13 March 2024

Meeting your Learning Management System (LMS) needs

a man smiling holding a laptop, happy after identifying his lms needs.

There are loads of fantastic LMS’ on the market, so finding the right one for your organisation can feel like a daunting task. This blog explains some of the key features you should look for, and how to explore your LMS software requirements.

Understanding your LMS needs

To truly get a sense of which LMS is right for your needs, you need to identify what your requirements are. Any organisation will have specific long-term goals that a learning and development (L&D) department can play into, and with the right LMS in hand you’ll be able to support those roles. From boosting employee engagement to ensuring compliance, choosing the right LMS can lead to loads of great benefits. 

Key features of an effective LMS

There are three key features that you should make sure any potential LMS has. 

Content authoring and management

An LMS is only as good as the content on it. Content authoring tools help you build effective e-learning content that suits a wide variety of learners. The best authoring tools will be multimedia focused, letting you create things like articles, videos or even webinars. 

Once you’ve created all the content you need, it needs to be managed, otherwise it won’t get used to its full potential. Content management will let you highlight key modules and get the right content in front of the right person at the right time. 

Gamification and learner engagement

Keeping learners engaged is a thorny issue that has plagued educators for years. It’s particularly problematic because what works well for one person won’t work for another, there’s no one size fits all approach. However, gamification is a versatile approach that makes the learning experience more enjoyable for most people. 

Typically, gamification will involve things like points, rewards, levels and leaderboards built into the content, which helps create engagement through positive feedback. 

Data analytics and reporting capabilities 

An e-learning strategy needs to be driven by informed decision-making, and you can only get that if you have accurate data analytics and reporting capabilities. A good LMS will offer you a range of analytics functionality, including monitoring sign-in rates, getting insights into different departments and evaluating which course are being used. 

Technical aspects of an LMS

In addition to those key features, there are also three technical LMS requirements that you should look for. 

Integration with other applications

If your learning management system exists in a vacuum, cut off from your other HR systems, then you’ll never get the right level of reporting or engagement that you need. If your LMS can integrate into your other solutions, like a talent management system, you’ll get much better results. 

Security features

LMS’s can deal with some sensitive information, so you need to make sure that they have a range of security features that will protect that data from bad actors. Back-up data storage, IP blockers, data encryption and multi-factor authentication are all tools to consider. 

Mobile accessibility

Ensuring you have a user-friendly LMS is key to maximising engagement. Offering mobile accessibility is a great way to enhance the LMS user experience, as it allows your employees to access the system from anywhere. 

Choosing the right LMS for your business

There may be many LMS’s that have these features, but choosing the right LMS can still be a daunting task. There is no one best LMS for businesses, as it’s more important that you focus on aligning LMS with business goals and consider the user interface and user experience. 

You'll also want to consider how a potential LMS is priced.

Pay per active user

Here, you’ll only pay for people who actually use the system regularly. This is excellent if you’re not certain you’ll get a strong return on investment. 

Fixed number of users

This is similar to the flat fee approach. Here you’ll be charged for each person who’s given access to the system. This is pretty useful for smaller businesses, as it can be more cost effective than paying for a very expensive complete licence. 

Flat fee

This one is pretty simple. You’ll be given a single fee to pay to access the LMS over a certain period. This will typically cover licensing and setup, as well as any hosting costs. This is useful for understanding your costs upfront (making for easier budgeting), but it can feel a bit restrictive. 

Monthly subscription

Here you’ll be charged once a month and can end that subscription when it suits you. This can wind up being pricier than other models, but you can back out with relative ease if needed. 

A system could suit your requirements perfectly but have a prohibitively expensive pricing model. Make sure you fully understand what you’ll be paying before you sign up to anything! 

Implementing your LMS successfully

Choosing the right LMS is about so much more than buying a product off a shelf. It can only be as good as your implementation, which is a multi-stage process.   

Rolling our your LMS

You should put together a team who are focused on getting your LMS up and running. This will usually include a project manager, and a learning specialist to support them. From there you should also include content developers, and ideally factor at least one person from every department to provide feedback throughout the process. 

Whoever your LMS supplier is, they may have some options to support you with roll out. This might be at an extra cost, but most LMS providers will want to make sure your rollout is as seamless as possible – it reflects well on them! 

Training and support considerations

It’s a rare employee who can pick up any system and use it without training, so putting in some time to get everyone up to speed with the new system is a great way to maximise your return on investment as quickly as possible. Simply put, the more comfortable everyone is with the system the happier they will be to use it. 

Again, your LMS provider might have some unique training materials that will help you smooth over any cracks. 

Measuring success and ROI

Once your system is in place, how do you know if it’s working? Hopefully your LMS has some robust reporting and analytics tools in place! With these you can set some clear, measurable KPIs. Exactly what these will be depends on what results you want from your LMS. Do you want high employee buy-in for compliance purposes? Do you want to create a learning culture, which boosts employee engagement? Understanding what success looks like to you and your team will help you see a faster ROI. 

How our LMS meets your needs

Our LMS platform suits the needs of a huge range of businesses, so if you’re looking for a system that can perfectly align with your business goals without compromising on cost-effectiveness, we’re here to help. 

Ready for a showcase of our LMS features? Get in touch to book a demo.

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Emma Reid

Content writer at MHR

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