There’s a multitude of software that purport to bring peace to the human resources world, including HR systems themselves. But the real holistic, end-to-end gift that keeps on giving is the learning management system, especially if integrated with your internal HR systems.
Uniting the two creates a powerhouse can automate admin process, improve the user experience, lower the risk of data redundancies, more astutely analyse data, negate tech debt and produce a greater ROI. We’re not joking. The list really is that long.
What else, then, could possibly you need to know? While a rather all-encompassing integration to employ, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to HR–LMS integrations. From what exactly an integration of the two means to how you can use software to train employees, we’ve laid out the facts for you.
What exactly is an HR–LMS integration?
Think of it like collaboration between not just different software, but software and people.
A learning management system is designed to make it bafflingly easier to train, certify and upskill employees across varying requirements and locations. They’ve often been designed, implemented and run as separate entities to human resources and human capital systems—but doing so locks many organisations out of the benefits of a two-minds-are-better-than-one approach.
When your existing HR systems are integrated with an LMS, data from each is pushed to or pulled from the other to create more thorough analysis. This in turn creates a central repository of both learning and people data, training initiatives and actionable career pathways, as well as recruitment, administration, payroll, compliance, reporting and attendance data.
Why you need an HR–LMS integration
You may be tempted to think an HR–LMS integration is a nice-to-have feature when procuring an eLearning solution. We need not remind you that HR often deal with quite the data dump, since most all interactions an employee has with an organisation is captured and stored using technology. Having a central location that not only collects and houses this data but enacts effective workflows based on it is, therefore, an invaluable tool.
Without the integration, people data and learning data are siloed, doubling the time needed to create career or learning pathways for workforce planning, manpower is ineffectively used to replicate processes LMS software could do in minutes, and the people-focused function of HR is shelved so paper-heavy admin can be completed. Yikes.
The benefits of an HR–LMS integration
We now know teamwork makes the dreamwork. But the real advantages go beyond just making HR’s lives easier; even learners get to bask in the glow of an HR–LMS integration.
Provide personalised pathways
Through HR systems, you can see:
- An employee’s past experience and performance
- Current job responsibilities
- Current skillset.
Within learning management systems, you’ll have access to:
- Their training history
- Current progress
- Mapped pathway.
When you combine the two, you have you the whole picture, rather than mere pieces of the puzzle. Advanced analytics allow facilitators to map pathways to succession plans, talent management, learning management and other training programs. Without an integration, this data exists separately and you, as a modern HR professional, will be required to manually compile information in order to create this pool of knowledge—a process that is likely paper-heavy and time consuming.
How this benefits you
It’s lethal to think people only cost money instead of seeing their growth as an investment. Learning pathways directly complement any learning and development programs or business strategies by identifying the training employees should pursue. If your internal rate of change doesn’t match external, businesses face being left behind by competitors and customers alike.
Reduce data redundancies
We’ve warned readers about this before, and we’ll throw up the red flag again. Manually copying information from one system to another can—even with the most meticulous of eyes—leave room for the dreaded data redundancy. Data redundancies not only waste time and resources but can create multiple versions of inconsistent or out of date information. Plus, reconciling duplicate data entries over and over within the average organisation is a long and tedious task.
An added benefit of an HR integration with a cloud-based LMS is the security (most will adhere to strict industry compliance standards, and any supplier worth their salt will be able to prove their local or national security grading), making the need to keep data in various locations, well, redundant, dare we say it.
How this benefits you
Any small mistake can reduce the value of data, which can affect the integrity of any reporting. Less data redundancies means less need for manual intervention, while an HR–LMS integration negates the need for other management software and reduces cost of hosting different systems.
Smarter resource allocation
As the saying goes, allocate resources smarter, not harder. (Right?) Having your people and learning data spread across multiple systems is just bad housekeeping. Learning management systems that hold LXP or workforce planning capabilities immediately analyse new employee data and assign relevant training, with little to no human intervention.
This ability to recommend online training based on job responsibilities, skills, past experience and professional aspirations takes half the burden of talent management off HR’s shoulders. While the human touch is always needed, it can be applied in areas it’s more sorely needed—like, say, interviews.
How this benefits you
Combined with other features like Single Sign On, an HR–LMS integration means no password fatigue, no security risks, and no forgetting and resetting. Plus, if you’re worried about losing the personal touch, many LMS like Acorn allow for the personalisation (videos, photos, notes from team members and managers) new hires crave with little time required.
Better understand talent
We mean this in a holistic sense. We’ve all scrambled to find someone to fill a role when a vacancy suddenly appears. An HR–LMS integration will help you:
- Stay abreast of who’s primed and ready, at all times and already within your organisation, by analysing their progression, skills and performance. This is a fairly valuable tool, when you considerreskilledemployees are already familiar with organisational values, clients, customers, goals and expectations, saving the difficulty of assimilation and the pain (read:cost) of recruitment.
