, reskilling, and career development programs
- Sales teams to provide skills, materials, and training to reps
- Universities to deliver online courses to remote students
- Partner enablement to educate channel partners and customers on the brand and provide sales training
- Compliance teams to deliver compliance training and ensure employee safety
Typical people that use an LMS are administrators, managers, trainers, teachers, and users.
Benefits of using an LMS
The learning management system industry was valued at over $14 billion in 2021. Considering industries across the board are digitizing their business efforts and publishing customer-facing educational media, that number is hardly surprising.
What’s more, about 70 percent of L&D departments in North America use a learning management system in some form.
Onboarding a comprehensive LMS matters for various reasons:
Save on training costs
The average business in the U.S. spent about $1,071 per employee on training expenses in 2021. However, using an LMS platform helps cut the ongoing cost of current and new employee training.
Streamline content updates
Today’s organizations manage a growing library of internal, vendor, and customer-facing educational content. This presents a need for a streamlined way to update course content when best practices or new information are uncovered.
An LMS enables continued updates across all company assets.
Improve retention rates
An LMS optimizes the training experience into a more accessible knowledge bank for new and existing employees. In turn, it sets the stage for a better training experience, which can help increase retention rates.
Engage and motivate learners
It takes leadership involvement to keep employees engaged and motivated to learn. Yet about 45 percent of managers feel underprepared for such an undertaking. Additionally, they lack the appropriate time to train their direct reports. However, with the right LMS, organizations like Reddit have achieved a 98 percent employee participation rate in their training initiatives.
Promote a culture of learning
One of the most frequently anticipated purchases for 39 percent of organizations in 2021 was authoring tools and systems that helped them manage eLearning and knowledge-based content.
As businesses seek to stay competitive in an ever-expanding market, promoting a learning culture is a key part of the growth process and its positive impact on your bottom line.
Why choose WorkRamp for Your LMS?
The fundamental question, what is an LMS, helps you understand what it is and how to use it. But, it’s important to understand how to choose the best one for your needs.
What are the most important features you should look for in an LMS? As with most applications, not all tools are created equal. While some applications might be created as point solutions, others-like WorkRamp-are built as an All-in-One Learning Platform to enable comprehensive learning programs.
Here’s what you should look for in the ideal LMS:
- Blended learning capabilities
- A connected learning ecosystem
- All-in-one training functionality for employees, customers, and partners
- Drag-and-drop content editor
- Content collaboration
- Automated assignments and user management
- Expansive integration options to your existing tech stack
- Reporting and data visualization capabilities
- Certification options
- Gamification and interactive features
- Easy user interface
- Mobile learning
- Remote learning tools
A learning management system is a must-have for organizations investing in knowledge management and digital learning. Properly training your workforce pays off long-term. Yet to tap into the many benefits of ongoing employee training, it’s critical to employ software that manages it all within one centralized source of knowledge.
WorkRamp’s clear and simple navigation features make the learning management process a breeze. Whether you’re leading learning and development initiatives in a corporate setting or a rapidly growing company needing new skills training, WorkRamp is created for the multidimensional learning needs of today’s organizations.
Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo to learn more about how WorkRamp can help your organization.
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Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.
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