In the dynamic landscape of modern workplaces, the need for effective training has never been more crucial. However, relying solely on Learning Management Systems (LMS) to track training activities may leave significant gaps in monitoring and evaluating the diverse learning experiences that employees undergo. This is where a comprehensive training tracking system comes into play, allowing organizations to capture not only traditional training but also a broader spectrum of learning and development activities.
The Limitations of LMS
While LMS platforms serve as robust tools for managing and tracking formalized training programs, they are not without their limitations. Here are some instances where the LMS falls short:
- Informal Learning Activities:
- LMS systems are traditionally designed to track structured courses and modules. However, a substantial portion of learning occurs through informal channels, such as on-the-job experiences, mentorship, or self-directed exploration. These informal learning activities are challenging to quantify and capture within the structured framework of an LMS.
- Example: An employee learns valuable problem-solving skills through collaborating with a colleague on a project. This informal learning experience might go unnoticed in an LMS.
- Soft Skills Development:
- Developing soft skills, like communication, leadership, and teamwork, is often an integral part of employee growth. These skills are nuanced and subjective, making them difficult to assess through the rigid metrics of an LMS.
- Example: An employee improves their presentation skills by participating in a local Toastmasters club, an activity that might not be recognized or tracked within the confines of an LMS.
- Cross-Departmental Collaboration:
- Many projects and initiatives involve collaboration between individuals from different departments. Tracking cross-departmental learning experiences becomes challenging within the siloed structure of an LMS, which is typically designed for department-specific training.
- Example: An employee from the marketing department collaborates with counterparts in the IT department to learn about new technologies. Such cross-functional learning may not be easily documented in an LMS focused on department-specific content.
- On-the-Job Training and Experiences:
- Hands-on experiences and on-the-job training are integral to skill development in various professions. LMS platforms struggle to capture and assess these real-world learning opportunities adequately.
- Example: A technician gains expertise by troubleshooting and resolving complex issues on the field. This practical, on-the-job learning might not fit neatly into the course-centric structure of an LMS.
Benefits of Comprehensive Training Tracking
Implementing a system that goes beyond the constraints of an LMS can provide several advantages:
- Holistic Learning Measurement:
- A comprehensive tracking system allows organizations to measure learning in a holistic manner, incorporating both formal and informal learning experiences. This provides a more accurate representation of employees’ skill development and knowledge acquisition.
- Improved Employee Engagement:
- Recognizing and acknowledging a broader range of learning activities fosters a culture of continuous improvement and encourages employees to actively seek diverse learning opportunities. This, in turn, boosts engagement and commitment to personal and professional development.
- Tailored Development Plans:
- With a more extensive dataset on employee learning experiences, organizations can create personalized development plans. This ensures that training interventions align closely with individual needs and career aspirations, optimizing the impact of learning initiatives.
- Enhanced Reporting and Analytics:
- Comprehensive tracking systems provide richer data for reporting and analytics. Organizations can gain insights into the effectiveness of various learning channels and identify trends that may inform future training strategies.
In the pursuit of fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, organizations must go beyond the limitations of traditional Learning Management Systems. Implementing a comprehensive training tracking system allows for a more accurate and inclusive measurement of the diverse learning experiences that contribute to employee growth. By recognizing and valuing the full spectrum of learning activities, organizations can better position themselves to adapt to the evolving demands of the modern workforce.
About The Author
Phil Baruch is a 25-year veteran of the training business and a Senior Partner at MaxIT Corporation. He has developed LMS and Training Management Systems for a wide range of current and past clients including UCLA, ITW, E*Trade, Lifelock and many other large and emerging businesses of all sizes with a focus on leveraging technology to build better relationships in the workplace.