While it might be difficult to quantify the value of an employee with absolute precision, smart business owners know that an organization cannot thrive without a skilled and engaged workforce. That’s one reason why competition for the best employees is so fierce; the value they bring typically creates a significant competitive advantage. It’s not enough to attract great workers, however — many of the most successful firms also efficiently train and retain their key personnel by leveraging the power of a learning management system.
These solutions have made routine processes, such as retention, onboarding, compensation and professional development far more streamlined and effective, helping companies develop their most valuable employees and transforming the way human resources is approached. When deployed correctly, a learning management system represents an invaluable tool for attracting the best and brightest, helping them to reach ever greater heights in terms of skills and professional development — and, ultimately keeping them in the fold.
The value of learning management
Attracting high-end talent is a fundamental goal for almost every successful organization. Yet that’s merely the first step in an ongoing battle. To help employees fully maximize their natural abilities, it’s necessary to put them in the best possible position to cultivate their skills — and that’s where the value of learning management shines through.
As one of the cornerstones of the larger goal of comprehensive talent management, learning management helps employees to develop professionally with maximal efficiency, through the use of educational initiatives, training seminars and collaborative exchanges. These solutions, which help companies create, conduct and evaluate specific learning processes, can be either on premise or cloud-based software. These solutions allow administrators to easily design and deliver learning programs, and also offer the tools to track participation and performance.
Other key benefits include the ability to keep all learning content in one centralized location, more accurate performance tracking, the ability to use analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of learning materials and an overall reduction in the time needed to learn new material. In essence, it makes learning and training more effective and efficient, sometimes to a profound degree.
Unfortunately, not every organization is fully cognizant of the critical importance of learning management within the larger talent management system. That’s unfortunate, because talent management without a learning component is missing an elemental building block. Companies that emphasize both learning and talent management will reap greater rewards in the form of higher performing, more loyal employees.
The benefits of integrating learning management into your operation
Learning management offers significant value in five key areas: Onboarding, performance management, succession management, compensation and social networking. Let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits to be found in each category.
Learning management solutions can have a significant effect on the overall speed of this process by removing the need for existing personnel to commit extensive time and resources into training new hires. These solutions can also offer feedback with regard to the efficiency of the onboarding process. It’s also important to recognize that the first 12 months is a critical time with regard to employee retention. If the onboarding process works seamlessly, this creates a positive impression in the mind of personnel. If the process is painful and halting, a poor impression is likely to be made — and such judgments are often difficult to overcome.
2. Performance management
Organizations that choose to tightly integrate learning management with performance management will carve out a significant advantage in terms of employee morale, professional development and retention. As many HR professionals and managers can attest, performance management can be a fraught process — from both sides of the desk. When mutual expectations and evaluations don’t align, there is potential for disharmony.
Learning management helps overcome this by removing some of the natural subjectivity from the process. Integrating learning management into this sphere helps employees identify areas where they can develop, and also provides them with the necessary tools to make improvements. Organizations, on the other hand, can use learning management tools and analytics to identify the most fruitful approaches in terms of employee performance enhancement. This helps managers identify areas where team members can develop and identify the skills they’ll need to move to the next level. Accordingly, managers can then plan future learning or training sessions. Employees, ultimately, will derive useful insights into where they are heading in their career graph.
3. Succession management
Successful integration of a talent or learning management solution also allows organizations to deal with employee succession concerns in a nimble fashion. Organizational skill gaps can be quickly identified and addressed through targeted training initiatives. Candidates can be groomed to take the next step, allowing for a seamless replacement scenario. This doesn’t just benefit an employer — workers are given the tools they need to flourish in positions with greater responsibilities, a bonus for any career-minded professional.
Along with promotion comes compensation. Knowing precisely when to offer a salary increase, a bonus or a development opportunity is a critical part of employee retention. Integration of talent and learning software helps motivate employees with the right benefit at the right time. Career development, of course, can be even more valuable than a one-time financial inducement, and learning management is a key part of this approach. By knowing when to offer employees the right financial or career development benefit, organizations earn loyalty and gain an edge in the ever-escalating battle for talent. Along with an effective corporate branding strategy, this forward-looking approach to employee compensation is one of the key magnets for attracting and keeping the best workers.
5. Social networking
Smart organizations add a social networking component when integrating talent or learning management solutions. Humans are collaborative creatures; many of our best ideas have their genesis in informal, group exchanges. Any solution that promotes such exchanges is likely to prove its value very quickly.
Learning management solutions have transformed the way organizations approach employee development and retention. The right solution makes these processes more efficient and effective, and ultimately creates more well-rounded (and happier) employees.
Integration of these solutions does provide some challenges that must be navigated. Yet by following the advice outlined above, organizations can maximize the potential of their workers and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace — a scenario that offers tremendous benefits for all involved.