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5 Benefits of Learning Management Systems for Employee Training

5 Benefits of Learning Management Systems for Employee Training

In today’s fast paced world, it is essential for businesses to keep up with technology to stay in the race. There are many reasons why small businesses and corporations should be leveraging technology for learning and training purposes.

  1. Cost Effective Training

Employees can access training 24/7 from the comfort of their own home. Online training cuts out the cost of traveling, whether that is sending employees to external training or traveling to train employees at multiple locations. Companies utilizing a learning management system, boast a higher employee retention rate. The savings in onboarding expenses is reason alone to migrate to online employee training.

  1. More Time for Managers to Manage

Managers no longer need to conduct the same training time and time again. They can focus on other ways of improving employee quality of life. Managers can spend more time building a culture that will help employees feel more at home and increase retention rate. They can offer more guidance and even come up with creative perks that will even further increase retention.

  1. More Effective Way of Learning

In this age of millennials, the way that people expect to learn has evolved. Social media has become a preferred digital alternative for the “traditional” social life. Online learning is more in line with the digital lives of millennials. E-learning also allows employees to move at their own pace. Traditional external training can be frustrating for those who find the pace to be too fast or too slow. E-learning also supports videos, interactive learning through gamification, and can be accessed from mobile devices. A learning management system allows us to learn in the way that we most love to learn.

  1. Easily Tracks Employee Progress and Performance

Most learning management systems offer detailed metrics and reporting. If you see that an employee is struggling, you can offer supplemental resources. If you find that multiple employees are struggling with a particular course, you assess and revise the eLearning content as needed.

  1. Reduce Carbon Footprint

Online Training will reduce the amount of travel required and save loads of paper. “Going Green” can also help a company gain public favor. This list merely scrapes the surface of what a Learning Management System has to offer. Classroom training is a thing of the past. The transition to an online training platform can be simple, enjoyable, and rewarding. The most difficult part is selecting the right LMS for you and your business.

How to Identify and Fill the Employee Skills Gap with Online Training

How to Identify and Fill the Employee Skills Gap with Online Training

How to Identify a Fill the Employee Skills Gap

 with Online Training

What if you knew going in when you interviewed someone their strengths and weaknesses?  It’s a question we often ask when we interview someone after all.  But, their objective at a job interview isn’t to tell you what they are weak at all, they are there to make the best possible impression so it’s generally not a good indication is it?  But, what if you had a way to know?  Would it make your job easier, would you hire different people than you do today?  What if every hire you made was going to be a long-term asset to your company?  Boy that would be amazing wouldn’t it!  Well while we are imagining this perfect hiring process, what if once you hired this new addition, you had the chance to also determine their strengths?  How would that change things?  Would you change the way you on boarded them? 
 
Well, you know my answer, right?  I mean Online Training is what we do here.  It’s our passion our focus and our livelihood.  But it’s also a darn good tool in both the scenarios we just daydreamed about.  Take interviewing or even weeding thru applicants to determine who to interview, it is a crazy time-consuming process and I can’t tell you how often I hear “I can teach skills, but it’s so much harder to teach someone to be passionate about doing a good job.”  That’s it right, think about your best employees, they care, they are interested, and they are determined.  So why not give your applicants the opportunity to exhibit that quality to you from the beginning?  Yep you guessed it offer up a chance to take an online training course or two or five.  I don’t know about you but I’m much more likely to hire someone that took the Who We Are and Why We Love What We Do Course!  I want them to be interested I want them to know what they are getting into.
Okay so now you’ve hired some amazing interested new employees and it’s time to get them ready for onboarding and training.  What if you could cut down the onboarding process?  Yep you guessed it why not prepare them with online training so when they come in on their first day they are armed with familiarity and ready to ask questions about the items they weren’t sure about.  The best part is your trainers can be prepared as well with reports showing course taking statistics that indicate what they do and do not need to reinforce as well.  Starting a new job is scary but ask any new employee the more information and training available the easier it is.  Telling me there are no dumb questions is great, but offering the info ahead of time, so I don’t have to ask dumb questions even better!
Wait, there’s more!  I’ve always wanted to say that, and in this case, I’m not even exaggerating.  Because the bonus to this whole discussion we’ve had is that Online Training is available anytime and anywhere.  So not only can you pre-train, train and test, you can also recertify on an ongoing basis and answer questions whenever they come up.  It’s like the employee has a direct line to the trainer or Manager but the trainer doesn’t have to answer the phone at 11pm on a Saturday.  What’s that saying, “happy spouse happy life” Yeah less time on the phone after hours is a mighty good step.
Hopefully this little blog post gave you a few things to think about.  Do you have any ideas or tips to add?  If, so we’d love to hear about them in the comments below! 

