If you’re a typical small business owner you might wonder why you’d ever need an LMS platform. After all, on a first look, e-learning appears to be something that only educational institutions and big corporations with thousands of employees have a need for. Then again, the fact that you are reading this post shows that you’re not a typical small business owner: you want to learn more about LMS platforms and how they can assist in the success of your small business. And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this post.
1. Knowledge retention
The number one benefit of an LMS for a small business is knowledge retention. The term might sound fancy, but the idea is quite simple: there are lots of procedures, steps, tips and tricks in the day-to-day operation of your company. Things ranging from how to fulfil customer orders down to keeping your website running or how to deal with inventory.
If your small business is like most companies, each of those tasks is handled by one employee (two tops), which means that that, if that employee moves on, quits or gets fired, there will be a disruption in your businesses operation while somebody else picks up their tasks and learns how to do them properly. Any money/time saving tricks the ex-employees have discovered while doing their job might even get lost altogether.
An LMS can help you keep all that knowledge in the company by providing an easy way to educate new employees of your business’s particulars. Keep in mind, though, that knowledge retention is not (just) about passing your abstract rules for how the company shall work to new employees, but about preserving all that valuable on-the-job experience your employees had.
So don’t just throw top-level official procedures and guidelines at them, but have experienced employees write down any non-standard domain knowledge they acquired over the years, including any custom procedures they use to get their job done faster and better.
Of course you could always ask an older employee to train a new hire. But that’s still informal and ad-hoc (e.g he might not remember everything he is supposed to teach the new hire) and wastes the older employee’s productive time. With an LMS this knowledge transfer can happen whenever the new hire wants, with no or minimal oversight from an older employee.
In attempting to teach something, you often end up learning more about it yourself. E-learning is no different in this regard.
While creating employee training courses, you’ll probably come to the realization that this is the first time that you have a complete and detailed description of how your company operates available.
This formalization of your ways of doing business is a byproduct of trying to teach those ways to new employees, but it’s quite important in its own too. In a lot of cases, it’s also an opportunity to rethink your company’s procedures, remove some deprecated procedures, or improve upon others.
3. Getting better
A small business doesn’t stay small forever. Just consider that Apple and HP were “small businesses” once upon a time too.
As your company grows, your LMS will grow in importance with it and will cover its expenses many times over. Growing, after all, often means new hires, people, that is, who need a quick introduction in their new positions and your company’s environment an “corporate culture”.
If your small business operates within certain markets or competes for public sector tenders, then compliance with several standards is often necessary too, as are some certifications that your business or employees need to have. An LMS is, once again, a great tool for achieving both, as they you can train your employees on how to achieve that compliance or how to pass a certain certification process.
4. It’s not that big decision
One thing keeping a small business from deploying an LMS is that it used to cost serious money, and often needed a dedicated IT guy to set it up and keep it running.
That was then, as they say, and this is now.
Nowadays, and at least for the last few years, there have been very mature and polished LMS platforms available ― including several low cost, free and even open source solutions.
Plus, thanks to the Cloud, even the need to set up an LMS on your own severs is a thing of the past (unless of have a need for the extra flexibility, which most small business have not).
Modern LMS platforms have really removed most barriers to adoption. So even if you’re not planning in deploying an LMS, we suggest to try and take one (or more) for a test drive. You might find out you need one.
And what are the most important improvements after an LMS implementation you have witnessed in your company?
| Tags: LMS for SMBs