How important are well-trained, highly skilled workers to business success? Consider these data: Nearly three in four CEOs rate human capital as the single greatest determiner of corporate economic growth, placing more importance on it than products, client relationships or marketing. Additionally, studies show that 84 percent of employees at high-performing organizations receive the training they require, compared to only 16 percent of employees at low-performing organizations.
Data such as these reinforce the paramount importance of employee training and development. They also raise an important question: What’s the most effective way to scale employee training? Organizations that figure out how to efficiently deliver the benefits of training across the entire workforce are positioned for success.
The Basics of Effective Scaling
As organizations grow, the need for training grows. Larger businesses must decentralize decision-making, as it becomes impossible to operate without significant delegation. That means it’s easy to outgrow your existing training and development processes. This is especially true for businesses that rely on conventional, in-person training methods. Bringing the entire staff together every month in a conference room isn’t a model that’s optimal for growth.
Online training, on the other hand, liberates businesses from the constraints of time and distance. Training doesn’t require a central location at a specific time with particular personnel. The material can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Tasks that were once manual and unable to replicate become effortlessly automated and scaled to meet demand. In addition to hard ROI figures, organizations also reap less easily quantifiable benefits by scaling online training: Well-trained employees perform better in their roles, which makes morale higher, which builds company loyalty.
It’s also important to remember that as the number of learners grows, the potential for cost savings multiplies. When in-person training results in superior outcomes for learners, you can make the case that the added investment is worth it, but some employees learn better in online settings.
Building a Scalable Online Training Program
There are some key considerations for organizations creating a scalable online training program:
- Create a pilot program. This is a fundamental first step when seeking to scale. Before you dedicate significant organizational resources to expanding a concept, you need proof that it works. To gain that proof, create a small program that you can test and validate. The size of the pilot program will depend on variables such as the size of the company.
- Validate the pilot program. You can gradually roll out the pilot program department by department or location by location, or you can introduce it organization-wide after a pre-determined period of evaluation. Once your pilot program is validated, you can proceed with confidence, knowing you have proof of concept.
- Map the unmet needs. Smart scaling also requires a look at organizational needs and objectives. Mapping where your business has unmet needs — and identifying opportunities for new learning programs — is an important part of the expansion process.
- Choosing the right technology: Companies seeking to scale also need to choose the right learning management software. Companies expanding their operations (whether domestically or overseas) can quickly and easily export proven training programs through the use of a modern, cloud-based LMS.
Choosing a Scalable Learning Management Platform
Not every LMS is equal in terms of scalability, however. Here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating an LMS:
- Is it stable and reliable? Or will it crash when you expand from a small pilot program to servicing the training needs of thousands of people across the globe? A scalable LMS needs to handle large numbers of simultaneous connections effortlessly.
- How well does it handle data? Can it accommodate large amounts of information effectively? If the answer is no, scaling will be difficult.
- Does performance lag when the platform is subject to heavy user load? If this is the case, user experience will suffer, which will ultimately lead to disengagement and poor training outcomes.
- Is it designed to use efficient workflows to accommodate heavy traffic?
- Is the LMS sufficiently automated? Or does it require manual activities that must be repeated again and again?
- Does it have the necessary features to support scalability and success? For example, can you use notifications to remind learners of deadlines? Does it have gamification options to incentivize learners to complete tasks?
- Is the functionality present to quickly create and manage users and content?
- Is there robust client support? Growth often comes with challenges, so it’s imperative to have a support system in place to help you navigate any growing pains.
These features separate a highly scalable LMS from an LMS that might not have the capacity to grow with you. Organizations looking to scale up online training should prioritize these attributes when evaluating software options.
Human capital is perhaps an organization’s most valuable possession. Online training plays a critical role in enabling businesses to help their employees succeed. The link between well-trained workers and successful enterprises is undeniable.
Plan carefully and review your organization’s needs, goals and strategic objectives to scale training effectively. Then, choose an appropriate tool. When evaluating an LMS, it’s vital to keep scalability in mind. By paying close attention to the attributes outlined here, you can make the right choice for your company, keep your workers happy and well-trained, and deliver greater ROI from learning and development.