As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have had a difficult time going back to business as usual, and have experienced a few transformative events. Competition has become more fierce, supply chains disrupted, face-to-face interactions with clients have all but disappeared, employee mental health and performance have been affected, some positively, others negatively, and remote work has become more prevalent.
These have also brought the realization that a complete digital transformation plan must be deliberately implemented by companies. Changes in processes and SOPs towards digital must be made, and employees must be trained to improve their current skillsets and learn new tech skills in order for the company to survive. Thus, the importance of online training tools for trainers and training tools for employees cannot be overemphasized.
Learning management systems (LMSs) have become more popular and ubiquitous as learning and training platforms for employees in companies, evolving from just a university-based or education-based platform that catered to K-12 or university students. Nowadays, our employees and management should also become life-long learners, and this will be a trend far into the future.
AI and machine-learning enhancements allow the constant tweaking and improvement of these LMSs either in the backend or alongside the employee as he/she learns and performs assessments and activities on the platform. Therefore, it is essential to have an efficient and accurate way of tracking employee training progress.
This article will discuss the top challenges in online company employee training, why companies need online employee training tools, and finally, a list of the best online employee training tools for 2022.
Facilitating employee learning and training are not the only functions of learning management systems (LMSs). They can also be used for support and coaching. It has been found that employees desire more engagement in their work, and that managers involving them in goal setting make them more engaged. A surprisingly low number (20%) said that they are motivated to do outstanding work due to how their performance is managed (Gallup, 2020). That’s 80% who are NOT motivated to do more than is required! And low engagement will eventually lead to low retention and to employees quitting and finding new jobs.
In remote work, there is a wide variation in how most employees spend their time, and most companies have done much worse in terms of productivity compared to pre-pandemic times. It was found that the top quartile of productive companies were 40% more productive on average than the rest of the 75% surveyed (Garton and Mankins, 2020). Three factors were found to affect this productivity gap: the time employees dedicate to productive work each day, employee talent and how it is managed and led, and the employees’ discretionary energy – how much energy he/she is willing to invest in their work for the success of the company (Garton and Mankins, 2020). LMSs can surely help in improving all three of these factors.
Digital transformation is the transformation of business processes to a digital-first approach, integrating digital technology into all areas of a business. It has become the major focus of almost all businesses in this pandemic era. This includes employee training and support, increasingly becoming more remote-based. Actually, the proportion of staff working remotely has approximately doubled compared to before the pandemic across 12 major industries, in total increasing from 25% to 52% (Dell, 2020).
Source: Dell, 2020
“Digital upskilling” is the improvement of employees’ tech and digital work skills, necessitated by the pandemic and work-from-home arrangements in many companies. Major companies like IBM, Amazon, PWC, Home Depot, among many others, have launched multibillion-dollar programs in their companies (Reuters, 2020) to enable employees to learn more tech skills online. By upskilling, employees become more productive and efficient, and the company becomes more competitive.
The nature of what it means to work is changing. In the future, work will be more remote-based, skills-based, and task-based across an organization. These have actually been already happening in current times. “Work will cease to be a place but a series of tasks. Machine learning technologies will make individuals’ skills and competencies searchable, and organizations will pursue the best talent for discrete tasks” (Dell, 2017). Companies will therefore need to equip their departments and employees with flexible online platforms and learning management systems / LMSs to adjust to current and future shifts in work paradigms.
Source: Dell, 2020
Docebo is a learning management system (LMS) used for education and training of employees, business partners, and customers. The Docebo Learning Suite is a single platform solution for software as a service to support development and delivery of courses. The company’s AI-powered LMS is built for enterprise, allowing customizable design, functionality, and the flexibility to scale up for teams and various use cases.
Custom – by quote
EdApp is an all-in-one learning management system (LMS) designed to help deliver onboarding, training, and learning content to teams on any device, in any location, and on any internet connection. It has four core products. First is the creator tool with 80+ templates that enables quick content creation, including video, quizzes, games, assessments, and more. Second is its editable course library of free courses, ready-made content that can be customized. Third is the Admin Portal which allows content delivery and optimization in real-time and adding of engagement features and integrations, with analytics. Fourth is the Learner Portal with highly-targeted microlearning courses.
• EdApp Free – free
• EdApp Growth – $1.95 per active user/month
• EdApp Plus – $2.95 per active user/month
• EdApp Mid-size – custom quote
• EdApp Enterprise – custom quote
Elucidat allows you to create innovative e-learning at scale. It has a powerful authoring tool, in-app support, and a dedicated customer success team. The company provides digital learning strategies and project-based coaching and on-demand services with learning design experts. Elcuidat also hosts the Learning at Large Knowledge Hub, where users can access insider tips from industry experts on e-learning production at scale.
Custom – four tiers:
Learn Amp is an online learning and performance management platform, a people development platform that aims to improve employee performance, engagement, and retention through e-learning. The company caters to fast-growing global businesses from diverse sectors, ranging from training providers to SMEs and the enterprise level. Learn Amp’s platform combines learning, engagement, and performance development tools.
Custom – Three tiers:
LearnUpon LMS is a powerful, easy-to-use, learning management system that helps deliver corporate training at scale. It aims to be a single solution for streamlined and centralized training management across customers’ companies, allowing learning at anytime from anywhere in the world.
Custom / by quote – three tiers:
ProProfs Training Maker is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) for administration of online courses. The platform supports software integrations with several customer relationship management systems (CRMs), email marketing tools, content management systems (CMSs), and online communication tools. They have numerous courses and tests created, and a library of corporate training programs.
Three tiers: *
SAP Litmos is a web-based learning management system (LMS), with online training accessible on the Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Litmos LMS services and operations are supported by Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), Rackspace Data Center, and other vendors. SAP Litmos enables companies to purchase the standalone LMS, the LMS bundled with the online course library, or just the course library itself.
By quote / custom – three tiers:
TalentLMS is a cloud-based learning platform for creating online courses and sharing them with remote teams. The LMS is primarily used for employee training, compliance training, employee onboarding, and remote training.
additional fees for TalentLibraryTM
Teachfloor is a an LMS that allows teachers and company trainers to build their own live online academies. The platform enables the creation and selling of online live courses under one’s own brand and to monetize their student community with a subscription-based business model. Teachfloor specializes in cohort-based courses. Virtual cohort-based courses differ from standard asynchronous courses by having all employees/ students learn exactly the same course at the same pace and time, participating in live class discussions. The goal is for the whole group to progress and develop their knowledge and skills together, very suitable for employee onboarding and skills training.
Whatfix is a SaaS-based digital platform which helps businesses simplify training and support with contextual information. The company’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) analyzes and automates processes, utilizing step-by-step guidance within each application.
There are some up-and-coming platforms not listed here, and future software systems will undoubtedly spring up. Seamless integration with SaaS (software as a service) applications, payment systems, and tracking and analytics modules are the common trends among all these software platforms, as well as being totally cloud-based.
Remote work need not be boring and monotonous as these platforms allow for customizations of activities and skills development with interactive assessments and gamification capabilities. With many free or proprietary libraries of online content and teaching and training materials, it will only become easier to transition to a totally virtual training environment.
Online communities will also be another benefit and will enable fun and effective learning and training. Combining these online platforms with a fair and sustainable work-from-home policy for the new normal is essential in this pandemic era.