So, you successfully picked your LMS, went through all of the necessary product testing, and your teams are in agreement that you have the right look and feel, layout, functions and features. You’ve done a lot of hard analytical work to get to this point. Now it’s time to think more qualitatively. You need to get your users pumped to use the new learning management system. Without them, none of the other stuff really matters. There are a few things we can suggest to make this process as successful as possible.
User Experience – make it easy, make it intuitive, listen to your user feedback and make changes as needed. It seems like such a simple concept, and it is, but very few LMS vendors deliver great user experiences consistently. If your LMS interface isn’t user friendly, few will put up with it, or worse critical training might not happen on time, or at all. And, whomever you designated as your “help desk” will not be thrilled with you as they deal with frustrated users that can’t figure out what they are doing wrong. During the installation process, you probably did some user testing, but this is a good time to ask for more feedback. Are there key items that the primary users are missing? Does the layout make sense to someone who wasn’t involved in the project? Let your users know that their opinion is valued and you take their concerns seriously. We’ll talk about that more when we get to “listen”.
Lots and lots of training. Offer more sessions than you know what to do with, then add two more. It is your job to train the end user and the best way is some hands-on action. If that isn’t feasible (and you really, really just can’t) then create an online training right in your LMS. If we had our way, we would have you do both. Have a hands-on in person training, followed up by a “virtual” course where your users have to practice what you taught them. Make this something the users want to do versus something they have to do. Remember to schedule follow up training sessions and surveys to see how the training sessions worked out. Not just “did you like the session?” but questions about the length of the session, amount of time dedicated to practice, and suggestions for the future. This is a great time to get the end user involved and show them you care.
P.S. having treats in training is also a great idea. Candy works well or some company swag, perhaps a mouse pad with the number to the help desk or stickers for employee work stations.
Are you getting valid complaints even after trainings? Take that seriously and use it as a time to review your initial LMS setup. Something that may seem obvious to you, may not seem so easy to the people actually doing it. A happy user means smooth sailing for you. Set up some monthly sessions where end users can meet with members of the LMS admin team, this is also a great way to build relationships and can take place virtually or in person. Digital surveys are another way get valuable feedback.
What about a launch party?
Aside from your extreme introverts, most people are down for free food. If you want your organization to get excited about using your new LMS, create a party for it. This is a great way to make everyone feel included and to pass along information to everyone at the same time, avoiding the awkwardness of leaving a key person or entire team out of the loop. Have a contest to see who can come up with the best name for the system, or even logo. Use this time to schedule trainings, do a few quick demos, have people figure out what their login credentials will be, etc. Make this party work for you. Can you set up a display in the employee cafeteria or break area? What about getting key leaders to create a video talking about the value of the system or its ease of use?
Are you using your LMS for trainings with an end goal? Use a badging system to auto generate digital badges every time someone completes a training. Have an intranet? Use a leaderboard so everyone can keep tabs on who is in the lead, maybe even involve perks if users reach a certain level.
Good luck! If all else fails, the old fashioned tactic of blowing up new user’s inboxes with notifications and reminders to take training will get the job done.