The 3 LMS Features that Increase Employee Engagement

November 6, 2015

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must-have-lms-featuresWe’ve written before about the pervasive issue that is stagnating economic growth in the US—employee disengagement. According to research from Gallup, only 30% of American workers are engaged. What do we mean by engaged? As Gallup defines, engaged employees “work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company [and therefore] drive innovation and move the organization forward". The remaining 70% of US employees are either not-engaged or actively disengaged meaning that they are ‘checked-out, sleep walking through the day’ or plainly ‘unhappy at work undermining what their engaged counterparts accomplish’.


As part of an over-all strategy to increase employee engagement, organizations are utilizing learning management systems to stimulate growth and learning among employees. While this is all well and good, companies are still finding it difficult to engage employees in the learning opportunities that are being provided to them. Software Advice, a company that researches LMS solutions, sought to discover the features and incentives that would motivate employees to use organizational learning management systems more frequently. Surveying nearly 400 full-time employees in the United States, Software Advice discovered that 67% of organizations describe user engagement as a top barrier in the adoption of technology-enabled training. They also found that only 39% of employees rated their system’s feature set as high and indicated three LMS features that would increase their use:

1. Micro-learning

58% of respondents said they would be more likely to engage with content in an LMS if it was broken down into smaller modules. What is micro-learning? Just as it is named, micro-learning breaks down courses so that they can be consumed in smaller chunks of lessons, activities and assessments. According to Marie Clark, professor of cognitive design at Northwestern University, micro-learning is effective because it plays to how our brains naturally work by processing and storing small chunks of information at a time.

2. Gamification

Another feature that survey respondents indicated as a key determinant in adopting an LMS was gamification—35% said that gamification with real-life rewards would incentivize them to use their company’s LMS more frequently. What is gamification? Essentially, it is taking activities that take place on a day-to-day basis and applying game concepts to them. In the context of micro-learning courses, gamification concepts that can be applied may be presenting real-life rewards to those who successfully complete and exemplify competencies gained through a course.

3. Social Learning through Discussion Boards

The final feature survey respondents listed as important was social learning—discussion boards in particular rated highest at 24%. Seeing as 88% of millennial workers desire collaborative work environments as opposed to competitive ones, it is very important that social learning tools are provided to facilitate collaboration. Additional LMS social learning applications that were rated high were: content sharing (23%) and peer review on either content, courses or lessons created by others (21%).


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