Persuasion is an art, especially when it comes to convincing your executive team to invest in a learning management system (LMS) for training. After all, an LMS for training boosts training engagement, improves productivity, and reduces training costs in the long run.
An LMS may seem like an expensive option, but it’s a necessary tool to create long-term business success. Just presenting a list of benefits won’t help you get buy-in from your C-suite. You need to specifically highlight how an LMS for training will reduce skills gaps, improve employee performance, and achieve your organisation’s business goals. Plus, you need to convince them to invest in the LMS that’s best suited for your organisation’s learning needs.
Joshua A. Luna, an L&D leader and founder of Mgmt On-Demand, points out: “Employers want their employees to grow quickly. So the more you can tie career growth and advancement with speed and efficiency, the more of a selling point you'll have.”
In this article, we give UK L&D teams the arguments you need to present the business case for investing in an LMS for training. But first, you need to know how you’ll use your LMS within your L&D strategy.
Before you pitch the idea of buying an LMS to leadership, pinpoint your learning and development strategy and outline the role an LMS will play in facilitating the strategy. Just purchasing an LMS software won’t solve your performance gaps; an LMS is a tool to make training and learning easier, faster, and more streamlined.
Rory Sacks, senior L&D partner at Komodo Health, explains the use case for an LMS with a metaphor. “I personally like to think of an LMS as my bionic arm. It’s not going to substitute anything. But what it is going to do is it’s going to help me lift a car. Or, in this case, meet my learning and development strategy”.
As a first step, Sacks recommends understanding the learning goals of your employees. Use employee surveys, NPS scores, and feedback from one-on-one conversations to uncover what employees want, whether it’s career growth, online courses, or more collaboration. This data is critical in helping you create a learning and development strategy with a clear objective. If your North Star is to increase your offering of eLearning courses, you can then pitch the use of an LMS to meet this goal.
Once you’ve set your L&D strategy, you’re ready to present your business case.
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Research by Gartner reveals that about 75% of technology implementation projects fail, leading to a waste of precious resources. This can make executives hesitant to implement new technology like an LMS.
The best way to overcome their objections and alleviate their concerns is to use data, case studies, and deep research to clearly demonstrate the benefits of learning management software.
Here are the top eight benefits you can share with your C-suite to get buy-in on an LMS for training.
Executives love the idea of cost efficiency, so capture their interest by showing them how an LMS can significantly reduce training costs. eLearning courses have the potential to cut employee training time by 40% to 60%. This means an LMS helps you free up precious work hours while also improving productivity and performance.
To further prove the value of an LMS, dig up the numbers from your training sessions as well as the hours spent scheduling and organising the training. Use this data to show how an LMS could significantly offset the costs of instructional designers, venues, and travel—but also explain the financial impact of engaging employees to identify learning needs and create online courses.
The in-built authoring tools from an LMS let employees create courses in minutes. Instead of bringing in expensive speakers and instructional designers, employees can learn from in-house experts who have expertise in key areas. Peers can leave feedback in the course or ask questions through a discussion forum, leading to a rich exchange of ideas and deeper collaboration.
A bottom-up approach like this is far more cost-effective for identifying training needs than the traditional training needs analysis, which requires external experts and a lengthy assessment process to identify knowledge gaps. In addition, when you let learners take the lead, you infuse a sense of ownership and collaboration into the company culture.
Another benefit of using an LMS to implement a bottom-up approach to learning is its positive effect on company culture. For example, a collaborative LMS with a learning needs tool lets employees request courses and gives them a platform to declare their knowledge and skills gaps. This is an ideal training scenario because learners themselves are telling you what they need to be successful in their jobs, giving you the maximum return on your training courses. Teammates can upvote the learning needs, allowing you to focus your training efforts on the request with the maximum votes.
Onboarding is your chance to make a stellar first impression. An LMS can help you automate mundane tasks while concentrating your efforts on active, meaningful engagement that pertains to each new hire’s specific role. According to one report, 73% of UK employees want technology that can take over repetitive tasks. An LMS is well-suited to make your onboarding process more efficient.
With the lingering effect of the Great Resignation, employees are clear about prioritising work-life balance and continuous learning opportunities. In fact, 91% of new hires—nine out of 10—are ready to walk out in their first month if the job doesn’t match their expectations. That’s a huge recruiting cost to the company and a big blow to the team morale.
An LMS makes collaborating easier because it decentralises training material and puts learners at the forefront with active learning. Team members can access online learning material in the flow of work, ask questions, engage in discussions, and apply their learning to immediate tasks.
