Effectively Using an LMS for Employee Training and Onboarding

A look at the benefits of and best practices for using a learning management system for employee training and orientation.
As a prudent stakeholder in your organization, you have a vested interest in getting the best out of each new employee you recruit. To that end, you’ll want to develop a training and onboarding program that will maximize efficiency and help new hires quickly integrate with the rest of the staff. Otherwise, you may start to see a decrease in employee retention, which is a costly proposition. Consider that researchers from the Harvard Business Review determined there was a 23 percent turnover rate of new hires before their one-year anniversary because of a bad onboarding experience. Costs of turnover can range from 1 to 3 times the worker’s salary, which is why you will want to prioritize improving your employee onboarding and training process. According to Forbes, Brookshire’s Grocery Company achieved 100 percent acceptance rates from more than 9,000 workers undergoing training using a learning management system. If you have limited experience using a learning management system (LMS) in an enterprise environment, you should know that an LMS can maximize efficiency when it comes to introducing employees to your corporate culture and training them.

Let’s explore the benefits of using LMS software and tips to employ it for employee training and onboarding.

Benefits of Using an LMS for Employee Training and Onboarding 

  • Obtain a better return on investment: A study from Accenture notes that for each dollar a company invests in training, it will receive $4.53 in return, representing an ROI of approximately 350 percent. It also revealed that a True Focus Media study showed businesses could gain $30 in productivity for each dollar they invest in e-learning systems.
  • Build a corporate culture with unified learning materials: Human Resources can gain tighter control over the message you deliver to recruits when you each worker undergoes the same basic orientation. An LMS helps establish what you consider the essential characteristics of your company—to instill the organization’s values and goals in each recruit.
  • Track the progress of each worker’s learning process: The LMS helps you keep track of how well each employee is doing during onboarding, product training, sales training, etc., with auto-generated reports and advanced analytics. These insights can help you take corrective measures if anyone seems to be having a problem retaining the message.
  • Shorten learning time and save costs: Your LMS organizes the information so new workers can quickly find what they need to absorb in smaller segments, instead of forcing them to view a long video, most of which they already know. By using an LMS, organizations save the cost of organizing the training sessions in a physical setup, logistics, content production, and content dissemination.
  • Stay current on industry regulations and best practices: You can update the LMS whenever there are significant changes in your industry and use the analytics to verify workers have been properly updated.
  • Tips for Using an LMS for Training and Onboarding 

The following tips are designed to help you get the most out of your learning management system and fine-tune your onboarding process:

1. Use a cloud-based training module to save money and time. Instead of hosting the LMS on servers in your own data center, try using a cloud-based module. That’s a suggestion from Forbes, which detailed how a cashier training program helped a company achieve $165,000 in fuel savings. 

Forbes quoted Ginger McCullough of the Brookshire’s Grocery Company, who said, “Replacing onsite training with cloud-based learning modules saves us money. And if someone doesn’t understand the material the first time, we can easily reassign modules without having to send them somewhere.”

2. Generate customized reports with analytics. Chances are, regular reports are a staple of your weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings. It’s best to go with an LMS that will help you create customized reports, noted the Society for Human Resource Management.

It cited the case of Larry Wecsler, who needed an LMS to train MetroPCS dealer employees. “The custom analytics help build support from top management because we can show things such as a high correlation between people completing training programs about a new sales promotion and being able to sell it to our customers,” said Wecsler.

3. Harness the power of branding. An LMS can be about much more than mere training and onboarding. You also can use it to drive home the message of your corporate identity, harnessing the power of your brand. 

A report from National Mortgage Professional Magazine noted the utility of setting up a system that is customized and branded with your logo. “It can include customizing welcome screens, navigation, and internal and external links. Some LMS solutions go so far as to allow you to create multiple interfaces so different roles, positions, or locations can see a dashboard and layout that is customized to them.”

4. Use interactivity to encourage employees. There’s an old joke about entertainers that asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Instead of answering with turn-by-turn directions, the response is simply, “Practice.” Since practice makes perfect, you should encourage it in your employees right from the start of their onboarding process. According to a report from PrintingImpressions, “Millennials have grown up with control and continuous feedback...so it’s no wonder that interactive learning appeals to this generation.”

For example, if you show a series of customer objections to your employees and ask them to record a video of their response with a smartphone, Millennials will, on average, practice their response five or six times before submission.

5. Make it fun and more engaging with gamification. Gamification relies on time-honored aspects of ordinary games people play on smartphones and computers, such as using leaderboards to encourage competition.

For example, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that the London subway gave employees a card game that breaks the most important safety lessons into smaller chunks for better engagement and understanding. In the Golden State, an LMS module called California Water Crisis helps employees understand the tradeoffs between different policy choices having to do with water supplies.

6. Provide short learning sessions every day for greater flexibility. It can be counterproductive to force workers into long lesson plans when they are already busy with their regular tasks. Instead, consider repurposing your training and onboarding materials into shorter, bite-sized pieces. 

The HR Director reported, “Modern companies are evolving their learning through a 24/7 approach that leverages new training tools and is convenient to access on a break or during the commute to work.” Companies deliver these shorter segments so workers can complete them in five minutes or less using their own device.

7. Use your LMS to start training seasonal employees. If your business relies on peaks during holiday seasons, you probably tend to hire temporary workers on a regular basis. An LMS will help you get all of these recruits on the same page while giving you a better return on your training investment, noted ElearningInside News. Training with an LMS is usually a “build once, use many times” solution. “While one may want to make minor changes or upgrades to their online training modules from year to year, in most cases, key modules can be recycled each season, which further reduces the cost of training seasonal workers.”

Ensuring a Good Fit

Deploying a state-of-the-art learning management system to onboard and train new employees will help you develop corporate culture, make your employees more productive, and give you the ability to measure their performance instantly. 

Whether you need to provide advanced safety training before letting employees onto the factory floor or are more focused on tasks such as ensuring your temporary workers will be up to speed during the holiday rush, an LMS will be enormously helpful. It will speed up the process of training and ensure all new employees have a uniform experience as they learn to fit in with their fellow workers.

RESOURCES 1. eLearning Industry: “Why You Need to Use Your Learning Management System for Onboarding”


2. Forbes: “Brookshire Grocery Taps Learning Technology to Help Supercharge Highly Skilled Employees”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2014/06/18/brookshire-grocery-uses-lear... 3. Virtual College: “How Can Your Organisation Prove the Value of its Learning and Development Efforts?”


4. Society for Human Resource Management: “Know What You Need Before LMS Shopping”

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-empl... 5. National Mortgage Professional Magazine: “Exploring the Next Generation of Learning Management Systems”

https://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/61204/exploring-next-gener... 6. PrintingImpressions: “How to Train and Retain Your Millennial Workforce in 2017”


7. Society for Human Resource Management: “Gamification Grows Up”

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/technology/pages/gamifi... 8. The HR Director:Learning the Hard Way”

https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/employees/learning-hard-way/ 9. ElearningInside News: “Holiday Hiring Gets a Boost from eLearning” https://news.elearninginside.com/holiday-hiring-gets-boost-elearning/

Farhan Aqeel, content manager at WizIQ, strives to create value-adding content on e-learning. He writes about e-learning, education technology, and the role of cloud in education. Follow WizIQ on Twitter and LinkedIn



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