Why Should You Consider an HR–LMS Integration With Your Learning Management System?
There are a multitude of software that claim 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 (LMS), especially if integrated with your internal HR systems.
Uniting the two creates a powerhouse that can automate admin processes, improve the user experience, lower the risk of data redundancies, more astutely analyse data, negate tech debt, make for a smoother training process, 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 in this blog.
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 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 and development programs, 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.
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.
In short: Having a central location that not only collects and houses this data but enacts effective workflows based on it is an invaluable tool.
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 job experience and performance
- Current job responsibilities
- Current capabilities.
Within learning management systems, you’ll have access to:
- Their training history
- Current progress
- Mapped learning pathways.
When you combine the two, you have the whole picture, rather than mere pieces of the puzzle. Advanced analytics allow facilitators to map pathways to succession plans, talent 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.
On the other hand, it’s lethal to think people only cost money instead of seeing their growth as an investment. Any learning process worth its salt should align with business strategy, not least of all to prove the impact of training. An LMS that pools capability development and capacity building keeps HR teams ahead of the business curve.
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. That not only wastes 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.
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 the cost of hosting different systems.
Smarter resource allocation
As the saying goes, allocate resources smarter, not harder. (Right?) Look for HR functionality within an LMS, such as capability mapping and capability assessments.
This ability to recommend training content 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, recruitment. Combined with other features like Single Sign On, an HR–LMS integration means no password fatigue, no security risks, and no forgetting and resetting.
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 within your organisation, by analysing their progression, capabilities and performance. This is fairly valuable when you consider reskilled employees are already familiar with company culture, 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 need development 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 a direct report’s career pathways, without any investment into their learning and development.
Plus, 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.
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The most beneficial LMS functionalities for HR
What’s right for an organisation will depend on their industry, learning goals, size, technical 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 onboarding portals for capability or personality assessments
- By aligning those results with available job roles and required capabilities.
This way, not only do potential employees get to sample your LMS (and get a taste of your learning culture, a big win for employer brand), but HR can find the best talent matches for job roles (meaning potentially lowered time to proficiency and increased productivity once they’re in the role).
As Gallup says: 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 documentation before they start, all the while providing data for the LMS to capture like previous experience, capabilities, and job aspirations.
This is the obvious one, since the LMS was first designed for use in the educational institution. But now more than ever, the need for employee training cannot be understated. It goes beyond simply developing the capabilities needed to get work done in the interim to ensuring the strength of your business architecture.
An LMS cuts the cost of a face-to-face training program, eliminates day-to-day disruptions by providing the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access to coursework (with mobile learning), and allows employees to complete training in the flow of work. Compliance training, the bane of many an existence, is further streamlined with automated reminders, enforced prerequisites for certain courses and learning pathways that show HR professionals in real time where certifications are up to.
The most impactful training and development programs are planted right at the root of a performance issue. That’s to say that the aforementioned functionality will help make for faster career progression and provide clearer insight into who’s on your talent bench.
Don’t let your people wander aimlessly; tie training to larger goals and training materials to the capabilities that’ll help employees achieve them. Personalised learning pathways get an upgrade in this way, especially if you get tricky with refreshers and create evergreen content that can be accessed as employees need. That’s one element of offering post-training enablement at scale.
It’s not just about tracking the learning journey. Without ongoing capability building, job roles become insecure, morale dips, team dynamics may fracture, ways of work break down into silos, and the manual burden of recruiting, cataloguing and monitoring capability building weighs heavier on the shoulders of HR personnel. Look out for LMSs that help you run performance reviews, too.
If HR’s remit is to develop and nurture the workforce, it stands to reason that you should be utilising an HR (the nurture part)-LMS (and the develop element) integration. It’s the easiest way to truly tie professional development into business needs and strategy, as well as:
- Provide online training that is aligned with personal career aspirations and professional performance needs
- Enable employees to access training in the moment of need and at their own pace
- Undertake more detailed performance reviews and capability assessments
- Prove the impact of training and development on business outcomes.
The New Standard in Learning Management
Related Reads on This Topic
Everything You Need To Know About LMS Integrations
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Proving and Measuring Employee Training ROI
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Non-Negotiable LMS Reporting and Analytics Tools
Unless you want to manually trawl through all the learning data your employees will create, that is.