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How to choose the best learning management system (LMS)

Learning management systems are integral to the success of any business. If an organisation doesn’t take a proactive approach to learning and training, their employees will not have the opportunity ...

How to choose the best learning management system (LMS)

Learning management systems are integral to the success of any business. If an organisation doesn’t take a proactive approach to learning and training, their employees will not have the opportunity to upskill and are less likely to reach their full potential.

Today, traditional approaches to training are redundant as they often fail to cater to different learning styles and don’t effectively engage employees. This means that adopting a traditional training program is a waste of resources and an organisation may find it hard to compete in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

So, what’s the solution? An effective learning management system.

With an LMS you can streamline your business’ training needs, which makes the learning process more enjoyable for your employees. The better training your employees have access to, the sharper their skills will be and the stronger your team will be.

This guide explores:

What is an LMS?

A learning management system delivers online training courses to employees, whilst also handling the administration, planning, feedback and monitoring process through digital automation.

Organisations of all sizes benefit from this streamlined and collaborative approach to learning, no matter what the industry.

So, how does it work?

There are two main user groups:

HR administrators use the software to organise and oversee the entire training process for employees from a central and secure location.

Authorised employees can access their learning materials at their own convenience.

What does a learning management system do?

The primary function of a learning management system is to deliver training in a cost-effective way. This involves 8 main components:

  1. E-learning modules: Staff have access to an unlimited library of courses for learning and development, and compliance. Managers can create their own content to teach soft and hard skills, which may include a mixture of videos, images, graphics, links, interactive tests, slideshows, presentations, webinars, documents and more.
  2. Flexible and secure learning: A cloud-based LMS offers enhanced flexibility and security. All data is stored on a single cloud-based platform, so there is less risk of losing vital information.

Another benefit of having everything stored on one interface is that it can be accessed by users whenever and wherever. This makes e-learning more accessible and user-friendly than ever before and, in turn, more effective.

  1. Self-directed learning: The beauty of an advanced LMS is that every employee has access to their own profile where they can track their specific training plan, collaborate with other users and ask their manager questions. Cloud-based software can also be accessed from authorised mobile devices or tablets, and this flexibility enables employees to hone their skills both inside and outside of the office.
  2. Scheduling, planning, tracking and deadlines: Managers can direct the learning path that they wish their staff to follow by allocating tasks that need to be completed by set dates, sending reminders and keeping track of an individual’s progress. Staff members can also set their own plans to help organise their tasks better.
  3. Instructor-led training: Although employees can work independently, they can also be guided by an instructor in an online setting or in-person. Your HR team can easily integrate the LMS with traditional learning methods and use it as a central system to organise and track everything in one place.
  4. Discussion groups and collaboration: Learning should never be one-sided. Staff benefit from asking questions, giving feedback and working as a team to improve their skills. A learning management system enables employees to easily communicate with managers and each other.
  5. Online assessments, tests and surveys: These tools enable individuals to keep track of their progress and show managers how they’re developing. Leveraging surveys within an LMS enables organisations to gauge the degree of interest in training areas, and these insights can be used to inform future training delivery.
  6. Comprehensive reporting for compliance: This gives managers the ability to check that employees are in the process of completing all compliance obligations relating to training, including re-certifications and licence renewals. This is also another way to track employee performance at a glance.

Why do organisations need an online learning management system (LMS)?

“Virtually all CEOs (90%) believe their company is facing disruptive change driven by digital technologies, and 70% say their organisation does not have the skills to adapt.6 This doubt reflects the fact that skills are becoming obsolete at an accelerating rate. Software engineers must now redevelop skills every 12–18 months.7 Professionals in marketing, sales, manufacturing, law, accounting, and finance report similar demands.” Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trend.

Workplaces are transforming faster than ever to adapt to evolving business models, modern workplace considerations and technological disruptions. The World Economic Forum predicts that 35% of skills needed for jobs across all industries will change by 2020, and at least 1 in 4 workers in OECD countries have reported a skills gap in their current jobs.

