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What is a learning management system?

By Maddy GlynnDigital Marketing Specialist
Published on December 7, 2022

Learning management systems (LMS) are playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses onboard employees and contractors. These applications are not just relevant for construction companies but any organization that hires temporary workers that need special training. This can include the logistics industry, office buildings, healthcare facilities, schools, and industrial or manufacturing facilities.

Employers whose businesses require safety training, education and onboarding have looked to a learning management system to house the learning process and its materials. Below, we'll walk you through the basics of learning management systems.

What is a learning management system (LMS)?

Learning management systems are used for virtual learning (as opposed to classroom-style learning). An LMS is a software application that handles the storage and delivery of educational courses and training materials. These systems also track and report on educational goals and milestones. In some cases, applications called competency management systems (CMS) are used for skills training and competency management, but these systems work in essentially the same way when they're used for adult job training/corporate learners.

When a contract workforce needs to be informed of a company's best practices, become more knowledgeable about their products, or get training on their systems before beginning a job, an learning management system can typically deliver this material at any time and on any device. However, a visitor management system like Sine takes things a step further to close the liability gap by confirming that they received that training.

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What are the benefits of learning management systems for employers?

Whether public health mandates keep employees out of worksite training areas or you have a temporary, hybrid, or remote workforce, you can use a learning management system to deliver company training materials to regular employees. A recent poll showed that 162 million people in the EU and US (equivalent to 20% to 30% of the working population) are contractors, so this educational application is more relevant than ever.

A learning management system can also allow organizations to send training materials to anyone, anywhere, and at any time so they can learn when and where they want (asynchronous learning).

Since a learning management system allows an employer to upload learning materials of all types - written, audio, or video - anyone from new employees to contractors to volunteers can learn. This material could include safety protocols necessary for being on a construction or manufacturing site, new diversity and inclusion initiatives and training that went into effect during the pandemic while they were working remotely, or any other company best practices. If contractors need OSHA training or other occupational training, a company or the temporary employee's general contractor can give them access to the material as well as tests, checklists, and certificates of completion through the application.

Types of learning management systems

The 4 different types of a learning management system (LMS) deployment options are:

  • Cloud-based learning management system: These are hosted on the cloud and often follow a software as a service (SaaS) business model. Cloud-based LMS vendors take care of system maintenance and performing any technical updates or upgrades. Users can access the cloud-based LMS from anywhere, at any time, using a username and password.
  • Self-hosted learning management system: These LMSes require software to be downloaded by the user. While a self-hosted platform provides greater creative control and more customization,  users must maintain the system themselves and often must pay for updates.
  • Desktop application learning management system: These are installed on the user's desktop. However, the application may still be accessible on multiple devices.
  • Mobile application learning management system: These LMS support mobile learning and are accessible anywhere at any time through mobile devices. This platform type allows users to engage with and monitor their online learning initiatives whenever, from wherever.

Learning management system use cases

Most companies use a learning management system to create standard employee trainings, but there are other ways you could use online learning to enhance your company's learning programs.

  • Employee onboarding: A strong onboarding process will set the tone for working at your organization and will lead to a more prepared and confident workforce. A learning management system can help you reach those goals. Organizations that improve their onboarding processes see an 82% increase in new-hire retention and a 70% increase in productivity. Onboarding is even more important for remote companies, as employees are unable to learn from each other in person. A strong remote onboarding process backed by a a learning management system can help make up for that knowledge gap and ensures employees are prepared for both their jobs and their learning paths at the company.
  • Sales enablement: Sales teams can benefit from in-depth product training courses starting from onboarding process and ongoing throughout their career via a learning management system. This can include the creation of webinars on product knowledge, customer interaction training and case study-based tutorials that use previous experiences with customers to improve future interactions.
  • Technology upskilling: According to a report by IBM , more than 120 million workers across all industries will need to be retrained or reskilled over the next three years to handle advances in AI automation. Online training programs via a learning management system are one of the most cost-efficient ways to help employees stay up to date with new technology.
  • Partner training: A learning management system can also be leveraged to train your company's partners and channels (e.g., resellers). This is a great way to enhance your partnership programs and provide more value to partners.

The growing importance of worksite learning technology

LinkedIn Learning’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report indicates that 73% of Learning & Development expect to decrease spending on instructor-led training and 79% expect to boost spending on online learning.

By 2026, the global online learning market is forecast to reach over $370 billion. While digital learning tools may only partially take the place of in-person learning experiences, they can be an excellent way to deliver training materials to workers. This is especially important in the new era of the hybrid and remote workforce and the rise of temporary workers, consultants, and contractors when extensive on-site training isn't practical or efficient.

By using Sine for contractors, in place of or alongside your learning management system, you can ensure your organization covers its bases when it comes to providing the right resources to employees and contractors, giving them more time to familiarize themselves with new systems and protocols, work on site safely, stay compliant, and sign liability waivers that they've read and understood.

To learn more about using Sine for contractors, schedule a demo with our team.