Welcome to our 4-part series on the differences between a system focused on learning and one that manages workforce compliance. Do you know which problem you’re facing? If you haven’t gotten your diagnosis, click here for Part 1.
If You’ve Got a Learning Problem, You’re Lucky.
And if so, you likely have the tools in place to tackle it. The most common tool on which companies rely is called a learning management system, or “LMS” for short.
What is a Learning Management System?
Even if you’re not familiar with the acronym, you’ve almost certainly used a learning management system. LMS solutions are everywhere. Typically, they’re web-based or installed software applications that teach employees about all kinds of topics—from courses on learning PowerPoint to courses on effective communication and educating employees on workplace policies.
In a very general sense, an LMS is built for education. It distributes the same courseware to every employee, which is great for a single subject or a group of topics—such as ethics, time off policies and emergency action plans—that every employee, regardless of their role, needs to know. It gets difficult to manage, however, when different people at your organization require different courses.
One of the downsides of using an LMS for compliance training is that it can be clunky. You may have to log in through a desktop computer at your workstation. It may take a few minutes to load, and it may never be quite as functional or intuitive in the way you’d expect to be. Information may be hidden or absent. It may take multiple clicks to get to where you want to go. Maybe the user interface hasn’t been updated since 2007, when half your workforce was still in high school.
Some LMSes are serviceable, and some quite good. For companies with learning problems, an LMS is a solid option. But, if you’re depending an LMS to solve your compliance problem, you’re not only using the wrong tool for the job but placing your organization in immediate risk.
What an LMS Lacks
If you’ve been using an LMS for compliance and finding it inadequate, take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. While countless organizations have implemented LMSes, user statistics point to some tough truths about performance and satisfaction:
- Two-thirds (66%) of users who switched their LMS did so because it lacked necessary features
- 26% of users are dissatisfied with their current LMS
- On average, organizations spend 59% more on their LMS than they expect to
If You’ve Got a Compliance Problem, There’s Hope.
Our earlier diagnosis showed that compliance problems differ from learning problems for two primary reasons:
- The need to prove compliance (not just learning) and
- The serious fines, reputational damage, and other consequences if you fail to meet your program’s requirements.
Compliance problems and learning problems aren’t completely dissimilar. The difference is scope. Compliance encompasses learning, but layers on quite a bit more. A compliance system, similar to a learning management system, offers training and assessments. But your workforce also needs access to policies, forms, videos, documents and expert content, areas where an LMS quickly falls short.
Next week we’ll deep dive into compliance problems – and discuss the key actions you need to take to attack them. It’s good stuff – so certainly check back.