Your Learning Management System (LMS) can be a powerful learning center, whether for product knowledge, sales development, operations, compliance and as a part of your blended training.
The easiest way to get your franchises to not only use your LMS but get their buy in is to use it yourself. If you do not have a corporate culture of learning and development, focus there first.
You have to be willing to be an example of the results you are looking for from your franchisees. Your franchisees will do as you do not as you say.
Begin to develop that culture of learning by offering a blended learning approach to your franchisee onboarding process.
You can create a group of courses (track) that your franchisees will have to complete in your LMS before scheduling their in-house training.
You can have your franchisee take any safety courses, policies, and general operational information via your LMS. This will free up time during your in-house training to focus on the topics that will help them run a successful business.
When it comes to designing your courses for maximum engagement:
Design your courses to be interactive and something that your franchisees look forward to taking. One long chapter that is all text will turn off the student and result in far less engagement.
Is your portal inviting? Does it encourage your users to want to come back? Does it highlight your brand? These are all questions to ask when designing your training portal to gain the maximum buy in from your franchisees.
Will a good number of your students be taking their training courses on a mobile device? If yes, you will want to ensure your LMS is mobile friendly. This is also something to keep in mind when creating your courses.
Encourage your franchisees to create a culture of learning. Franchisees can encourage employee discussions about the training courses they have taken and what did they learn from the course at the weekly staff meetings. Give recognition for the highest score, most successfully completed courses, etc…
Organizational learning is an ongoing, dynamic process and should be part of your system’s DNA. A culture of learning supports an environment where everyone learns, everyone teaches, and everyone shares knowledge. Franchise Systems that embrace a culture of learning can expect to gain and sustain a competitive advantage over those that do not.
I recently created a free account with Prezi to see if I can incorporate content created with Prezi into my eLearning courses. While searching their blog I came across this infographic that talks about presenting to different types of learners. It’s a quick read so check it out and let me know what you think.
I recently read the infographic Exploring Corporate Learning Today by PageUp and I am so glad I did. Besides talking about barriers in demonstrating learning ROI it also covers some ways to engage employees to deliver business results. If you are a L&D professional and are trying to bridge that gap between company goals and engaging your employees, take a minute and read this infographic.
A learning management system or (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.
Purpose- An LMS helps to deliver and manage instructional or Online training content and typically handles student registration, online course administration and tracking and assessment of student work. Ideally an LMS allows students, employees, staff access to training material that is accessible anywhere at anytime. LMS’s are typically used in highly regulated industries, like insurance, finance, manufacturing. Many industries that require OSHA training and compliance tracking will utilize and LMS, with complete tracking and reporting on who has been trained properly and who has not.
Technical Aspects- Traditionally, Computer Based Learning or the precursor to LMS’s were managed on Servers and were extremely expensive to operate and maintain and difficult to setup. Usually requiring an IT staff to operate and maintain. These days most LMS’s currently are Web Based applications or Software as a Service (SAAS). Where the vendor will host the application and handle all of the updates and upgrades so the end user or Administrator’s do not have to worry about maintenance of the system or allocating additional resources to maintain the system. The newer systems are extremely user friendly and super easy for the Student/Employee to take courses that are required by their employers or industries. Newer LMS’s are also really easy to setup and maintain for the Administrator of the system. Many users of LMSs use an authoring tool to create content, which is then hosted on an LMS. GUI or Graphical User Interfaces allow Administrators or Authors to upload content and course material from a variety of media options with menu driven templates. Using videos, PowerPoints, etc., can help condense a lot of material into short bursts of information which are Ideally suited for an LMS.
Why should I care?-How do I decide which LMS is best for our organization?- Ideally, the system should be easy to use for the student to take a course and understand the course material. It should be easy to setup for the Administrator to import or add users into the system and should be really easy to report on who has taken courses with full reporting/statistics on who has passed or not passed the required material. The system should also include solid referenceable customer support and technical support to ensure a smooth user experience for the duration of it’s usage. I hope this helps to shed a little light on what used to be a complicated overly technical industry, as that is no longer the case.
