HRMS feature overview series: Learning development

Sophisticated feature articles may allow the reader to explore the finer details of HR software, but sometimes you have to check the foundations, so to speak. This is one of a series of overview articles, looking at the available features in different HR-related software apps. So without further ado, here are some of the features you can (and should) expect to find in a learning & development app or learning management system (LMS).

1. Administration

Let’s face it, the main pain of learning management is all that administrative work – training nominations, course management, updating materials, ensuring compliance where necessary (SCORM, AICC, etc.) and that’s before anybody’s learned a thing! An LMS should handle all this and more, dealing automatically with enrollments, cancellations, notifications, engagement with managers and instructors, plus a degree of evaluation reporting, showing the effectiveness of the learning activity.

Recommended reading: get up-to-the minute information on which learning development features to look out for with this guide to 52 essential HRMS features

2. A comprehensive training directory or catalog

Whether it’s a MOOC (massive open online course) or a bite-sized just-in-time individual download, the full range of learning options on offer should be manageable from a single interface, giving employees all the information they need to make the most appropriate choice. This includes mapping activities against any competency framework you may have in place for individual performance management, connecting the learning to the needs of specific skills and roles.

3. Employee engagement

Having the right skills and knowledge for the job is something any employee can take a personal interest in. This means that learning and development is a key opportunity to boost employee engagement and the user experience when accessing the LMS can be make or break. Easy access to their own records, job needs, future aspirations and a range of options plus suggestions cross-referenced to their personal development plan are the ingredients for heightened engagement.

4. Automated reminders

Has everybody completed the pre-course work? Have all the evaluation questionnaires been completed? By both the learner and their manager? Your LMS should free you up from this kind of monitoring, providing you with reports so that when you do need to take action, it’s focused on the people who need a more ‘personal push’.

5. Professional certifications

Certain roles require professional qualifications and/or continuing professional development. An ideal LMS will identify such roles, send the appropriate reminders to prompt the necessary learning activity, track the expiry/renewal of certificates and licences, and basically support those employees in the maintenance of their professional status.

6. Evaluating impact

Simple reporting functionality goes a long way in tracking the performance of your learning provision and auto-collation of evaluation data offers essential basic feedback on whether your learning options and interventions are targeting the right skills, people, teams, etc. The right learning and development module will link this to KPIs and team/departmental targets to track levels of ROI.

7. Accessibility

A big issue with learning and development is the accessibility of the learning to all employees and the accessibility to the software is no different. Wherever an employee is and whatever their role may be, they should be able to access the LMS when they need it. Compatibility with assistive technologies (screen readers, voice activation, etc.) goes a long way to ensuring universal access.

8. Is it mobile?

The other current day accessibility issue is compatibility with mobile devices. Given that the majority of HR technology options are now in the cloud (and therefore largely accessed via a web browser) there’s really no excuse not to provide a package that is optimized for access on the move by smartphone or tablet.

There is obviously more you can expect from an HRMS learning and development module, and their will be features you require based on individual company requirements. But as a starting point, the list above should give you an understanding of what the bare minimum of your learning and development module expectations should be.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall