Using a learning management system to assist with business continuity
- Published: Thursday, 02 July 2020 08:21
Liam Butler discusses why having an effective learning management system (LMS) in place can help business continuity; aiding organizations maintain employee engagement and enabling effective management of critical communications.
In the last few months we have seen dramatic changes to the way we all live and work. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an immediate need to rethink work processes and unleash new remote working models that have seen managers and employees having to adapt fast to a rapidly emerging ‘new normal’.
There is no denying the fact that the current pandemic has created severe business continuity challenges for business leaders and their workforces. Everything from fast-tracking the tools and technologies employees need to work effectively from home, to dealing with the day-to-day management repercussions arising from the speedy shift to a distributed virtual workforce that needs to operate cohesively.
One thing is certain; finding new ways of helping the workforce to stay engaged and work productively – as well as protecting their physical and emotional wellbeing – is key for organizations looking to minimise business disruption and emerge stronger after the current crisis.
With time and resources at a premium, organizations that use a little creative thinking can leverage their existing enterprise-wide platform assets – like the learning management system (LMS) – to securely disseminate critical information, give employees quick access to the business continuity resources they need, and more.
Keeping track of critical information updates
As recently formulated COVID-19 policies continue to evolve and adapt, organizations will need to find fool-proof ways to distribute important updates and new protocols. But clearly communicating any revised process to remote workers in an accelerated manner is just the start.
Maintaining oversight, at scale, over who has opened and read messages will be vital for risk management programmes, maintaining compliance, and assuring the continued appropriate execution of work-related tasks. At times of crisis, however, the uptick of email communications can mean that employee inboxes are full to overflowing.
Utilising an LMS to distribute critical updates can help ensure these important communications are never overlooked. Alongside providing the trackability that organizations need, an LMS can also nudge individual users until the information – either written or video – is consumed.
An LMS system can also be used to monitor and evaluate employee understanding of all policy updates and new procedures. Providing organizations with the option of implementing a quick online test with every update, they can assess every worker’s comprehension of policy changes or new working procedures and offer options to tap into additional resources or support if anything is unclear. Armed with this capability, organizations can confidently transform external messages like “all our employees have been briefed on the new procedures” to “every employee has taken training and is certified on our new COVID-19 procedures.”
Similarly, an effective LMS can also give organizations considerably more granular control over shared information. For example, using versioning will ensure that updates to critical policies are tracked and old information can be updated instantly – reducing the risk of any member of the workforce referring to outdated information.
Making policy communications and best practice resources easy to find
Finally, an LMS is capable of aggregating relevant content, such as COVID-19 and business continuity resources, from multiple content providers into easily discoverable channels that can be tailored to specific audience groups within the workforce.
This ability to centralize all relevant resources into a unified solution that is easy for employees to reference could prove game changing where enabling worker engagement and productivity is concerned. Alongside company policies and updates, organizations could also aggregate a range of other resources; governmental notices, engaging content on business continuity practices, and links to business-related publications that are providing regular information updates and examples of best practice.
Giving employees fast access to impactful learning that will help build the skills and confidence they need to perform in the current environment will be essential. As part of this process, providing two-way communication and opportunities for feedback will help hone exactly what additional resources – in what format - the workforce needs to adjust at speed to new working practices.
Building in continuous capability
While no one knows exactly what lies ahead in the coming months, actively supporting the workforce to navigate change and equipping it with the resources needed to adapt in a meaningful way will be vital to reducing stress and keeping productivity up. But enabling agility in a structured and managed way is dependent on finding new ways to communicate, implement and support change.
For organizations that need to adapt in real-time and ensure that remote teams stay engaged and productive, using the LMS to enhance learning strategies not only makes it possible to disseminate information to a complex array of employees in a timely manner. It also makes it possible to intervene and enable as needed, so that employees are better positioned to cope with what the ‘next normal’ will look like.
Liam Butler is Area Vice President of SumTotal.