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How To Select an LMS

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How to Select an LMS

A learning management system, or LMS, is an organizational tool you can use to create employee training modules, track employee qualification progress and stay on top of industry training regulations. An LMS makes it easy for you to designate steps in the training process and implement an effective culture of independent learning for any type of company.

Choosing the right learning management system for your business is crucial for proper employee training and compliance. The LMS you select will determine how effectively your employees gain important information about their roles in your company and their responsibilities for upholding compliance with regulating bodies.

What Is an LMS?

An LMS is a software program your company can use to develop and deliver virtual job training to employees, clients or any other parties that need to learn about your business. With an LMS, you can easily introduce new employees with standardized onboarding and train current employees in ongoing learning sessions.

Learning management systems provide an easy, accessible alternative to in-person meetings with online training programs such as videos, courses and quizzes employees can access and complete from virtually anywhere. The flexibility of an LMS allows your business to operate smoothly, with more options for remote employees or in-office employees' independence.

An LMS is a one-platform solution that organizes all your training resources into step-by-step courses. A learning management system is useful in highly regulated industries. This system makes it easy to distribute compliance-related resources to employees and track progress and qualifications in compliant file formats.

Why Do You Need a Learning Management System?

Employee training is an important aspect of any business. Your new hires need comprehensive information about your company and their roles within your company so they can provide the best services for you and your clients. Employees at all stages need regular training that will refresh their memories about longstanding industry content and update them whenever new changes occur.

From businesses to educational institutions, learning management systems are an important aspect of many industries. Your various teams will always have more to learn, and an LMS is a great tool for organizing educational content so you can provide the most informative experience for each of your employees.

With all the changes your business might go through now and in the future, you may forget to prioritize vital training sessions. An LMS places industry training at the forefront of your company mission, with capabilities for organized, interactive learning experiences employees will be excited to complete.

Regulated Industry Compliance 

For businesses in highly regulated industries, learning management systems can play a crucial role in overall company compliance. Many regulating bodies require businesses to meet certain requirements, which may change or evolve from year to year.

Staying organized is the best way for your business to stay on top of new regulations and ensure you're implementing them into your training materials. An LMS is the perfect way to organize and delegate your training resources to ensure all employees gain updated compliance knowledge. An LMS can also track and compile your user data for industry audits, so regulating bodies can easily verify your compliance.

What Are Some Key LMS Features?

When choosing an LMS, different providers will offer a variety of enticing features. Choosing learning management system features that match well with your company's learning goals should be a top priority.

Here's a checklist of some important LMS features you should prioritize during your search: 

Individualized training profiles: Personal user profiles let your company keep track of employees as individual learners, assessing their needs as dimensional people, rather than just numbers in a crowd. With profiles, you can customize learner experiences, assigning self-train courses and instructor-led seminars depending on each person's job requirements and qualifications.

Branding: Make your new LMS look, feel and operate like your other company systems with intuitive configuration to create personalized themes, color schemes and messages.

Tracking and reporting features: An LMS lets you evaluate how successfully your employees are learning. While employees can often complete LMS content on their own, without trainer supervision, the software still gives you the opportunity to track everybody's activities and progress. Many platforms even allow you to schedule automated report creation, so you receive regular updates about how well employees are doing during training assessments, and can analyze whether you need to change the learning materials to help your employees do even better.

Data integration with third-party software: If you're already using third-party systems, choose an LMS that will work well with your other forms of company data. Adding applications that integrate third-party programs into your LMS is a great way to monitor employee training alongside programs like document management systems, content management systems and human resources systems.

Regulatory compliance: Proper training and documentation in highly regulated industries are vital to your company's success. Choosing an organized, easy-to-use LMS with top-tier security, activity tracking features and compliant file types will ensure you're always prepared for audits by regulatory bodies, such as the FDA.

Validation services: A trustworthy LMS vendor will validate its software before selling it to ensure all standard operating procedures are in place and ready for use.

Implementation services: Implementing a new, company-wide service takes time and employee adjustment, especially if you're replacing a previous system. Choose an LMS provider that will guide you in making a smooth transition to your new system. It will offer features such as knowledge transfers from vendor experts during your project planning phase and scalable services that gradually introduce the new program.

Customer support: When you use software to meet your business and compliance needs, you'll want a reliable team of experts to assist you in setting up your LMS and use their services throughout your partnership. The LMS vendor you choose should follow through on their promise of trustworthy customer support when you need it most. Choose a provider that will work to understand your business needs and offers 24/7 access to live support personnel, as well as educational resources, so you can better familiarize yourself with the software.

Future considerations: As your company grows, your employee learning needs will change. Find an LMS that will change with you, offering options like updates, add-ons and other upgrades.

How Should You Choose an LMS?

Now that you know some of the most important features of learning management systems, put those features into perspective by evaluating your larger business needs. If you'll need to meet compliance standards or use a specific company-wide operating system, only look at learning management systems that support those basic requirements.

