Your company is just like a living ecosystem. All the desks and computers may not be very lively, but the people using them are the living creatures that make things like profit and company success happen. The human resource is arguably the most important resource any company can have, no matter its size or field of activity.
“You know, like most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good as its people. The hard part is to actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward.”Kathryn Minshew, The Muse
One crucial part of creating and growing a healthy company culture is to support your employees' development and help them continuously overcome their yesterday's professional selves within your organization. More and more employees consider the ongoing learning opportunities a company has to offer before accepting a job or while wondering if they should start looking for another one. Therefore, a great learning and development company strategy will not only attract and retain the best talent, but will hone that talent in a way that boosts your business.
People are social animals, so they will naturally make connections and learn from each other how things work in your company. However, if you want to avoid hidden costs and keep track of everyone's progress, you can't put all the pressure of learning and development on your employees' shoulders.
An LMS and an L&D strategy play nice with each other
There are numerous learning methods and tools that are specifically designed to support all or parts of the learning process and a lot of training professionals will agree that a great LMS can save you and your L&D department a lot of headaches. How come, you ask? Well, apart from creating courses that will help the trainees improve their performance, a great LMS:
- is easy to use. You will want your employees to focus on what they are supposed to learn, not waste time on how to figure out how to submit an assessment. A smooth, clear design does half that job.
- has a responsive design and supports all screen sizes. The modern worker is mobile and demands learning at the point of need.
- supports all kinds of SCORM modules and has a centralized resource library, so all learning materials can be accessed by everyone from the same place.
- offers clear analytics and reporting tools. How could you know if your strategy is working or not unless you compare the relevant data with each strategic objective?
- has tens of other features that target specific company needs and are customizable.
The golden keyword: COORDINATION
An LMS seems like a handyman with the perfect toolbox and shiny teeth now, doesn't it? Well, even the most handsome handyman can turn out to be all brawn and no brain in no time and ruin things for you instead of fixing them. In other words, just having a great LMS won't do the trick for your learning and development company strategy. You need to add brains to the brawns by putting the right people in the right places and coordinate their knowledge.
Whether we’re talking about orientation programs, periodical workplace safety training or mastering new technologies training, instructional designers need more than just a generic topic in order to create the best learning modules.
The first rule for any presentation is to know your audience. The more details instructors know about their audience/your employees the better. The HR department has all the necessary information about the trainees and a faulty collaboration between the HR and L&D departments may result in less than perfect courses, bad learning results and negative ROI.
Instructional designers know a lot of things about the subject of interest for any given training, and need to master pedagogical skills on top of that. They may know their way in a simple HTML file, but a learning management system relies on serious coding. So you should let them do what they know best and put the IT department in charge of any technical problems.
In case your company is interested in selling online courses, instructional designers still can’t create the best courses all by themselves. They need extra knowledge about what is sold best and how to wrap up the products to make them appealing to the potential buyers.
While creating the courses, instructors must work closely with the marketing department, as they should know best the target market, any selling tendencies, and what the competitors are doing.
The department of design should have a say over the initial course sketches, determine the page layout settings, optimize the looks of the courses and ensure brand consistency. It’s no use creating a knowledge-packed course if it’s cluttered with too much elements.
Your company is just like an ecosystem; everything is interconnected. The success of your learning and development company strategy depends not only on instructional designers and their knowledge and ability to create training courses, but also on the coordination between them and your internal departments of HR, IT, Design or Marketing. A learning management system can support this coordination by providing the best tools and by hosting all the knowledge in one centralized place.