- Understand talent at different notches of the totem pole. Managers are people too, though they can be unintentionally overlooked while other employees are kept up to date on training—or worse, relegated to the role of overseeing subordinate’s career pathways, without any investment into their learning and development.
How this benefits you
Understanding your people and their individual capabilities proactively allows for shrewder job assignments, which in turn forges stronger teams and departments, throws cold water on toxic behaviour, creates better organisational outcomes and lessens the need for reactive work on HR’s end.
The most beneficial LMS functionalities for HR
What’s right for an organisation will depend on their industry, learning goals, size, technical limitations and expertise, and content requirements. We’ll stop short of promising a one-size-fits-all solution, but we will happily inform you that, no matter your industry, there are a number of learning management system functionalities that will really help you get the most out of an HR–LMS integration.
Recruitment & onboarding
There are a couple of important ways to incorporate your LMS into recruitment activities:
- Through portals for knowledge, skills or personality assessments, for the benefit of employers.
- By aligning results with job roles and functions, skills gaps or culture and expectations, for the aspirations of potential employees and to fill skills gaps.
This way, not only do potential employees get to sample your LMS, but HR can more easily and quickly sift through dense selection pools.
Similarly,setting the tonefor a new hire is extremely important. As Gallup puts it: reimagine the candidate experience through their eyes. No one wants to spend their first day alone at a desk, filling out paperwork; with an LMS, new hires can complete any pre-commencement documentationbeforethey start, all the while providing people data for the LMS to capture like previous experience, skills and capabilities, and job aspirations.
Training new hires or teaching existing employees new skills is crucial not just to individual career progression and development, but to fortify organisational structure. An LMS cuts the cost of face-to-face training and eliminates day-to-day disruptions by providing the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access to coursework.
Compliance training, the bane of many an existence, is further streamlined with automated reminders, enforced prerequisites for certain courses and learning pathways that show, in real time, employees how they are progressing.
A staple feature of most LMS platforms, advanced reporting allows admin to monitor training initiatives, learner progress and user engagement. How else can you be sure that you’re on track to meet business, learning or compliance goals, if you don’t have the metrics to understand how an LMS is being used? It’s also a way to make links between training (or lack thereof), productivity rates and other learning metrics that may be undermining operational efficiency—and then readjust training for strategic optimisation.
How these benefit you
The ability to map and track a learning journey is extremely beneficial to both individuals and organisations. Without it, there’s no clear path of progression and prime candidates for succession may go unnoticed while those whose capabilities need a little boost can go unnurtured. This leads to insecure job roles, fragile organisational structures and the possibility of lowered employee satisfaction, which ultimately makes the manual burden of recruiting, cataloguing and monitoring data even heavier on the shoulders of HR personnel.
Training employees with an LMS
Continual professional development (CPD) is that most elusive proponent of many a workplace, sought after by employees and managers alike. CPD can be:
- A formal process where points or activity must be accrued yearly as a condition of holding membership or registration in a field (such as in healthcare or trade).
- Ongoing training and developing as an investment in an organisation’s people and a commitment, on their behalf, to learn and improve professionally.
It’s a vital function because without people development, there can be no human capital within an organisation, and without human capital, it’s extremely hard for businesses to stay relevant and compete in their market.
So, how can one ensure their employees are not only learning, but continuing to learn? Why, with a , of course!
Don’t let your people wander aimlessly; tie training to larger goals or career aspirations. An LMS lets you build personalised learning pathways from pre-made or custom courses that address an individual’s job role, skillset and aspirations. Whether or not CPD is a formal arrangement, learning pathways ensures all employees can see the career ahead of them.
Got coursework that is unique or sensitive to your organisation? An LMS lets you upload and/or create content of your own design so your people have all they need to know in one spot. For industries where compliance or certifications are of utmost importance, custom content ensures learners only have what’s relevant in front of them.
Watch how teams, managers, new hires and individuals are tracking along their learning pathways—and ensure they’re actually on track with not only their CPD, but any goals they may have set for their own career pathway, compliance or industry certifications.
You know that feeling when you step out of an exam and in your euphoria, you forget most all you spent weeks cramming to learn? Within an LMS, you can set refresher courses up as non-negotiables, meaning learners routinely have to complete a review or update of a previously completed course, so there’s no forgetting learned information. This is particularly helpful if there’s new supplementary information that is relevant to their job role.
Day-long company-wide training sessions are out. Personalised and digestible online training is in. You need not forgo quality in the interest of giving your employees what they want; in fact, you’ll find the cost and time-effective nature of the LMS makes it all the more inviting for users, while the ability to integrate with your HR systems allows for the creation of much more relevant and engaging content. Better yet, it’s a system designed for their benefit, meaning they have a level of self-service and autonomy traditional corporate training doesn’t provide.