You'll also want an LMS that best suits your company goals. Think ahead about the types of trainings you want to offer. Consider the line of work your company does and how it would best translate to different learning platforms. Think about what benefits you want your employees and your company to receive from the trainings you'll offer.

After you've defined some parameters, study the different LMS options available to you and narrow your choices to the ones most compatible with the content types you need. Having a preliminary plan for how you want your company trainings to go will help you choose the best LMS for educational and compliance success.

Identify Your Needs

There are many learning management systems on the market, so only studying your most viable options lets you quickly find the best LMS functionality for your business. Before diving into the various perks that many systems offer, look at how well each system would fit into your already-established company software and culture.

1

Industry Needs

Different industries will require different training specifications. First, understand your industry and how your business contributes to that industry. Identify the type of work you do and the products or services you provide. Based on industry knowledge and further research, define the facets of a training program necessary for you to continue operations.

Pay particular attention to any regulated industry compliance specifications you'll need to adhere to. If any compliance specifications require training to be monitored, submitted or audited in certain formats, only consider systems that provide those services.

2

Company Needs

Choose an LMS that's compatible with your company's devices and operating systems. Whether your employees use desktop computers or a variety of mobile devices, connect all your employees with an LMS that supports a combination of platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android, and is mobile-friendly so employees can learn from their preferred devices while on the go.

Determine what third-party software you may need to integrate with your chosen LMS, as well. If you have training materials in different content file types or uploaded onto external websites, such as video-sharing sites, choose an LMS that still provides easy access to these materials, whether through integrated applications or external linking capabilities.

3

Employee Needs

In addition to the needs of your company and industry, also consider the needs of the employees who will use this software. People learn in different ways, and an effective LMS will cater to a variety of learning styles to ensure all employees are learning successfully.

If your employees are more independent as workers and thinkers, an LMS that allows you to create lessons for them to complete on their own may be effective. LMS features for asynchronous learning include prerecorded media and timed assessments that calculate scores automatically. Employees can receive immediate qualification updates and even complete surveys to provide feedback about how well the independent aspects of the LMS are working for them.

Think about the various types of content you'll want to provide for your employees' learning benefit, too. Find an LMS that supports a variety of content, from readings and videos to interactive quizzes, surveys, slide presentations and audio files. For example, learners may more easily grasp technical demonstration concepts from a video, while they may appreciate reading descriptions of complex terms and phrases in written materials such as e-books or slide presentations. 

Identify Your Wants

Many LMS selections offer enticing features that let you run training sessions and other business endeavors more efficiently.

For example, younger employees might enjoy more interactive features, while more experienced employees would benefit from a way to avoid training content they've already encountered in their careers. An LMS you can configure to best suit your specific employees gives everyone the opportunity to learn in ways most effective for them. 

Maybe you want to save time by tracking employee learning with machine-gathered statistics and paperless reports. Maybe your learning base would enjoy entertaining and collaborative social media features. You may even want to encourage employees to complete training levels with options to earn points, ratings and rewards. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find an LMS with features for simultaneous employee enjoyment and success.

Define Your LMS Requirements

After you've compiled a list of your wants and needs, match your requirements to actual LMS features on the market. Look for an intuitive LMS that incorporates many of your ideal features into one convenient system.

As you research, keep in mind your original goals and combine them with your ideal operational features. Consider:

  • Course management: Will you need to assign different roles within the system, such as administrators and regular users?

  • Learning models: Will your training courses be primarily asynchronous and online, or will you still want to host some instructor-led courses in person?

  • Tracking and analytics: What kind of reports will you need, and in what formats will you need to receive or export them? Will you need to comply with regulated industries?

Evaluate Your Options 

Once you've narrowed your choices down to a few systems, consider which one is best for your company based on your goals and needs. Keep in mind that LMS providers with the flashiest options may not always be the most effective for your company. While choosing a system that meets all your needs is important, using a system with too many features can be overwhelming and hinder learning progress. Instead, opt for an LMS that lets you maximize fewer features to better streamline your learning platform.

Many LMS packages are equipped to handle add-ons that will make the original system even more useful as you expand your training goals. If you're looking for features beyond the original parameters of an LMS, see if the provider offers add-ons that let the LMS grow with your company.

Learn More About ISOtrain LMS Solutions

Determining the best LMS for your company allows you to streamline employee training and grow a company culture built on continuous learning. ISOtrain is an innovative LMS solution from Softek Export LLC that's compatible with a range of regulated industries. 

Here at Softek, we develop configurable training software with compliance as our primary goal. With ISOtrain as your LMS, you'll comply with regulations and governing bodies such as the FDA, cGMP and CFR 21 part 11. Your employees can easily access regulation updates and work to keep your company in line with important industry standards. 

If you're interested in learning more about software solutions from Softek, request a free trial or contact us for a free product demo!