5 Reasons Why Businesses Should Choose Social LMSs
Social platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+) have become incredibly popular over the last few years, as more and more people around the world have become connected through communication developments. Here’s a great article about how these social platforms can benefit your company’s training and development strategies through enhance LMS’s (Learning Management Systems), written by Jeffrey Roth from Interactyx.
Business can now apply such technology to how they train, collaborate, manage information, and communicate. … and here are a few good reasons to why they should:
5. The right tool for the job: Does your business need the course management tools of a leading college program? Probably not. It makes more sense to focus of the tools you need to better control and manage your unique training program. A modern, social LMSs should be able to provide you the tools and features you will need – not a bunch of excess baggage to get in the way.
Certification, media players, reporting, easy administration features, user management, and more should all be targeted to focus on how your business needs to train and collaborate.
4. Collaboration: Speaking of collaboration, image if the people who had the answers were connected easily to the people who need questions answered? Or, image having the best of class tools at your fingertips to allow individuals from all of your organization (geographically and departmentally) to get together to discuss and work on a project?
That is the type of collaboration a social LMS should provide you. I am not talking about a separate ‘forum tab’. Collaborative tools like chats, blogs, document sharing, web conferencing, etc should be tied directly to the smallest learning element (down to even just a doc.) and administered to provide the correct group-level access.
If this is sounding a bit foreign, think of having your own, secure, branded facebook-like tool to allow all of your employees to gather, interact and learn. That is the type of collaboration a social LMS should provide.
3. Knowledge Management: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that every company could manage their knowledge better. Anyone sending out training PDFs attached to an email still?
Your valuable business information should be readily available and not lost in some extensive folder tree that nobody can navigate. Your materials should be intuitively organized and visually recognizable so when someone needs it, they can get it quickly. Plus, using multimedia materials within a LMS helps keep employees engaged and may help a few more light bulbs to go on.
Also, storing a discussion around a topic can be valuable when the same problem occurs again. Social LMSs can help keep the discussion going, but also keep that informal knowledge tied to that issue. This is even more valuable if you experience turnover and your ‘go-to’ problem solver has moved on to another company.
LMSs help knowledge management (informal or formal information). It’s OK to admit that your business needs that – you are not alone.
2. Security: I am sure you have heard of the Privacy issues that come our regularly with Facebook. Well, you employees are using Facebook too. Doesn’t it make sense to provide an internal platform where your company information IS NOT broadcasted to the world?
Most LMSs exist on dedicated servers behind firewalls and you control who has access to what information. By providing the right method of internal communication for your employees can reduce the chance of the wrong method of public communication. All it takes is one post to go viral to cause a lot of problems.
Keep your information secure.
1. Cost: Maybe I should have called point #1 ‘Investment’? But, I use ‘Cost’ here as in ‘What is the cost of an employee not having the necessary information’ and ‘What is the cost of an employee that leaves and takes their business knowledge with them’.
If time is money and information is your most valuable asset, the right social LMS is critical to your value position as an organization. Getting up and running with an organization that partners with you for the long term can make the difference in how you operate, and ultimately, how you go to market.
LMSs come in all price points. Make sure you do not get fleeced by legacy development costs and outdated tools.
All of the points above focus on the true value a social LMS can provide a company, but in terms of actual dollars and sense (pun intended), there are a few things to look out for:
Check references and customer retention rates of any LMS
Ask for the development schedule and upgrade costs
Watch for hidden fees for just about everything you would think should be included
Do Not Pay Per Seat/License Fees – why should an LMS penalize and limit you?
Yes, ‘Investment’ is more accurate because that is what an LMS is. The small cost is vastly outweighed by the potential benefits, just make sure you keep an eye on what you are actually investing in. The cost of not having the right LMS is the real motivator to explore available options.
Technology exists to bring your valuable information to the people within your organization who need it without costing a fortune. Keep in mind that an LMS for any business should become a key resource to help you achieve your short and long term goals.
Of course there are other good reasons why social LMS’s are good for businesses, so please feel free to add any others!