Investing in your hospitality company is always a smart move, and investing in the training and development of your workforce is a crucial step toward better business operations. One of the best ways to boost productivity, job satisfaction among employees and improve internal communications is to implement a Learning Management System, or LMS, which delivers vital training, resources and analytics simultaneously, company-wide.
However, if you’ve adopted one of these online learning platforms and aren’t quite finding the results are as promising as you’d hoped, you’re by no means alone. And the problem isn’t your staff; it’s probably your LMS.
Amid the current Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry is facing uncertain times. So, it’s perhaps the right moment to take stock, look at what’s working and what can be improved. Since your employees are your most valuable asset, it makes sense to ensure that the training your staff receive is the best it can be so that they’re ready to respond to anything. Switching your LMS out for an online platform that is better suited to your business might be one of the key ways you can shift in a positive direction.
An LMS To Help Not Hinder
One of the most commonly heard complaints about e-learning platforms is that staff aren’t interacting with it. It’s under-used, engagement is minimal, and often, this is down to how user-friendly the actual interface is. Your employees might be finding their online learning sessions challenging to navigate thanks to a cumbersome platform. Some might be so confused as to how to access training modules that the value of the actual content is mitigated. And it may not just be your on the ground staff that are having trouble. Administrative staff looking at stats and analytics for employee progress and future strategy could be struggling to get anything clear or meaningful out of it. The idea behind an LMS is to have a swift, sleek, and easy-to-access resource for the benefit of all. If your online training software is getting ignored during the everyday workflow, then you need to be asking questions. If your hospitality staff are telling you it’s clunky and hard to use; then it’s probably time to give it the heave-ho.
Support And Troubleshooting
While clarity via a well-designed interface is the goal when it comes to an optimal LMS, Even the most straightforward online training platform occasionally presents the odd tech-based difficulty. This is when great support from your LMS provider becomes super important. You’re in the hospitality trade and know the value of customer service better than most. So, hold your provider to the same high standards you have for your own business when you’re choosing your LMS as this is going to make all the difference in the event you encounter a tech-based issue with your online training software. Avoid companies that give you the run-around when you contact them for assistance, stick you on hold for hours or dodge responsibility.
If this sounds familiar to you, then it’s time to find a new provider as there’s nothing worse than being left with a LMS you can’t use – you might as well be throwing your investment money down the drain. Impeccable customer service should be a top priority when choosing your training platform for your business, so in the initial stages, take note of how your questions and inquiries are handled. If you go with a firm that goes out of their way to assist from the get-go, it’s far more likely they’ll be there for you when it comes to rapid troubleshooting in the future.
Elearning Software That Grows With You
Let’s stay on the topic of future-proofing because one of the most common complaints about online training software is that while it was initially a good fit, it hasn’t grown with the business. Flexibility is paramount, and when a LMS no longer offers efficient ways to communicate with new branches or adapt to new business avenues, then it becomes redundant. It’s one of the major reasons firms stop using an e-learning system they’ve invested in previously. A company-wide culture of learning is at the heart of progress and improvement – it can be one of the driving reasons a business can grow its operation. A Learning Management System that gets left behind, and becomes outdated will slowly drop out of use, leading to a slowing in learning and development among staff. The result? Stagnation in innovative processes and ultimately stagnated revenue. Other effects can be a slowdown in communication between management and staff, a fracturing of community, no handle on stats and consequently, difficulties on the horizon can be hard to see. All in all, not a great scenario.
If you think your LMS has come to the end of the line in terms of what it can do for your business as it stands currently then it might be time to change it for something more adaptable that you can build upon as your hospitality company shifts or grows.
Information Is Key!
While staff training and stimulating a learning culture is why you’ve invested in LMS software in the first place, it’s not much good if you can’t get a clear overall picture of how that’s working for you. A great LMS will give your management or admin employees plenty of easily accessed, real-time data to track and evaluate learner responses or progress. Online learning platforms that generate clear, well-organised reports are the goal. You want to be able to pull up both the detail and the big picture without complicated actions. The ability to see the Who, the What and When holds the key to productive and successful training initiatives and tactical planning. If you’re looking at your e-learning data and it comes across in a disorganised or overwhelming format, then divining actions to be taken to keep the business moving forward are going to be harder work than they need to be. You might even stop bothering to engage with it at all in this way if this is the case. Essentially, the bottom line is that if your LMS doesn’t offer up insights in a digestible manner, then the usefulness of that data is compromised. Your employees might be getting on fine with their online training. Still, you might not be aware of how they might be doing both individually or as a group due to rubbish reporting and analytics functionality from your LMS. If this sounds familiar, then you need to be looking at moving to an alternative program that offers ALL the options you’re paying good money for.
Value For Money
Which brings us to that adage, ‘you get what you pay for’. Put plainly, cost is right up there on the list of deciding factors when shopping around for a Learning Management System. It’s a significant investment and one well-worth making, but purchasing e-learning software is often fraught with looking at costs and fees and trying to understand what they cover. If you choose a flexible LMS solution that is able to support your company’s needs both now, and in the future, it’s likely the initial outlay will be worth it. That said, don’t be tempted by software offering more functions than you could genuinely need – unnecessary bells and whistles can sometimes be confusing and lower user uptake. A very expensive LMS is occasionally just that, without bringing real, useful solutions and functions to the table. Think you’re already saddled with one of these? Well, you guessed it, it’s probably time to move on and switch it out for something that truly delivers an exceptional online learning experience for your staff and easily interpreted data for you or your admin people.
So what should you be looking for if all the signs point towards moving to a new online training platform? Here’s a quick rundown to keep handy while you shop around:
First, evaluate whether the LMS will be user-friendly, for learners and for those who need to mine the data. Does it give you clear waypoints to improve your business and help action plans for improvement?
Next have a look at how social it is. Communication systems that work are key to making online training successful. If a contender includes social learning to improve engagement, then all the better.
Is the LMS in question configurable? Does it support functional integration? You also will want to consider how easily accessible tech support seems. Contact a few software companies to gauge how friendly their customer support is too – you might run into the odd glitch in the future, and you’ll want instant assistance to keep your e-learning programs on track.
Next up, run through the costs – and reach out for assistance if it’s unclear. You might get an answer to the previous point while you’re doing this! Consider if the LMS you’re looking at truly fits your needs and balance that with your monetary investment. Don’t just take up the cheapest option, but watch out for overpriced software too.
Finally, have a long look at the impact of keeping your current LMS. How will things look in a month, in a few months or by next year? If you can see a harmful pattern emerging in terms of attitudes toward learning or a total disengagement with learning altogether, then it’s probably time to make the switch as soon as you can.