In the UK, many organisations are leaving collaboration at the mercy of real-time communication tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. And they don’t have a backup plan if the tool were to experience an outage. With an LMS, you don’t have to worry because it lends itself well to asynchronous collaboration and social learning. Peers can leave comments, reactions, and respond to a discussion thread when they are at work, giving them a holistic learning experience and mitigating the need for an “always on” culture.
Plus, an LMS can help you make training programmes even more interactive and fun with gamification and microlearning. With learning technology, you can offer a variety of training formats like quizzes, leaderboards, challenges, and simulations, which creates opportunities for team interaction and engagement.
Remote and hybrid work models made employers everywhere realise that the best learning happens when an employee chooses to learn and needs help to solve a problem at work. Lean on technology to keep your employees on a learning path. A corporate LMS makes remote training a breeze by offering employees the flexibility of self-paced learning and self-directed learning.
With in-person training, you can’t recreate a session or go back to the instructor for lessons. But with an LMS, employees can simply look up course modules at the point of need, learn, and apply. For mandatory courses like compliance training, an LMS supports individuals with varied learning preferences, whether they want to learn in one sitting or small chunks, first thing in the morning, or at the end of their day.
In addition, an LMS with a mobile learning solution makes it possible for employees to learn anytime, anywhere. Nearly one-third of the UK workforce uses smartphones to boost productivity—and this includes time spent watching learning content. An LMS can boost your course completion rates simply by being available in the palm of an employee’s hands, whether they are waiting at the dentist’s or eating breakfast.
Employees have different learning needs, and one-size-fits-all training sessions can’t fulfill all needs at once. An LMS platform makes it possible to create personalised learning paths with a collection of courses on the topics employees need to learn to do their job well. Plus, when a new employee joins the team, you can assign the same learning activities, saving time and money.
Plus, an LMS-designed learning path is tied to a goal, like getting a certification or earning a badge, which helps learners stay engaged and keep them on track. That makes it much easier to stay updated on learner progress and see which courses are helpful and relevant.
It may seem like a hard sell to convince stakeholders of the link between technology and employee satisfaction, but with the right context, it’s crystal clear. Career growth and development opportunities are the prime motivators for the current workforce, especially Gen Z. Take that sense of fulfilment away, and they are ready to quit, our survey on UK employees revealed.
A user-friendly LMS is the tool of choice to satisfy this hunger for learning and improving employee retention. And with an 86% rise in online training in the UK, an LMS is vital for upskilling and reskilling your employees. With learning software, employees have a vision of their growth at your company and trust that learning opportunities are not just available but can be created.
You need to measure the return on investment (ROI) on your training. But demonstrating ROI is one of the biggest challenges for talent development teams. Without a learning platform, it’s time-consuming to track course completion rates and training engagement. Plus, it’s even more difficult to compile the data into a neat report and propose the next steps.
With an LMS, you’ve got the technology to give you the data insights you need, whether it’s course completion rates, scores, or an in-built ROI calculator. With this data, you can make smart business decisions and choose training projects that match your needs.
The prospect of obtaining hard data is an attractive way to get buy-in for your LMS. Then you can further convince stakeholders with real case studies.
Draw inspiration from successful learning organisations to make your case for an LMS. Do your research by talking to L&D experts at other companies, joining an L&D community to get deeper feedback, and asking LMS vendors for user experience and success stories.
For example, AlphaSights achieved an all-time high training engagement rate even while scaling to 900+ employees spread across the globe. Plus, it launched around 27 new courses each month while maintaining a 95% course completion rate for those training programs.
And Aircall, a cloud-based call centre and phone system, switched to a collaborative LMS to eliminate knowledge silos and manage information across platforms. With its LMS, it utilised subject-matter expertise to create learning courses, scaled quickly, and was able to onboard 40 employees a month with just one full-time L&D manager.
Not all LMSs are made equal, and not all providers offer the functionality you need. To make it easier for stakeholders to understand what you’re asking, present price comparisons and specific LMS features that your organisation would benefit from.
You may need a starter system with basic content creation tools and content management capabilities, or you could be ready for an LMS with advanced features like SCORM compliance, in-course feedback, co-authoring tools, and third-party integrations.
Sacks recommends using your learning strategy to guide your decision. “Identifying a learning management system is the easy part. Pitching to leadership is the easy part. The hard part is really identifying why your organisation needs a learning management system. What is the learning and development strategy?”
So, if your goal is to increase collaboration or to activate subject-matter experts within the company, feedback and co-authoring tools are must-haves in your LMS.
Before you commit a heavy investment, sign up for a trial run. Invite members of leadership and a few end users, too, so you can gather feedback and be confident that the investment will pay off. A trial also convinces stakeholders that the learning platform is going to bring real change and positive business impact.
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