As a fast-growing, tech company in a fiercely-competitive, global marketplace, you need your employees and partners to quickly become knowledgeable experts on your constantly-evolving products and services in order to effectively sell and support them.
Additionally, you need your customers to be able to easily understand how to use your solutions in order to extract maximum value out of them as quickly as possible.
To accomplish these goals, you must have a learning tool that is flexible enough to rapidly and securely deliver up-to-date information, training, coaching, and certifications in an engaging way, accessible by anyone, from any device, anywhere in the world.
While most organizations have turned to Learning Management Systems (LMS) in the past to attempt to carry out these tasks, they eventually realize that a traditional corporate LMS is simply not an effective solution. In fact, a recent LMS trend poll conducted by Brandon Hall found that over 58% of the companies surveyed said they were looking to replace their LMS with a corporate learning tool that would better meet their business needs and objectives.
If you’re considering implementing an LMS into your organization, be aware of the following 10 limitations:
1. Outdated User Interface
Initially, most organizations find that their LMS of choice checks all of the boxes from an administrative standpoint. After all, any LMS should be able to do basic things like deliver online courses, administer and score quizzes, and generate reports on learner progress.
Unfortunately, what many organizations don’t take into consideration is the experience of the user when navigating and using the LMS. Even if it appears to have all of the basic functionality you need, most Corporate Learning Management Systems are extremely outdated, slow, and difficult to use.
Encouraging adoption of these outdated tools is particularly difficult in an age where everyone expects software to be simple, fast, and intuitive.
If you want to maximize adoption among users and get the most value out of your corporate LMS, it should feel more like Netflix, and less like a traditional course catalog.
2. Lack of Flexibility and Personalization
A traditional corporate LMS is merely a dull, static collection of PowerPoints, courses, and exams. Most of the time, employees see it as little more than a “necessary evil” for compliance purposes. Rarely do organizations find their corporate learning tool to be an exciting, engaging way to grow the skills and knowledge of their employees, partners, and customers.
When choosing a corporate learning tool for your organization, make sure it has the following capabilities:
1. The Flexibility to Deploy New Courses of Various Lengths, Instantly, to All Users
In a fast-paced business environment, you need the ability to provide up-to-date information and training in bite-sized courses as quickly as possible. This requires that your learning platform be extremely flexible, fast, and easy to use, and allow for a wide variety of different course lengths and types.
2. Personalized Learning Paths Based on Role
A cluttered, one-size-fits-all solution simply won’t cut it. You need to provide exactly the right content, to the right people, at the right time.
In order to maximize user adoption and retention of information, you must be able to send learners down pre-defined “learning paths” according to their individual needs. This requires that you be able to organize your content based on roles, topics, categories, skills, products, etc.
3. Recommended Learning Based on Past Activity
Finding the right content in a traditional corporate LMS is often extremely confusing and time-consuming. Your learning platform should provide intuitive navigation that clearly shows users additional content related to courses they currently taking, recommended courses based on their previous activity, and personalized content tailored to their specific needs.
These personalized suggestions provide clear “next steps” for users, reducing confusion, and maximizing usage and ROI.
3.Lack of User Engagement
While the goal is to provide a platform that engages users and encourages them to pursue continual learning, the traditional corporate LMS is often so difficult and uninteresting that users can’t wait to be done with it so they can move on with their day.
While many corporate LMS have started integrating video learning, most are still heavily dependant on text, which is far too slow and tedious in a modern business environment.
An ideal solution should provide the following:
1. Live Video Classes with Two-Way Interaction
Watching a pre-recorded video lesson is sufficient in many situations, but to maximize engagement and participation, your corporate learning tool should provide the ability to conduct live, online, video classes where instructors can present information, and learners can engage and ask clarifying questions whenever they get stuck or are confused by the course material.
2. One-on-One Video Feedback
When training sales reps, in particular, it is extremely important for them to be able to demonstrate that they have fully understood the course material and gained the necessary skills, beyond simply filling out a multiple-choice quiz.
Your corporate learning tool should provide leaders the ability to assess their team members and provide one-on-one, video coaching so they can continue to create top performers. This kind of quick, on-on-one feedback ensures that you can get reps up to speed, and in front of real customers closing sales in less time.
3. Gamification: Leaderboards, Badges, and Recognition of Progress
It’s not just important for administrators to be able to track the progress of users. It’s also important to provide dashboards to users so they can see how far they’ve come, and also see how close they are to completing a course and receiving their next certification.
In addition, you can spark a little competitive spirit among your employees by providing leaderboards so they can compare their progress with that of their colleagues.
Points, badges, and trophies provide further incentive for continual learning by recognizing users for their hard work and progress.
These innovative features are almost always lacking in a traditional corporate LMS.
4. The Ability for Administrators to Update Content Based on User Feedback
A “set it and forget it” approach is one more reason why a traditional corporate LMS fails to engage users and provide the skills and knowledge leaders hope to instill in their employees, partners, and customers.
A traditional LMS simply doesn’t provide a way for users to leave comments, ratings, and feedback organizations need in order to improve content and make it as engaging as possible.
4. Insufficient Reporting
A traditional corporate LMS is extremely limited in its ability to provide the insights and reporting leaders need to move their organizations forward.
While a corporate LMS may provide simple reports on test scores and display the number of users who completed a course, they typically lack the ability to create in-depth, customized reports on things such as:
- What impact training is having on specific business objectives
- How much time a user is spending on any given course
- What content was accessed by users (and which content is unnecessary)
- Which sales collateral reps are sending to prospects to win more deals
- Where in a course users are getting stuck or confused
- How many attempts it took for a user to pass a quiz or exam
- What skill gaps users have, and where additional training is needed
- Data visualization to help administrators identify patterns and trends
In order to provide stakeholders the meaningful insights they need to make informed decisions, your corporate learning tool must be able to provide this level of advanced, customized reporting.
