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8 December 2020

Why a flexible LMS is key to addressing L&D challenges

Discover how a flexible LMS can power learning and offer meaningful development opportunities for all employees


Bogdan Tiganov

Bogdan Tiganov

Bogdan Tiganov was head of content at Ciphr from October 2020 to September 2021.


Career development HR transformation Learning and development


2020 imparted some invaluable lessons about how an LMS can power learning and offer meaningful development opportunities for all employees

In this 2021 webinar, LMS specialist Andrea Matkin, head of implementation services Toby Gilchrist, and customer success manager Charlotte Bull discussed how Ciphr LMS could help address the current and future challenges to learning and development (L&D) programmes.

Attendees were asked about the effectiveness of their L&D programme; nearly half (46%) said that their learning and development programme was more focused on compliance rather than development, indicating  significant room for L&D initiatives focused on upskilling.

Challenges to L&D

As a result of the shake-up in working styles, there has been an increased need for comprehensive digital solutions. Matkin said: “One of the major things we are starting to see is the accelerated digital transformation in organisations. There’s a lot of news out there about how important training is for career flexibility.”

Work/life balance has become a bigger focus as lines have blurred on when work actually starts and stops. Does this open an opportunity to focus your people’s attention more on their learning and development?

Matkin advised: “Embrace this opportunity and book time out for learning and development. Workers may have more flexibility with their time when cutting down on daily commutes. That’s an opportunity to reset the boundaries of where learning and development fit into their day to day activities, by helping them to prioritise and plan in time for their professional development.”

A reminder during the pandemic has been to focus on the importance of wellbeing. A well-rounded learning and development programme can play an important part in fostering wellbeing, especially by tapping into the potential of social learning. Creating a space where like-minded colleagues can debate ideas and share knowledge offers a social element many workers were lacking.

Matkin said: “It’s about reconsidering how learning and development pathways can include more social learning and increase employee interaction. Consider whether mentoring and coaching is something that should be part of the training.”

How to use an LMS to upskill and train your people

The need to address employee experience has led to a focus on improving user experiences. An LMS, such as Ciphr LMS, can support the transition from stale learning programmes to engaging, user-led discovery sessions.

Gilchrist said: “We’re seeing a shift to using learning management systems for learning experiences. It reflects how we use popular platforms, such as Netflix, or LinkedIn learning ­– a self-discovery catalogue of learning activities where you can go and discover skills, knowledge, and behaviours you want to work on for yourself.”

Customisable learning is an extension of a great user experience. Essentially, you’re offering employees personalised learning experiences, catering to their needs and interests by using available data. But you can go even further with Ciphr LMS.

Gilchrist continued: “The idea is not to have a one size fits all landing page that everyone sees; instead, we actually know the last activity you completed. We also know the trending activities in your part of the organisation. So, using all these tools, you can really build something nice and bespoke, and rapidly adjust on the fly.

“This becomes invaluable to crisis or change management, as you put a message on the homepage, letting people know how to proceed with training going forward.”

Using a learning management system, such as Ciphr LMS, allows you to go beyond compliance training and target particular skills that your employees need to develop.

Gilchrist said: “We have a very powerful tool within the platform for skills analysis where we can actually push an assessment to a learner. We know what their role in the organisation is, so we can offer them a relevant assessment.”

To increase engagement with your learning and development programmes, you could bring in an element of social learning. This enables your people to share their experiences and learnings as well as find solutions together.

Bull added: “With the social features of this platform, you’re able to join an online workshop or explore a piece of eLearning and then get assigned to a virtual social group where you can have those follow up chats with virtual ‘classmates’. You can really stay connected with people that want to learn the same things as you and upskill the same way that you do.”

Continue and expand your L&D strategy

A reliable way to maximise your L&D programme – and make it even more engaging – is to ‘give it an identity’, complete with custom branding. Ciphr LMS enables you to make your learning and development your own, forming the foundation of a culture of learning.

Gilchrist shared a great example of this: “Jardine Motors Group refers to their platform as OLI, which stands for ‘online learning innovation’.  When it comes to compliance, they refer to it as the new digital ninja programmes on OLI. It’s really feeding into that rich learning culture.”

To hear more about how customisable learning in Ciphr LMS can help you unlock the potential of your L&D strategy, watch the webinar recording below or request a demo today.


This article was first published in December 2020. It was updated in September 2022 for freshness, clarity, and accuracy.