Note: An earlier blog post gave some tips for setting up effective on-the-job training (OJT) programs at work. It’s not necessary to read that post before reading this one, but if you want to, it’s there for you.
If you’re giving some thought to the best ways to implement an OJT program at work, you’re already making some good initial steps. But have you thought about how your OJT program could benefit if you use it in combination with a learning management system (LMS)?
In this article, we’ll take a look.
Let’s look at a few ways you can make your OJT program at work more effective by using an LMS.
If you’re not quite sure what an LMS is, you may find this brief video helpful.
To learn even more about learning management systems, read any of the following articles:
The person or people you’re training may be receiving training for a job role they’ve just accepted, for a job role they’ll move to in the future, or simply for a new responsibility in addition to their current job role. What you need is a flexible LMS that gives you options on how to categorize this this worker to make it easier to assign the appropriate training.
An LMS will let you put workers into a team and then assign training to that’s appropriate to the job role to everyone in that team. But in addition to the team a worker is in, the LMS should let you put the worker into any number of groups and assign training to the group(s). This will provide you the flexibility you need.
It’s important to ensure each worker is fully trained for a new job role or responsibility. But it’s easy to lose track of what’s been assigned to whom without an LMS. What you need is a way to put training activities into “bundles” and then easily assign the bundle (instead of assigning multiple activities).
An LMS should make it easy for you to put multiple training activities into “bundles” that can be assigned again and again. Once you’ve created one of these bundles—with all the activities necessary to train someone on a new job role or responsibility—you can assign it to different people whenever you need to. This removes the need to remember the entire list of activities to assign or the need to manually assign them one-by-one.
Next, you’ll want to perform a gap analysis—evaluating what the employee can currently do (or knows) and comparing that to what you want the employee to do (or know). Your goals, of course, are to be able to identify the employee’s “gap” and not force the employee to complete training for the things he or she can already do. For many companies, this is a difficult or even impossible task, as they search for records stored in multiple spreadsheets, training databases, and paper-based records in file cabinets and then try to compile and make sense of them all.
An LMS keeps track of all training activities an employee has created. When you assign the “bundle” of training activities to a worker who’s entering a new job role, the LMS will automatically give the worker credit for the activities he or she has already completed. In addition, the LMS will make it easy for you to run reports that identify any worker’s performance gap and all workers who are currently fully qualified or not qualified for any position.
While many on-the-job training programs rely exclusively on having a less-experienced worker follow or shadow a more experienced worker, there are benefits to assigning training in different formats. These can include important instructor-led classroom training, written documents, online eLearning courses, videos, online quizzes, and in-the-field assessments that verify the worker’s ability to perform tasks.
An LMS should allow you to work with training in a variety of formats. This could include documents (such as SOPs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints, photos, and even recorded videos) stored on your network or in SharePoint. It could include computer-based training (CBTs) with multimedia. Your LMS should allow you to import quizzes or make them directly inside the LMS. It should let you schedule and assign instructor-led training in a classroom setting. And it should give you tools for evaluating a worker’s performance of specific tasks and verifying when they are completed correctly.
You’ll want an easy, efficient, and flexible way to give workers credit when they complete training. Ideally, without filling out a variety of forms, passing them on to various people, and saving the records in multiple databases.
You’ll want the LMS to automate as much of this as possible, while still leaving room for you to do things manually when you want to. An LMS should automatically give credit when workers read documents, view CBTs, and pass quizzes. It should allow you to evaluate worker perform of tasks in the field and give credit when the task is performed correctly (a nice LMS will even include a mobile device you can take into the field to do this, and will allow you to include a photo, video, or SOP on each task so the supervisor can compare the worker’s performance to a single standard). And the LMS should make it easy to give credit to people for attending instructor-led classes or to give credit for miscellaneous training.
Hot tip: Crediting in the field or classroom can be made even easier using mobile devices and mobile training apps. Check our article on 3 Uses for Mobile Training Apps and our mobile training apps webpage.
You’ll want to know who’s done with training, who’s not done, and keep up to date with training progress in general. And ideally, you’ll want the LMS to send that information to you, not have to search it out yourself.
An LMS should include a full suite of reports to help you find the data you need: reports that track the progress of individual workers; reports that track the progress of teams, departments, or groups; reports that track the completion of an individual activity, selected activities, or the “bundles” of activities you assigned to ensure workers are qualified for a job or role. Even better, an LMS should let you select the reports you want and schedule them to be repeatedly generated and delivered by email to yourself (or others in your organization) so you don’t have to search the information out for yourself.
If you found this article interesting, you may also enjoy the following articles about LMSs:
If you found this article interesting, you may also enjoy the following articles about OJT:
Hope you found this article helpful. Let us know if you have any questions.
In the meantime, download our 100% free, LMS evaluation checklist below.
Here’s a handy checklist to use as you evaluate different LMSs to find the right one for your company.