Training is a must-have for many employees today. According to the consultant group, Guthrie Jensen, 68% of workers consider training and development the most important company benefit.

And these educational perks don’t just result in more
engaged employees. Companies
that invest in employee training also have a 24% higher profit margin than
companies that don’t.

Providing learning and development opportunities to your employees should be a no-brainer, but the costs can still be a hard pill to swallow.

Holding in-person classes or sending productive employees away to seminars is expensive. Businesses want to train employees while staying within budget.

Learning management systems (LMS) offer a cost-friendly alternative to traditional training sessions. They’re used by businesses to help employees learn and grow in their jobs – without breaking the bank.

What is a learning management system?

A learning management system delivers and tracks educational and training content online. E-learning tools include customizable content, mobile lessons and gamification. A LMS is used by companies to onboard and train employees, and it can improve engagement and retention.

Here are five cost-friendly training ideas using LMS

1. Offer on-demand training and professional development

Employees are more likely to stay with a company when
they’re offered professional development opportunities, such as management skills
or sales training.

The cost, however, of hiring instructors, renting a physical
classroom and coordinating times when all employees can attend classes can
often be too high.

LMS software provides on-demand classes that employees can
access online or through mobile devices. That means businesses save on teachers,
facilities and lost productivity.

Vendors often use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) pricing
model, so customers pay a subscription fee instead of a large upfront cost. Typically,
the fee is $5 or less per learner, per month.

In addition, having managers run training sessions isn’t always a good idea. They may not have the experience or time necessary to prepare course materials or accurately assess performance.

On the other hand, LMS software can help employees learn
efficiently and effectively, because they’re designed using teaching best
practices. These include microlearning, multimedia, pre- and post-training
assessments, convenient access and individual learning paths.

2. Onboard new employees

Studies show engaged employees stay with companies longer,
and engagement begins with a structured onboarding program.

LMS software can provide educational materials to help new
hires get acclimated to your company’s culture and the responsibilities of
their role.

Because some solutions include more features than you would ever possibly need, it pays to find a vendor with a per-use pricing plan. This allows clients to opt out of certain parts of the software and pay only for what they put to use.

This could mean being charged based on certain modules, the
number of active accounts or a specific piece of content. It depends on the
arrangement made between the vendor and client.

Prices generally range from $1 to $10 per use. Companies
that don’t need to train employees regularly or only need an LMS platform to
onboard new hires should consider this option.

3. Provide online industry certifications

Some industries or jobs, such as human resources, healthcare
and safety, require certifications or continuing education credits.

In the past, this meant employees had to travel and miss
work to attend days-long seminars and classes. Now, an LMS solution can help businesses
with these industry-specific requirements either by providing on-demand content
available in its internal library or by partnering with third-parties to
deliver lessons.

Additionally, LMS software can help administrators track
which employees need additional credits and when certification must be renewed.

In this situation, vendors usually charge companies per
course. Compared to a per use pricing plan, there’s a premium, since the content
is specialized for compliance-focused industries. However, this option should
still be much cheaper than in-person certification classes.

4. Try open-source or free versions of LMS software

Many companies want the ability to deliver training and
education but don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with advanced
software. In this case, open-source or free versions of LMS solutions may be a
good option, as they generally include basic functionality and provide access
for a limited number of users.

Open-source LMS software has source code that’s publicly
available. Companies can download, install and customize the software on their
own, for free. Some LMS vendors also offer free versions of their software.

Businesses that choose these options will still have to
consider implementation, customization, integrations and maintenance. In
particular, installing and customizing open-source software can be complicated
for companies that haven’t used an LMS before, and there’s no support if
something goes wrong.

Companies that choose this route should also have a
knowledgeable in-house IT team or hire implementation consultants. But if your
company already has the technical know-how, using open-source software can
provide a cost-friendly alternative.

5. Use a premade course library or build custom content

One of the difficulties of training employees is finding
relevant content to your business.

In response, many LMS vendors offer course libraries with
premade lessons for a variety of industries, from safety to workplace ethics to
sales. Companies should research vendors to see if they have content for their
specific needs.

Businesses that have more site-specific requirements, such
as assembly line procedures, often rely on third-party professionals to create
training videos. However, this can be a costly process.

LMS software provides course authoring tools that can help
organizations create course content using templates or from scratch. And it’s
not generic content either. The software can handle a range of content from site-specific
videos to PowerPoint slides and also make interactive quizzes and games.

If your company doesn’t have the resources to create this
content, some vendors can also create custom training courses. This service may
be charged per hour or as a one-time fee. But the benefit of using an LMS
content creator versus a third-party is that the content will be designed to be
used in their specific software.

Bottom line

Investing in an LMS solution shouldn’t be taken lightly. You
should make sure to talk with potential users who’ll receive training and
figure out which key performance indicators will be affected. If implemented
correctly, however, the software can significantly reduce your overall training

You can find more details on expenses in this 2019 LMS pricing guide.
If you’re in the market for a solution, check out
these reviews of the best learning management systems.

The post 5 cost-friendly training ideas using LMS software appeared first on HR Morning.

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