Working with a modern LMS system is as easy as you design it to be. There can be self-directed learning or interactive classes. There can be problem-solving, simulations, research, and testing. You can use it to onboard, train, and grant certifications. Of course, the effectiveness and completion of your LMS is only as good as the content you fill it with. With the current capabilities of a cutting-edge LMS, the software's true potential can only be reached after months if not years of dedicated content creation, design, and implementation.
There are a number of ways that HR managers go about collecting all the content they need for a complete LMS. You can implement learning material you already have on-hand from your pre-LMS training and classes, you can gather it from events and resources inside the company, you can create it deliberately with your time and department budget, or you can buy outside content on specific topics.
While including third-party content can be a useful part of your lessons, it has been generally agreed that internal content made by and for your company's employees is superior to generic training programs.
The Challenge of Original Content
Buying content may be costly, but it's easy and fast which is why so many HR managers take this path. Buying content may also get you passed the critical hump where you finally have enough content to offload a few students to independent learning. However, once you get a chance, it's important to start building customized original content keyed specifically to your industry, business, brand, and company culture. Your employees may benefit from learning the generic way to do things, but they would be much better served by learning how things are done in your facilities and offices.
Your training material is also a helpful way to introduce new recruits to the personality of the brand and the company culture shared between all their new coworkers. It's important that each employee act with the attitude of the brand in mind and that they are all on the same page. By taking the time and thought to both gather quality training material and build it into an interactive customized e-Lesson, you can significantly improve the quality of your onboarding and in-line education.
Micro-Learning: Valuable and Tough to Implement
The next thing to consider is that lessons aren't even the full extent of what you can make possible with the LMS's of today. Microlearning is one of the most useful innovations in the last ten years as business learning platforms have become increasingly accessible. If you're not familiar with microlearning, this is essentially when employees look up the information they need when they need it. An employee who's thinking about volunteering to become their team's safety officer, for example, might use your LMS' microlearning platform to look up the current OSHA regulations and company safety policies in order to better uphold them.
However, because there are so many different pieces of information and on-the-spot training that can be provided through microlearning, creating a comprehensive company resource will require years, dedication, and a lot of organization. You also don't have to limit your microlearning to general or even industry-specific information. Any kind of training you might deliver can be packaged into a short lesson, presentation, diagram, or video from shutting down equipment at night to how lunches are labeled in the break room fridge.
You Are Surrounded by Experts
So where will you get all these micro-lessons about the ins and outs of your company? Even the HR manager doesn't know every little lesson that their coworkers in other departments deal with every day. Every new hire experiences both their onboarding lessons and a series of mini-lessons delivered by their new team members on how the work really gets done. What if you could distill the lessons your employees really need to know into micro-learning sessions and even full-scale lessons? The key is realizing that you are surrounded by experts who would also like to stop delivering the same lessons over and over again. They will already be taking the time to custom-train their new coworkers, why not ask them to deliver the lessons in a way that can take care of itself in the future?
"Things I Wish My Coworkers Knew"
With the advent of the modern LMS, HR managers have a multi-channel secret weapon for building robust, unique learning material customized to both the business and the company culture shared by all the current and future employees. The leads, managers, experts, and team members of every department all have something they would say to a new recruit. If gathered, you could use each statement as a unique micro-lesson or could clip them all together into a montage of advice for new employees provided by team members they will soon be working with.
Even so, there's no reason to stop just at onboarding training. You can also ask everyone to take some time and think about a few things they wish their current coworkers understood a little better. On a purely technical or procedural level, what do they understand that they would like to teach their colleagues? This can be anything from how to use a sharing platform to providing directions for a commonly mis-located office. For example, a manager who is constantly explaining their department software can volunteer the lesson they have already delivered dozens of times.
How to Collect the Lessons
You can even collect the lessons and micro-lessons in a number of ways, based on whatever is easiest and least disruptive to the teams. You can hold a feedback session, send out a survey, ask for voluntary responses to an email, invite employees to make videos and submit them, or even hold recorded interviews with a few key experts. You could also invite employees to submit an idea or tip once a week and pick out the best to publish. Remember that you can always transcribe almost any content type into another content type for lesson design purposes or uniformity of style.