Organisations across Australia and New Zealand can better position themselves to handle such labour market disruptions by implementing learning systems that support the expansion of skills over time. Unfortunately, many organisations still aren’t sufficiently upskilling or engaging their employees.

A 2017 study by the Institute of Managers and Leaders reveals that nearly 60% of the surveyed Australians left their job because they weren’t being given the tools they needed to progress.

Additionally, the majority of employees in Australia and New Zealand don’t find their work engaging enough, according to the 2017 State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup:
Resistance to change is cited as the most common underlying theme for this.

The challenges of traditional employee training methods:

It’s simple: to boost workplace productivity, an organisation must make it a priority to continuously engage and upskill their employees. Failure to do so will encourage high staff turnover.

Workshops, presentations and other traditional training methods do have their benefits and should not be totally disregarded, but managers must not rely on these alone. The workplace is changing and so are the needs of workers.

Different learning styles: Individual needs cannot be met with a one-size-fits-all approach. Some individuals respond well to the written word, and others learn best in a classroom setting; others are visual learners who thrive when collaborating with their peers, and others prefer working independently. The sooner an organisation recognises these contrasting preferences, the better.

Rigid and impersonal: Conventional training methods don’t allow people to learn in flexible ways, and this frustrates tech-savvy workers who’ve grown accustomed to the convenience of technology. If you don’t embrace engaging and practical educational tools, you risk alienating employees – especially younger generations, like millennials and Gen Zs who have grown up “online”

HR managers have enough on their plate: Juggling multiple systems and tracking employees’ individual training sessions and performance is a drain on resources, and not a good use of time.

Keeping track of compliance regulations: It’s difficult and time-consuming to manually update educational courses that no longer meet regularly changing internal or government regulations. Failing to enforce compliance policies can damage your business by attracting workplace injuries, harassment cases, legal action and expensive fines.

The costs add up, significantly: If you’ve ever had to outsource a training program, you know how expensive it can be to hire an instructor. You may also need to factor in instructor and/or employee travel and accommodation costs, as well as hire a training space that’s big enough to fit everyone in.

Learning management system features

The best HR systems make it easy for staff members to develop their skills and knowledge in engaging ways. Convenient features include quick installation, personalisation, security, privacy, local support, adaptability and more.

Here’s a checklist of features you need for a powerful employee training process:

  1. Quick installation:

It’s vital that your system is up and running in no time and has minimal disruption on your workflow.

  1. Personalisation:

Although automation saves time, you don’t want to mimic the training methods of your competitors. The best LMS systems enable you to create your own courses, as well as take advantage of the vast library of available content – for verbatim use or customisation.

  1. Supportive of innovative learning tools from multiple devices:

Training has evolved to encompass many different learning styles. It’s vital that your solution supports curated content, audio, micro-learning, video, interactive sessions and more. It’s also highly convenient for staff to have the option to use the platform remotely from their smartphones or other devices that have internet connection.

  1. Easy to use:

Avoid programs that complicate the employee training process or frustrate employees. Look for software that’s clear and intuitive. Ask your vendor for a free demonstration to make sure the product is user-friendly.

  1. Security and privacy:

The best learning management systems provide multiple safety shields that are regularly monitored and upgraded. A cyber-attack puts your intellectual property at risk and compromises employee personal data, so if you’re using a cloud-based solution, make sure it is locally hosted and that the vendor doesn’t share any stored information externally.

  1. Local support:

Cloud-based LMS platforms are best served by a local team. Many vendors outsource their support services, but this isn’t in your best interest – you need fast access to assistance when you need it, so find a vendor that provides local support for their cloud services.

  1. Adaptability and flexibility:

The best learning management systems are easy to administer and make changes to. For example, they allow you to add or remove courses, users, devices and apps as your business goals evolve.

  1. Seamless collaboration:

Collaboration promotes a cohesive work culture. The best platforms enable users to share their knowledge and involve their colleagues, as well as learn independently.

  1. Real-time data:

On a cloud-based LMS, data is real-time: it can be accessed and analysed as soon as it enters the system or as changes are made.

Benefits of the best learning management systems
“Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share”. [1]

Transform your business at every level by adopting an engaging, flexible and practical training approach.

