Is your small business considering investing in a learning management system (LMS)? If so, you’re among many small businesses looking for an economical way to develop and deliver employee training. Although LMSs have been around since the late 90’s, there are a growing number of small businesses now ready to adopt this technology. What’s driving this interest? There are many factors in today’s business environment driving this interest, such as the rising costs of providing instructor-led training (ILT), geographically dispersed workforces, and limited resources, to name but a few.
It’s costly for small businesses to develop and deliver effective training programs. Small organizations with fewer than 500 employees spent on average $1, 888 per employee for direct learning expenditures according to ATD’s 2014 State of the Industry Report; whereas midsize organizations with 500 to 9, 999 employees spent on average $838 per employee. Why the difference? Primarily because there’s fewer employees to distribute the costs between; however, many small businesses deliver only instructor-led training. This method of training is expensive. Facility fees, transportation costs, accommodations and general expenses quickly add up. These costs are greater when your workforce is geographically dispersed. Another challenge that small businesses face is limited resources. Smaller teams have competing demands, and since developing and managing training programs is time and labor intensive, training initiatives easily become a lower priority.
A learning management system is an ideal solution for any small business struggling to meet their training requirements. Using an LMS, small businesses can easily develop, administer and deliver training programs and document, track and report on all employee training initiatives. One of the greatest benefits of implementing an LMS is that it affords small businesses the opportunity to transition their training initiatives to a blended learning approach.
Blended learning models incorporate online learning and ILT. This approach offers convenience, cost savings, and flexibility. Whether your employees are onsite or dispersed, employees can access online training materials, when they need it and when it’s convenient for them. Delivering online content reduces the amount of time employees need to spend in a classroom, and greatly reduces those ILT-related expenses. Many LMSs have course authoring features giving you the ability to easily develop course materials within the system. You can import videos, PowerPoint slide decks or store other training materials such as work instructions and standard operating procedures. Automating the delivery and management of training using an LMS allows small businesses to make greater use of their limited resources while delivering comprehensive employee training programs.
So what do you think – is your small business ready to invest in an LMS?
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.