That’s a mouth full of a title today, isn’t it? Well, let’s just get it out there and start with a scary four letter word. You all know what I mean YELP. Yes, today’s blog post is all about reviews. Let’s face it we all, and I mean all of us, live in a digital world. There is no avoiding it, if you need proof just walk into a restaurant and look around. I can guarantee you will see more people looking at their phones than not. Not only are we all distracted by our phones, the information we are browsing is being created and disseminated instantly. What does that mean for you as a business owner? Well first, reviews could be posted before we’ve even finished providing the service, making every single interaction with our customers that much more crucial to your company.
As much as we’d like it not to matter, reviews can make or break your business. So what’s a business owner to do? How can you take this necessary evil and make it work for you instead of against you? Well for starters do all that you can to know the review services. First, each review service has a way for you to request a review be verified and possibly removed so that’s your first line of defense right there. If the reviewer is breaking any of the rules of that site pointing that out can be the fastest way to have that negative review removed. Second, be responsive and respectful. It may be hard to remember but these are people (at least we hope so) leaving these reviews, and as humans, we all want to be acknowledged and heard. So have good manners, you can do it, and as a bonus, your parents will be so proud! Respond with respect and gratefulness for the opportunity to address their concern, and more often than not being willing to respond hat in hand asking for the chance to discuss the issue will allow you to diffuse the situation immediately. If you’d like more ways to deal with a negative review check out this article, I found it very interesting https://marketingland.com/5-yelp-facts-business-owners-should-know-163054 .
Okay so now we know how to address a bad review, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid it all together? Well yes, of course, it would. So how can we do our best to make sure we don’t receive negative reviews? Well, again it comes back to our interaction with the customers. We need to ensure that every single interaction is positive and reflects well on our organization. The best way to do that is to come up with a plan that we teach and TRAIN. Think about when you have received excellent service, was it an awkward or unorganized interaction? No, of course it wasn’t. We are all so busy these days, and if you think about it, the best customer service experiences in our fast-paced lives are quick, friendly and organized. When you go into an establishment, and they know exactly how to help you and provide that service quickly and efficiently with little to no bother to you, that is when you are most pleased! So how do we empower your staff and prepare them to provide world-class service? First, you teach them by giving the instructions they need to know and do their job well, then you review that information to reinforce it, and then you test them to ensure they are retaining the information. By following these three basic principles of training, you will give your team the tools necessary to do their jobs with confidence and integrity. Also, by testing them you will identify their strengths and weaknesses allowing you to adapt your program quickly if needed.
I hope you found this chat about reviews and how to combat or better yet avoid them altogether helpful to you. I know I feel a bit better about it and I think as a final move today I’ll spread a little Yelp review love to some companies that have given me excellent service lately, and I hope you will as well!
The benefits of online training for a franchise network
The key for any great franchise system is the ability to duplicate a system across a broad territory. You want the customer to have the same experience whether they visit a location in Texas, California, New York or Guam.
Some of the benefits of franchising your system are; More outlets mean more opportunities for the franchisor to increase revenue, the ability to offer opportunities for small business owners and create jobs in local communities, just to name a few.
So how do you get 10, 20, 100, 500 different locations to all do business the same way? The short answer TRAINING. More specifically, online training.
Online training allows you to provide consistent standards across the entire franchise system. You’re familiar with the phrase “one bad apple spoils the bunch”. One sub-par franchisee can damage the brands reputation and affect the entire system. As a franchisor you can not expect a franchisee to be already equipped with the skills to run your system effectively. A robust online learning system is crucial to provide franchisees the tools needed to successfully represent your brand day in and day out.
Have a new product launch? How can you assure that everyone that represents your brand knows about this new product? Are you going to have your business consultants travel to each location, send a mass e-mail and hope that people read it? How about one place that everyone goes to, takes the same course and you now have documentation of who completed the course and who did not.
Do you have confidential information that you want to share with your franchisees, but don’t want a bunch of papers laying around that anyone can see? An online training system can keep that information in one place that only employees and franchisees can access.
Want to help your franchisees ramp up faster? You can have an online training set up for them that they must take before coming to the home office for in person training. This will allow your trainers to spend more time face to face teaching skills that will help your franchisees get off to a faster start, rather than going over say a uniform policy that they could have read online.
An online training program can alleviate miscommunication, brand misrepresentation and time spent by your trainer’s going over the same information time after time, freeing them up to work with your franchisees on the skills that will influence their success. More successful franchisees equal more successful franchisees. In the end isn’t that the intention of franchising?