 

Tips To Engage Your Employees in Online Training

Tips To Engage Your Employees in Online Training

Always emphasize the benefits and on-the-job applications of the online training session. Employees simply aren’t going to be motivated to learn if they aren’t aware of the real world value and benefits of the subject matter. If you give them real world applications or reasons on why they should perform their online training sessions, it helps to set the stage for their personal and professional growth in their specific job roles. They can then see the direct benefit; like how to upsell on a new desert item or add on bottle of wine sale will directly affect their overall tips and put more money in their paycheck at the end of the night. This will keep their motivation up and their attention focused on the task at hand, which is absorbing the key takeaways from the online training.
Encourage an online training culture within your company. Online training should be more than a mandatory activity. It should be part of the culture of your company. Most of your younger staff members are probably expecting some form of online training. Your employees should also realize how greatly they can benefit professionally from their online training, and must be well aware of how much your company values their true devotion and participation. While mandatory online training can be boring and frustrating for employees, if you make it your mission to embrace online training and to encourage your employees to get on board, then you can put a positive spin on the overall online training experience and motivate them. Send out newsletters and emails that stress the benefits of an online training module or event, and get them excited about improving their skills and mastering new tasks.
Give them a variety of interactive opportunities. Knowing your audience and understanding that there is a variety of Learning styles and tailoring your Training to those different learning styles will help tremendously in the adoption and usage of an Online Training program. Using videos for the younger generation is highly recommended for this group. They are used to pulling up videos online to learn how to perform a certain task or method of operation. Also, interactive games or gamification is a great tool to create further enhance the engagement of the Online training. It just makes it more fun to play a game then read a bunch of black and white text. This will help motivate your employees because they will actively participate and gain that knowledge as it becomes more fun for the employees to actively participate in the process.
Set up a reward or incentive program. One of the most powerful ways to motivate employees in online training is to offer them rewards or incentives. If they are performing well and passing all of their assessments with flying colors, offer them some form of praise or create an incentive system that allows them to earn credits or points for their hard work. While learning skills and acquiring new knowledge should be its own reward, there are times when employees need that extra boost to complete online training modules or attend online training events. You can also gamify your online training in order to integrate rewards, such as allowing them to advance to the next level once they’ve finished a module.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your employees and to achieve the maximum job performance boost out of your online training, then it’s all about motivation. Each of these tips to motivate your employees can help you to get them excited and inspired, so that they can become active participants in the online training process.
Improve the impact of your Learning Management System for your Franchise Network

Improve the impact of your Learning Management System for your Franchise Network

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. 
  1. You can create a group of courses (track) that your franchisees will have to complete in your LMS before scheduling their in-house training. 
  2. 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: 
  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
Presenting Content Infographic

Presenting Content Infographic

Presenting Content Infographic 

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.

Presenting Content to Different Types of Learners Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics
Exploring Corporate Learning Infographic

Exploring Corporate Learning Infographic

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.

Exploring Corporate Learning Today Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

LMS- What is it & Why should I care?

LMS- What is it & Why should I care?

LMS- What is it & Why should I care?

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.

Know & Learn From Our Enemy!

Know & Learn From Our Enemy!

Know & Learn From Our Enemy!

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 benefits of online training for a franchise network

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?