Switching your LMS? The 5 key factors to consider for a successful implementation.

Your Online Training: How’s your LMS faring?

There are plenty of benefits to implementing online training for your hospitality business. With the right LMS provider, you can really improve the way you get things done as a business and it’s a no-brainer that skilled staff with confidence in their work enjoy their jobs more. Maybe you’ve taken the plunge, picked out your LMS platform, and really tried to get your employees to engage. Perhaps it’s going really well, or just maybe, after a bit of time, you’ve now taken a step back and thought: “Hmm. This isn’t working for us.” This is a more common scenario than you might expect.

There are so many Learning Management Systems out there, and the elearning course sector is growing rapidly, with new online learning platforms hitting the market all the time. Interestingly though, an awful lot of firms aren’t totally happy with the one they’ve chosen. With all the choice available out there, it’s not easy to get it right for your operation, and frankly, not all LMS software is created equal. If something (or a number of things for that matter) isn’t right for you, it makes sense to think about switching your LMS provider to one that brings all the benefits you’d hoped for in the first place.

Identify The Why

So, why switch? There are a ton of possible reasons you might be searching for a new LMS to deliver online hospitality courses; and it’s a good idea to investigate precisely what they are as this will really help you find one that works for you. For instance, you might have outgrown your initial choice – a decision you may have made when you set up your operations may no longer be relevant, for example. If your current elearning LMS is no longer a good fit, it could be because your company or business might now be focusing on a different market entirely and your online training platform wasn’t flexible enough to adapt to company changes. Or, galling as it might be to recognise, it could be that your LMS just wasn’t a quality product in the first place. Some LMS providers simply don’t offer a good thing.

A really close look at what’s not working for your hospitality training needs is the best way to decide whether it’s time to switch. Your employee engagement with your current LMS might have dropped off due to it being clunky and difficult to use. Is it full of pointless features nobody is interacting with? Does it provide feedback to users or give them a sense of achievement? Or, and this is more relevant than you might expect – it simply might look ugly. There are tech questions to ask yourself too. If you’ve had your current elearning platform for a long time, is it feeling outdated compared to other offerings? There are still more reasons to do with the actual firm providing the software. A lack of customer support might be making you unhappy. Many LMS providers work hard to sell you their online learning platform and then abandon you once you’ve paid for it. And that’s another point to consider: LMS pricing. Is your online training course just far too expensive? Excellent hospitality training rarely comes cheap, but overpriced elearning platforms are all too real. It’s also possible your learning platform is too simplistic and you require far more from it than you imagined.

Ultimately, you want your online hospitality courses to add value; you’re looking to create teams with strong skills to deliver excellent customer experiences. If this isn’t happening, then you need to do something about it and switching your LMS to something more effective, and tailored to what you really need is paramount.

Consider Your Needs

While making the change to a better online training course or elearning platform is going to be a positive move for your business, you really don’t want to be doing it frequently. It’s pricey, and pretty confusing for users who will constantly have to learn how to navigate different elearning software. You want them to be picking up and honing hospitality skills instead of getting to grips with new training software all the time.

So, to get it right, you’ve got to do a bit of homework. This is less comparing the market (which can be overwhelming) and actually more of an evaluation exercise when it comes to determining your business needs.

List-making should be your first step. Try and figure out the ‘pain points’ when it comes to your current LMS. This should begin to help you form an idea of what you’re looking for in your new online learning platform. You might want more of a customisable online training option to suit a very dynamic business plan, or the weak points in your current elearning courses might be related to user experience. If, say, the mobile features are poor when it comes to your current training courses and you know that many of your employees prefer to use their phones for regular short course completion, then a new online training course has to have a great mobile app at the very least. Try and determine where your online hospitality training is currently letting your business down, or what isn’t interesting for your staff, and make a shopping list of ‘must-have’ features. Then perhaps you can draw up a list with a handful of other things that you think would bring a little extra.

Futureproofing With Flexibility.

Another thing to consider, is the future. How you’ll grow, what targets you’d like to hit, and where you want your online hospitality training to facilitate that. Now, it’s not an exact science, but choosing a highly flexible LMS rather than one with a rigid roadmap is often a smart way to go. Upgrades to any learning platform you opt for should be part of the package you buy, as opposed to being sold as expensive add-ons. A great LMS should offer plenty of flexibility to accommodate your needs going forward. Outlining your business goals is always a healthy exercise, and when it comes to selecting the right LMS, it’s a must. Making the most of advances in tech development is also a wise move, and the new generation of online training platforms often incorporate cutting-edge technology – like AI for example. That said, beware gimmicks or unnecessary fluff. You’re certainly looking for improved functionality, but don’t get seduced by extras that in all reality, may just end up either unused or getting in the way of the clarity of your online training programs. As much as it’s important to move with the times, not all extra flourishes will go the distance. Consider everyone following the courses, and their department areas too. It’s likely employees with a number of positions within your hospitality business will be using the software so it’s critical to pick a LMS that can offer the fundamentals to as many folks as possible.

Working Together.

The final thing to consider when you’re looking to switch your LMS is something that many businesses overlook – the relationship with the elearning software provider. Hopefully, you’ll be using your chosen LMS for some time. It’ll grow with your business and offer great functionality that keeps hospitality training on track. When shopping around, it’ll likely become apparent that some providers understand your company operations better than others. See if they’re open to building a relationship, since you’re going to be working in tandem to improve your online training, and thus your business, in the long term. In a nutshell, great customer support and care is going to be key to getting this whole thing right. Insights, reporting, upgrades and technical assistance are all facets to online training software that will need the involvement of your LMS provider – choose the right elearning LMS and you’ll dodge all sorts of headaches that you might currently be experiencing.

Moving On

So, to recap, if your current elearning software hasn’t delivered what you thought it would, is difficult to use or is a costly expense every time your business plan shifts a little, then you should be looking at switching it up. Take the time to identify what it’s not doing. Consider what your hospitality operations are, and where they might be in the short and medium term. Look for flexibility and great customer service from a LMS provider and build a working relationship with them.

There’s no point in sticking with something that’s not delivering, particularly since the market is large, and growing. Amid all the options, there’s surely someone offering a great online hospitality training system for you. Know thyself and seek your perfect match!