When you’re a small business owner, there is no “one size fits all.”
Now more than ever, you need solutions that address your particular pain points. Like, how do you improve onboarding and prevent turnover? How do you streamline your training so that your employees can easily study — and retain key learnings? How do you keep up with the ever-changing compliance requirements and the new realities of remote training?
Most importantly: how do you do all the above without breaking the bank? After all, according to this Forbes article, pre-crisis economic activity is still a long stretch away. And while you understand the importance of continuous training for your team, you also understand the importance of keeping the lights on.
There’s no doubt about it: you need an LMS.
With an LMS (Learning Management System), you don’t need to outsource your training. And you can reuse all that content as many times as you need. Both of these things are major money savers.
An LMS also helps you streamline your training, offering eLearning solutions that are ideal for a remote working environment. Plus, it makes complicated subjects, like compliance training, easier to teach and keep track of.
Sounds ideal, right? But it’s like we said earlier: there is no “one size fits all”. There are many LMS solutions out there, offering a variety of features that are not really essential to small business training. You need to make sure your selected vendor offers all the LMS features your business needs to thrive. You also need to make sure they don’t sneak in any unnecessary-to-you features that will only drive the price up.
Consider the following your ‘small business LMS’ cheat sheet.
The 10 essential LMS features for small business training
Finding the ideal LMS for small business will take up valuable time and effort. That’s why we’ve rounded up the 10 top LMS features you need to look out for when researching possible vendors. Before selecting an LMS for small business, go through this list of LMS features below and make sure your vendor offers 10/10.
1. A simple sign-in process
Small business training is certainly more compact. For instance: it’s possible that you don’t have a dedicated person in charge of training. In a larger corporation, that person (usually a Training Director or HR Manager) would be responsible for creating your employees’s training accounts.
Instead, you may wish to choose a self-sign-up system for your learners — or opt for a solution that allows you to quickly add users. Whatever you choose, the key here is simplicity. You need an LMS that comes out of the box ready-to-use, where you can add courses and users with just a few clicks.
2. Ability to support a wide range of media assets
Small business training should be imaginative and diverse, not sterile and repetitive. To that end, the best LMS for small businesses should be able to support a variety of media assets. Think anything from Word documents and PDF files to interactive quizzes, and anything from PowerPoint presentations and videos to podcasts.
The more diverse your small business training methods, the more engaging the process for your employees.
3. Easy-to-create certificates and course renewals
People like to be reminded of their achievements. It’s human nature.
So, when your employees finish a course, you should be able to offer them a certificate that says so. It’s not just a pride point, either: a certificate can be useful for anything from hitting compliance goals to tracking training progress. But who can spare the time creating printable certificates?
The best LMS for a small business should allow you to easily create e-certificates for all your courses. It should also allow you to renew a course when you have a fresh batch of employees to train.
4. Employee collaboration options
A Gallup research shows that developing a blended learning approach (online and instructor-led) is very effective, because it allows people to collaborate.
People prefer learning together — especially when circumstances are keeping many teams physically apart. So, virtual training needs to be a part of your training mix: the same Gallup research found it promotes “a sense of inclusion”.
Also important? A built-in message center where employees can communicate both with each other and with the instructors.
5. A Zoom integration
Remember how we said that virtual training needs to be a part of your mix? Having a Zoom integration is one of the key LMS features you should be looking for.
A Zoom integration simplifies scheduling virtual instructor-led training sessions and makes it easier to track attendance and distribute relevant material.
6. Progress tracking and reporting
The best training system in the world is worthless if you can’t track and report how learners interact with it. During your LMS review, you should pay close attention to the reports and analytics part.
You need to be able to gain insights about your online training, and generate reports about everything that happens inside your eLearning hub. This will also simplify things a lot when it’s time to give employee feedback.
7. Handy automations
Employee training creates a lot of housekeeping. And, sometimes, you can get lost in the details. The best LMS for a small business should be able to automatically handle your repetitive, administrative tasks through automations. This way, you can focus on the things that matter.
8. Being mobile-ready
Nowadays, most LMS solutions offer a mobile version to some extent. But you need more than that. You need an LMS that is truly mobile-ready.
What with the current global situation and all, employees now are much less likely to sit in front of a desktop computer for 8+ hours. Not if they can have training on the go, from the comfort of their phones.
So, make sure your LMS can offer them a seamless mobile training experience, fit to their schedule.
9. Cloud hosting
Having your LMS data automatically saved to the cloud can be a lifesaver. Cloud-based LMSs are more flexible, as you can access them from anywhere. They’re also much easier to install and maintain.
10. Good technical support
Of course, as with anything technical, you’re bound to run into some problems now and then.
The ideal LMS for small businesses includes a technical support that’s fast, friendly, and able to work with you to address your concerns. You should make sure to ask if there is an extra fee for support services, during your LMS review.
So, there you have it: the 10 essential features to look out for when shopping for a small-business LMS. Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about the solution that really fits your needs.
And since we’re on the subject: did you know that TalentLMS includes all these features and more? A super-easy LMS that allows you to build online courses in minutes, TalentLMS is intuitive and affordable. Which makes it ideal for small business training.
| Tags: LMS for SMBs