Your Learning Management System can be used as a valuable tracking tool, not just for the training and development department but also for employees, managers, and even executives. Most LMS systems provide you with tracking features, but some also include notification and reporting features, so that nothing is lost in the shuffle of a large training initiative or a push to complete required training within a certain time period. Let’s look at some ways you can employ these features.
On the tracking side, your LMS is first a tool for learners. Once they know how to use the system, a learner can log in, determine where he or she is on a career path, an assigned curriculum, or a certification program, and make adjustments for completion. In this way, the LMS data serves as a self-management tool for careers and development. But the employee can also maintain the tracking data to be used as a record when he or she is up for a performance appraisal, merit increase, or promotion. In addition, if your organization employs required training programs on a regular basis, the employee can also use this record to prove that he or she has completed required training. From this standpoint, the LMS and its data is a retention tool. After all, an employee who can manage his or her own development may be more likely to stay with an organization.
When you input career paths or curricula into the system, you can assign timeframes or completion dates. For example, the curriculum for a level one employee may say that he or she needs to complete a certain core of courses within the first 120 days after employment or promotion into the position. Your LMS can track this and send an appropriate notification to that employee, reminding him or her via email that there is a deliverable coming up. Plus, you can link the employee directly to the login with this notification, making it easy for him or her to complete the intervention or mark it as finished in a timely manner.
On the other side of the notification feature, the LMS can remind managers of important deliverables or dates, as well. Suppose your organization must have certain regulatory or product training completed within a certain amount of time each year. The LMS can send a notification to managers to remind them of the deadline, and the managers can then determine if their employees have completed the training.
Reporting is another important feature for the LMS-and for anyone who uses it, including training and development. Many LMS systems have “point and click” reporting, that allows you custom build a report based on your own selected criteria. From the training administration side, you or your LMS administrator can pull reports that detail course completions, grades, or pass-fails, for any of your training initiatives, including special programs like compliance or new products. Administrative reporting that you may find helpful can include course attendance, course evaluations, location evaluations, and number of completions per course. This data provides you with immediate information on how a particular course, whether online or instructor-led, is being evaluated, as well as how well it is being attended. The conclusions you draw from your reporting may help save the organization money on programs that are not quite on target at a given time.
Your organization’s managers can pull reports for their employees, as well. Typically they can use the same interface you use to pull reports, so that you’re all using the same selection criteria. A manager can pull a report on how individuals or employee groups are progressing on career paths, curricula, or required training. If they have the tools to do it, managers can proactively manage training deadlines, especially for regulatory or required training, which is another good reason why the LMS is so important. On the other hand, managers can use reports just as employees can when it comes to performance appraisal, promotions, coaching, disciplinary actions, and even human resources issues.
If the LMS data is property inputted upon its inception, the tracking, notification, and reporting features can serve as valuable tools for everyone in the organization. Next, let’s look at how your LMS can benefit your external customers.
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