Why Your Startup Needs a Learning Management System Now
Training is one area startups often neglect at the beginning, but it is easier to have a plan in place now than to be scrambling later on when your mind is more occupied with putting together your business.
What is a learning management system? Basically, it is a software-based system that allows businesses to design, implement, track ,assess and document their training programs and employee completion. This means a couple of things for the average startup:
- The system is less labor intensive, costing you less and freeing up current staff to focus on their duties rather than taking time out for training that can be automated.
- The system is flexible and can grow as you do.
- Software-based systems can be updated or changed quickly when necessary.
- Systems can be accessed by remote employees or others who prefer to engage with it away from work.
- A learning management system is self-paced, allowing employees to learn on the timeline that works for them.
Essentially, the right learning management systems allows you to deliver training to employees anywhere, anytime, and in the learning style and with the methods of your choosing. These include text, video, virtual and augmented reality, and nearly any other format you can think of. Here are some reasons why your startup needs a learning management system now.
Before You Hire Your Next Employee
Maybe you are starting as a one-man operation or with just a few partners. Things are relatively easy at that point: you just initiate a discussion to make sure everyone is on the same page, and communication is often just a few steps or a phone call away.
However, at some point the work you are doing will outpace the staff you have, and you will have to hire new employees. This is when you need a learning management system. You will be able to bring the new person up to speed without taking a lot of time away from the vital things you need to do, but can still make time for specific questions.
This first set of new employees can provide you with valuable feedback on how the system works, the things they like and don’t like, and new things you need to add. The key is that you will be able to refine the system before you actually need it. This will offer you a huge advantage if you have a successful round of funding and need to hire quickly.
Your training program will define your early staff. Have a plan, and have one in place sooner rather than later.
Before You Offer Your Next Promotion
As you move forward as a business, the likelihood is that at least in part, you will promote from within, and that means you have a set of people who need some new skills to grow. Whether those skills involve technical knowledge or leadership and how to handle people, you can equip them through your training programs.
The good news is that there is already a lot of information out there about leadership, management, and other supervisory tasks. You can choose the ones that best fit your organization and culture, and simply use them without having to create your own program.
In addition, you can prepare those you are grooming for management early, allowing them time to work through courses without major disruption to their daily duties. Just be sure you schedule them time to learn and lessen their workload if need be. Training should be a pleasant part of getting promoted, not another task added to a long list.
Before You Add Another Product or Service
You start with one or two things, those things you produce best or the services you are best at. As time goes by, you will expand, adding more products and services. How do you teach your staff about them and the changes that will come with them? Through a learning management system, information can be disseminated quickly so that everyone is on the same page.
This is a great advantage, especially if you have remote employees or even offices around the country or around the world. The training is not tied to a specific time or place, but can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Everyone can get the same information, and it can be implemented and adopted almost instantly.
Adding another product or service is another example of a time when a learning management system is essential.
Before Your Competition Gets Ahead
You don’t have a learning management system? You can bet that in today’s market, your competitors have one, and if they do, they are already ahead of you. If you have one, yours needs to be more efficient, functional, and powerful than theirs.
The more agile you are, the greater leg up you have on your fast moving competitors, and a learning management system is a vital part of that agility. The ability to bring on new hires, retrain existing employees, and do it all without a huge sacrifice in productivity creates efficiency that can put you ahead in your niche.
Before Your Next Employee Quits
One big advantage of a learning management system is employee retention. Employees who have more knowledge and access to education are more likely to stay in their jobs. They feel valued, empowered, and like they have somewhere to move up to when they are ready.
Without such a system, employees in a startup can often feel lost, disconnected, and like things are simply moving too fast and not organized well. The more of a sense of security you can give them, the more likely they are to stick with you. It isn’t about the money as much as it is culture and a sense of belonging.
Your startup needs a learning management system now. Waiting will only make implementing one harder. Establishing your training program early is a sure way to increase your chances of success.