“Knowledge is power,” the saying goes. So are sales, profits and growth. But knowledge only works if you get it into the right hands and if those hands can access it when they need it most. So why train your employees on an archaic LMS that doesn’t do either?

1. The LMS doesn’t help employees build their knowledge.

You want your employees to know your product, service, policies or procedures so well that they can perform at their absolute best. To do this, your workers need information, either in their head or, at the very least, at the tips of their fingers via a quick touch of a button. You also want your people to be able to learn about information and updates as they happen, so they can take the right actions immediately. You won’t achieve this goal with a LMS.

The LMS is event- rather than knowledge-driven. It is designed to provide a one-off training experience that is delivered and then, frankly, quickly forgotten. It doesn’t adapt to the rapid change of a modern workplace or to the specific needs of individual workers. There is no mechanism for pushing information out to the user at a moment’s notice, and no way to continually reinforce learning or preserve knowledge long term. Sure, the LMS can deliver a learning module, but it doesn’t provide the kind of accessible, personalized learning experience that helps modern learners grow their expertise over time. Isn’t that what you really want, too?

2. The LMS doesn’t meet the needs of all employees (especially a largely deskless, mobile workforce).

Whether they are associates on a retail floor, forklift drivers in a warehouse or professional account executives, your employees are busy people. They are constantly on the move. In fact, more than 80 percent of global employees don’t have a desk at all. The last thing they want is to be forced away from their work to complete another round of deskbound mandatory training. They’d rather be producing. They’d rather be moving. And isn’t that what we want, too?

Unfortunately, the LMS is a deskbound system. Your employees are not deskbound. See the problem?

Being tied to a desk isn’t the only way the LMS fails to meet the needs of your workers. It’s a time drag. Your people don’t have the bandwidth to “do training” via the LMS when they have a dozen or more tasks to complete. Their managers like it even less. It interrupts the workflow for everyone, and, frankly, it can be a scheduling nightmare. What these learners do need is bite-sized knowledge that is delivered quickly, integrated into the workday and easily accessible regardless of location. In short, they want the kind of mobile experience that they’re used to in every other aspect of their day. The LMS can’t provide that.

3. The LMS doesn’t engage employees in learning.

Let’s face it: The traditional LMS is boring. It isn’t something that excites learners. And virtually every study on engagement in learning confirms that learners who are not engaged do not learn.

There are numerous reasons for this lack of engagement. The most obvious is that the LMS is linear, highly structured and clunky. It lacks the ability to produce learning that is individualized or intuitive. The process is the same for everyone; learners are spoon-fed content and then tested with an assignment, quiz or survey. Then it’s over. Learning via the LMS becomes something to “get over with” rather than a tool that actively engages your employees in continual learning.

Unfortunately, there is more. Despite the addition of videos and other multimedia, the LMS is largely dependent on text. And who wants to read long chunks of text? If you don’t, chances are your employees don’t either. Gamification, which has vast capabilities for both learning and reinforcement of learning, is rudimentary and rarely used (if it exists in the LMS at all). The LMS also offers no incentives like points, rewards or leaderboards to engage and motivate your employees. Finally, the LMS fails to leverage the incredible capacity for continuous learning and engagement offered by mobile devices. Your people are mobile; shouldn’t their learning be, too?

What does all of this mean for your business? It definitely means that the LMS is not giving your modern workforce what it needs. It may mean you’re wasting both their time and your money.

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