6 Features HR Leaders Want from Learning Management Systems [According to Research]


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The market for learning management systems is growing exponentially year-on-year, but which features actually matter most to HR leaders?

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6 Features HR Leaders Want from Learning Management Systems [According to Research]
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A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology that streamlines the administration, tracking, reporting and delivery of courses or training programs. LMS solutions play a crucial role in modern organizational education, as they help identify training gaps and facilitate various learning approaches, including online learning, classroom management and flipped classrooms.

With approximately 83% of organizations using an LMS, its importance lies in cost savings, consistent training, tracking learner progress and meeting regulatory compliance. According to Globe News Wire, the worldwide market size for LMS solutions is expected to reach $40.95 billion by 2029, highlighting their significance in addressing the skills gap crisis and the demand for continuous educational opportunities.

Among the reasons behind this  popularity is the need to close skill gaps, adapt to market changes and technological advancement, save businesses time and money and allow employees to learn and complete training programs anytime, anywhere.

Learn more: Are You Future-Ready? Check Out These 5 Skills Your Workforce Needs

But are businesses getting the maximum value of their LMSs? And what key features do they want from their learning systems?

To discover more, we surveyed 210 HR professionals, from managers all the way to the C-Suite, across the US and the UK. These participants worked for companies with at least 250 employees all the way up the largest businesses with over 25,000. Here’s what we found out:

Only half of HR leaders are getting value from their LMS

IFP research visual showing the value HR leaders believe they're getting from their LMS

When we asked our respondents if they’re getting the maximum value out of their learning management systems, 55% answered “yes”. However, almost a quarter (23%) said “no”. Moreover, more than 21% said they didn’t know. This suggests that up to 44% could be missing out on the biggest benefits of learning and training, which could ultimately cost them a big chunk of their revenue and ROI.

What’s more, this also clearly shows that this portion of respondents need help and guidance with how to improve the use of their LMS - alternatively, they need to switch altogether if it doesn’t tick their requirement boxes.

IFP visual showing a US vs UK comparison for how much value companies are getting from their LMS

When we dig a little bit deeper into the differences between the US and the UK, the latter seems much less confident with the benefits they’re getting out of their LMS. Only 41% from the UK claimed they were getting value from their LMS, with 31% remaining neutral. In comparison, their US counterparts were much more positive: 65% answered “yes” and only 15% remained neutral.

6 features that HR leaders need to get maximum value from their LMS

When asked about what could be improved to help businesses get more out of their LMS, all the answers seem to have one major point in common: The human factor.

1. Ensuring users are comfortable with the platform

No one wants to use a complex and frustrating new platform they can’t navigate. That’s why it’s crucial to provide assistance and help from the beginning to ensure your employees are  comfortable with the platform before they dive into it deeper.

In fact, 61% of our respondents consider this to be the first feature that’ll help them get the most of their LMS. In that sense, LMS providers need to design a simple-to-use platform, not a “digital maze”.

2. Involving the right people

No technology or software can work smoothly and efficiently without the right parties. If you involve the wrong people, this could backfire on you and your employees, which could hugely impact your ROI. In that sense, 60% of our participants think that involving the appropriate stakeholders or employees is the second most important feature to get the most out of their LMS. One way you can ensure this is by starting this conversation with your LMS provider, IT team and managers in your organization.

3. Integrating your LMS with other systems

Integrating your LMS with other systems, such as communication channels, is crucial because it streamlines data sharing between various corporate software tools, reducing administrative duplication and improving workflows. This seamless data flow between systems enhances the overall learning experience and ensures that information is consistently updated across platforms.

Moreover, LMS integration with communication channels like Microsoft Teams fosters better user adoption, as employees can access training materials and collaborate more effectively within familiar environments which encourages active participation and engagement in learning activities. This is considered the third most important feature by about half of our respondents (52%).

4. Training your administrators to use your LMS

When we asked our respondents, 47% claim it’s key to train their administrators to use their LMS effectively as it ensures they can efficiently manage the platform and its features, leading to seamless content curation and organization. This makes it easier for employees to access relevant training materials, contributing to a better learning experience.

In addition, well-trained administrators can monitor employee progress, allowing them to identify areas where additional support or resources may be needed. This helps to customize learning content for individual employees or teams, promoting skill development and overall employee growth.

5. Using reports to understand what works and what doesn’t

It’s important to have a dashboard that provides you with metrics and KPIs that summarize what works well and what doesn’t in your LMS so that you and your team can take the necessary steps to improve and optimize your systems and the overall learning experience.

In fact, 45% of our participants claim this to be a crucial feature. By using reports, you can also track course completion rates, progress, courses popularity and grades. What’s more, using LMS reports is crucial for staying ahead of competition and ensuring success of your learning programs.

6. Getting buy-in from your colleagues

Getting buy-in from your colleagues is crucial for maximizing the value of an LMS within your organization, with 35% of our participants agreeing so. When colleagues understand the benefits of an LMS and actively participate in its implementation, the system is more likely to be successful and provide a higher ROI. Colleague support increases engagement, leading to more efficient and effective learning experiences. With their buy-in, employees are more likely to actively participate in training, collaborate with peers and share knowledge, which boosts productivity and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Access the State of Learning & Development research report

For more in-depth  insights into the current state of L&D, including more statistics on the skills gap, the biggest challenges and the different learning methods and L&D initiatives of HR leaders moving forward, download the full report here.

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