5. Incompatible with Mobile Devices
According to Google, 80% of the global workforce (2.4 billion people) is made up of deskless workers. While these workers may not be doing work in an office from a desktop computer, the vast majority of them are working and receiving communication from their employers using a mobile device.
Many traditional corporate learning tools require employees to access training from a computer in the company’s office, and only on the company’s local network.
What employees, partners, and customers need in an on-the-go, globally-connected world is the ability to quickly access bite-sized knowledge from their mobile device, as they are used to being able to do with virtually every other service in their daily life.
In addition, organizations need to be able to provide remote access to this information, without worrying about data breaches and security vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, the traditional corporate LMS is simply incapable of meeting the needs of organizations in a modern business environment.
6. No Ability to Download Content for Offline Viewing
Even among corporate learning tools that do provide remote access to users from mobile devices, few allow users to download content for offline viewing.
Unfortunately, most wireless providers impose strict data caps, which means that users who are traveling or are without internet access for any reason will be unable to access content and continue their learning on-the-go.
This is why companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon allow users of their mobile apps to download files, documents, and videos for offline viewing. Make sure that the corporate learning tool you choose can provide similar functionality.
7. Poor Integration with Existing Tools and File Types
Traditional Corporate Learning Management Systems rarely provide the flexibility and integration capabilities that organizations need in order to develop and launch courses quickly and easily.
What often raises the overall cost of ownership of a corporate LMS is when compatibility issues arise and organizations are forced to invest in new tools, because their existing tools aren’t supported. Additional costs occur due to time spent addressing challenges integrating existing tools, and migrating data between tools.
To prevent these problems, look for a corporate learning tool that fully and seamlessly fits into your existing workflow and integrates with your existing tools, data, and file types.
The right corporate learning tool should support any kind of content you already have, and allow you to upload content in any format, such as PDF, video files, Google docs, HTML packages, SCORM packages, and more.
In addition, you should be able to author your own course material directly within the platform, and also bring in outside content from whatever third-party course authoring tool you currently use.
8. Lack of Documentation and Support
Another area where organizations run into unexpected problems with a traditional corporate LMS is documentation and support after the sale. The worst time to find out that your LMS provider is unable to provide you the answers and assistance you need is the moment you have an urgent problem.
While some corporate LMS vendors are extremely responsive and offer free, 24/7 support from knowledgeable and friendly staff, many vendors only provide sparse FAQ’s and little assistance if you run into problems. Even fewer are able to help if you need any kind of customized solution for your organization’s unique business needs and requirements.
Not only should you take this into consideration before investing in a corporate LMS, you should also factor extra costs into your budget if the vendor you choose charges a fee for support services.
9. Lack of Updates
Many traditional corporate LMS providers are still selling an outdated, inferior product due to their inability or unwillingness to keep up with the latest advancements in technology.
Before investing in a corporate learning tool, be sure to do your due diligence, and find out how often the company updates their tool with the latest technology, how quickly they fix software bugs, and how responsive they are to feature requests from customers.
Release notes and online reviews are often the best way to find out how satisfied customers are with the company’s ability to keep up with the latest technology, and how frequently they update their product and offer new features.
10. Lack of Security
Another major downside of choosing a traditional corporate LMS is that their lack of software updates often leaves their product more exposed to attackers utilizing the latest technology to take advantage of security vulnerabilities.
With high-profile data breaches of confidential information in the new headlines on a regular basis, it’s important that you choose a vendor that you trust and feel comfortable handing over your sensitive information and internal documents to.
When choosing a corporate learning tool, make sure your vendor provides peace of mind with the following security features:
- Single Sign-On (SSO): Your vendor should provide SSO, which gives your users the ability to securely access multiple applications with one login and password, managed independently, allowing you to mitigate some of the most common security threats.
- Individual and Group Level Access to Content: You should be able to assign individual and group level access to your content so that only designated people have access to confidential information. With this feature, you can prevent confidential information from leaving the platform or landing on the wrong hands.
Before You Make Your Decision, Consider Your Use Cases
Most tech companies that sell complex solutions have 4, general use cases they must consider when choosing a corporate learning solution:
- Employee onboarding, training, and continual learning
- Preparing and coaching sales reps to win more deals
- Training partners to more effectively sell and support your products
- Showing customers how to use and extract maximum value from your products
Rather than try to find a separate solution for each of these use cases, consider a powerful, flexible, all-in-one Learning Experience Platform like Raven360.
Raven360 is an enterprise-grade, scalable platform that helps fast-growing companies with high-complexity products painlessly train employees, customers, and partners.
Raven360’ secure, cloud-based platform allows you to onboard faster, train better, coach harder, and close more deals with these powerful features:
Flexible training methods: set up Instructor-led Training, Virtual Instructor-led Training, and On-demand Learning Environments
Self-paced Labs: create sandbox instances of your software that users can test, tweak and explore, without breaking
Your content, accessible 24/7: let your customers use and engage with your product at their pace, anytime and anywhere
Generate extra revenue: sell subscription-based trainings through a simple e-commerce platform
Speed up your reps’ training: get them in front of real customers and closing sales in less time
See what collateral is driving sales: make it easy for reps to know which prospects need to receive which content
Create top performers everywhere: easily assess your team members and fine tune their pitches using video
- Inspire the next generation of sales leaders: build a coaching culture that motivates your best salespeople to pass on their experience