The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Online Learning Solutions

Whether you’re just starting to investigate online employee training for the first time, or you’ve been using an online platform for years, this guide will help you find learning solutions that can build your training program up to its full potential.

Modern Training Methods

Modern training methods can be used to overcome many challenges that organizations face, including:
  • Remote, dispersed, and hybrid workforces
  • Employee turnover
  • Compliance and safety issues
  • And so much more!
With the right learning solution, your training program can tap into the potential of your workforce. But before you make a decision about which training solution is best for your organization, you have to look at the Who, What, When, Why, and How of employee training.

A complete solution for online learning
in your organization should include:

An adaptable and evolving learning platform
Breadth and depth of an on-demand content library
An experienced training consultant
A dedicated partnership with a growth-oriented partner

The Learning Platform

A learning management system (LMS) allows you to have a central hub for all things training in your organization. With this platform, employees can access learning content anytime, anywhere. Having one online location is an easy way to create consistency with training delivery across locations. Whether it’s assigned content or a topic an employee seeks out on their own, course completions (including classroom sessions) can be tracked and viewed through easy-to-use reporting. Online tracking and robust reporting are a must-have for HR and L&D professionals working to demonstrate the value of training.

Learner Experience

To ensure the highest adoption rates, you need to think of how your learners will be using the system. Ask yourself, “What will my learners think of this experience?” Here are the main features you should be looking for to ensure the learner’s experience is the best that it can be:
  • Ability to white-label the solution and make it feel like a part of your brand
  • A content recommendation feature that grows with learners’ historical behavior and offers content related to what learners in similar roles are taking
  • Advanced filters to search for and narrow down content quickly
  • Seamless user experience – accessible with only an internet connection, unlimited access, and optimized for mobile devices
  • Gamification options to increase utilization and engagement
  • A component for sharing content and learning with their peers
  • A way to save content into a playlist they can easily come back to

Admin Experience

On the administrative side, you want to make sure the system offers everything you will need to manage, monitor, and measure your program. A few features that administrators want to look for are:
  • Simple management of custom content, certifications, qualifications, classroom, and external training requests
  • Compatibility with other systems
  • Flexibility with organizing employees into various teams/groups/departments
  • Ability to easily create and assign curricula or playlists
  • Comparative performance reporting to give you insights into how your training metrics compare with other organizations
  • Robust reporting options
  • Options to preview, curate, and assign content as an administrator without tracking to your personal learning record

The Content Library

A high-quality content library is equally as important as a strong learning platform – choosing a learning platform and saying their content is just “good enough” is not going to result in success for your training initiatives. Employees won’t engage with content that feels outdated or throws too much information at them at one time.
A content library encompasses more than what meets the eye, so when you’re evaluating content options, look for these elements to know you’re getting a solution that works:
  • A library aggregated from multiple producers who are experts in their respective fields
  • Commitment to a thorough curation process, ensuring only high-quality content is provided
  • New content added and outdated content retired on a regular basis
  • A wide range of topics, covering hard and soft skills along with mandatory training topics
  • Learning reinforcements like boosters, quizzes, and support materials to extend the learning process
  • A variety of formats to suit different learning preferences
  • Content mapped to specific competencies
  • The ability to customize off-the-shelf content to better suit your organization
All these elements come together to create a second-to-none learning experience for employees, but if you want a training program that truly moves your organization forward, you’ll need a learning solution that offers more than technology.

The Partnership

Partnership is the element that separates true training solutions providers from ordinary vendors. A partner will provide you with the basic services that you’d expect from any vendor, but then they go beyond the basics by stepping into your business challenges with you.

On top of technology, they’ll provide a dedicated consultant to help you get the most out of your investment, but also to help you strategically develop and improve your training program as a whole. They’re available on an ongoing basis to discuss how training could help to solve some of the most daunting challenges your organization faces. These are a few things to look for in a vendor to see if they’ll be a dedicated partner:
  • You get regularly scheduled strategic calls with your consultant
  • They listen to your feedback and continually work to better meet your training needs
  • They offer content mapping to help you match skills needed with the right courses
  • They help you promote your training initiatives through professionally produced marketing materials
  • Their technical support team receives rave reviews
  • They host annual conferences and events to help you learn, share, and connect with other L&D professionals

Solutions to Meet You Where You're at Now - and Later

When you’re evaluating the offerings of a given vendor, it’s important to look at all their options and the ways they can customize their solutions for you. If your organization is hoping to grow, your employee training solutions will need to scale alongside that growth.

Here are a few things to consider for customization and scalability when looking for an online learning partner:
  • Do they offer multiple types of platforms? Maybe you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a full LMS now, but those features are in your future – you should be able to easily switch platforms and not miss a beat.
  • If you already have an LMS that you love, but you found a vendor with amazing content, do they make it easy to use their content in your current LMS?
  • Do you only need a small set of training courses now, but want the option to seamlessly upgrade to more later on? Check if they have subscription options for their content.
  • Are you only looking for training for a specific group of employees now, but hoping to add more learners in the future? Pricing should be customizable to fit your program, whether you’re using it for certain job functions or departments, or the entire organization.

The Biggest Question

Is this vendor prepared to be a long-term
partner in my training program’s success?

If you’re ready to find an online learning partner who will help your business
overcome real challenges, we have two ways to help!

Check out the full buyer's guide for an even deeper dive
into finding the right fit for your organization.
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and how we can meet your organization's needs.
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