The main benefits of e-learning are:

  • Reduces the stress and workload for your HR team and managers
  • Saves money and resources when training employees
  • Lifts your revenue as a result of improving employee performance and boosting productivity
  • Lowers staff turnover rates by instilling a sense of loyalty into empowered employees
  • Nurtures current employees into management and executive roles
  • Adheres to compliance regulations that protect your organisation’s reputation
  • Keeps your business relevant and sharpens your competitive edge
  • Creates a strong workplace culture by getting employees on the same page about your business values

“Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield.” Marcus Buckingham, business consultant and author of First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently.

How LMS  can reduce turnover, improve performance and increase profits

There are many reasons to invest in a learning management system.

Businesses that effectively engage and develop their employees are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those that don’t.[2]

Leading engagers experience significantly less turnover, shrinkage and absenteeism, as well as fewer safety incidents and quality defects.[3]

When it comes to retaining employees, companies with high turnover rates report 25% less turnover when they prioritise employee development.

Even more impressive? Organisations that normally have low turnover rates see further improvements of 65% as a result of focusing on their employees.

Key statistics you should know about employee training:

  • Companies that invest in employee training have a 24% higher profit margin than companies that don’t. (Guthrie Jensen)
  • 97% of surveyed employees say that having a tablet boosted the effectiveness of their learning, highlighting the importance of flexible training systems. (Dimensional Research)
  • Experts predict that over 80% of internet traffic will be video by 2021, making it the most valuable tool for e-learning. (Cisco)
  • Only 15% of workers around the world are invested in their jobs and motivated to be productive (Gallup)
  • Companies that focus on improving their engagement rates by 10% can increase profits by $2400 per employee every year (RecruitLoop)
  • 68% of workers say training and development is the most important company benefit. (Guthrie Jensen)
  • Over $500 billion is lost each year to employee disengagement. Source: (Guthrie Jensen)
  • 40% of employees with poor training quit within the first year. Source: (Guthrie Jensen)
  • 74% of employees feel that they are not reaching their full potential.

Become an organisation that shows you value your people…

Employees respect organisations who enable them to stay on top of rapid workplace shifts by providing them the tools they need to hone their skills. Unfortunately, too many organisations rely on expensive and rigid training methods that have a narrow focus.

Employees who aren’t stimulated tend to leave for greener pastures, where they feel they can better reach their full potential. Managers may question their leadership approach and wonder where they went wrong.

On the other hand, companies that prioritise employee development typically have:

  • Lower turnover rates
  • Higher profits
  • Happy and empowered employees
  • Confident managers

An online learning management system boosts the cohesion of your team by making training enjoyable and accessible for everyone involved. It also streamlines administration tasks to save precious resources.

Make sure your automated learning management software meets the following employee training checklist:

  • Easy integration with other HR tools, software and external apps
  • Cloud-based hosting for the ultimate convenience
  • Local support
  • Quick installation with minimal downtime to your workflow
  • Easy to use for both employees and managers
  • Accessible from any device, anywhere, any time
  • Supports innovative learning tools like video
  • Robust privacy and security protection

The best digital learning platforms turn disengaged workers into team players who look forward to exploring their strengths at work.

How ELMO can help

ELMO Software is Australia and New Zealand’s only integrated cloud HR, payroll and rostering / time & attendance solution. We provide comprehensive solutions for each stage of the employee’s journey, from hire to retire. This includes recruitment, learning & development, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more.

ELMO Learning Management Software assists HR teams with managing organisational learning and development initiatives. With access to 400+ online courses, organisations can create, customise and repurpose eLearning courses to meet business objectives. The solution aims to ensure compliance, improve employee engagement, accelerate employee training, and support organisational goals.

Try our Solution Configurator to see which ELMO solutions are recommended for you, based on your specific business needs. Alternatively, use our ROI Calculator to determine how much time, money and resources your organisation could save by using ELMO’s cloud-based Learning Management solution.

Make an enquiry or request a free demonstration to see how ELMO can help your business.

[1] Management consultancy company Gallup:

[2] Management consultancy company Gallup:
[3] Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report 2017.