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Cathryn: Hello, and welcome to today’s webinar, “Five Problems That LMS Can Solve,” hosted by CIPHR. If you don’t know CIPHR, we’re a leading UK developer of HR recruitment, and learning software that helps organizations to attract, engage, and retain their workforces more effectively. My name is Cathryn Newberry and I’m CIPHR’s content marketing editor. I’m lucky to be joined today by my colleague Megan Hope, one of CIPHR’s product experts. Welcome, Megan. It’s great to have you with us.

Megan: Hi, Cathryn. Thanks for the introduction.

Cathryn: First, a little housekeeping. This webinar should last around 45 minutes with about 30 minutes from us and then time at the end to answer your questions. Now, onto a little more about today’s agenda. We’ll take you through a brief introduction to CIPHR and what we do before moving on to explore the HR problems LMS can solve, the benefits of integrating LMS with your core HR system, and an overview of our new products at CIPHR Learning. We’ll also be getting your views with some simple poll questions, so stay tuned. Megan, over to you.

Megan: Thanks, Cathryn. So just as a brief introduction to CIPHR, we’ve obviously got some existing clients and some new prospects joining us. So CIPHR, as Cathryn mentioned, is HR software that helps organizations attract, engage, and retain their workforce more effectively. Our self-service HR system empowers employees to manage their own data.

So that can be right from the beginning when you’re attracting and recruiting new candidates through our candidate importer and applicant tracking system as well as throughout the whole employee lifecycle, so onboarding and engagement through things like self-service, booking holiday, and your leave entitlement, learning and development, which we’re going to go into in more detail today. But really tracking everything that an employee would want to do while they’re about to join your organization, being part of you as they develop, and then as you reward and retain them and potentially off-boarding with alumni as well.

Cathryn: Great. Thanks, Megan, for that overview. It’s time now for our first poll. Do you currently use an LMS? Megan, what do you think we might see in the results?

Megan: My instinct would be that a lot of people have joined this webinar because they don’t currently have an LMS in place and they’re interested in understanding how CIPHR can help. But I also think there might be organizations that do have an LMS in place and want to understand more about integrations, the CIPHR Connect platform, and how we can help sort of eliminate the HR administration of keeping two systems up to date. So I think it could be quite split.

Cathryn: Okay, thanks very much. So what we’ve seen in the results is that 60% of people with us don’t use an LMS and 40% do. So good to have new people to LMS that’s with us today. Now it’s time to explore some of the reasons why an organization should be using an LMS. Over to you, Megan.

Megan: Thanks, Cathryn. So, firstly, we’ve got there to create, distribute, and manage a blended learning journey. So an effective learning management system gives you the ability to create and launch your own content. So whether that’s SCORM-based videos, workshops, webinars, as well as a platform to distribute and launch anything that you’ve externally either created or procured, any e-learning videos, again. So it’s that central repository to store any kind of training to give you total training hours, and also for all of your materials and modules. And that’s really what we mean by blended learning.

So it’s the ability for employees to combine multiple learning formats, whether that’s doing a course, watching a video, answering a quiz or sort of question and answer. And they can do that through mobile learning, classroom-based learning. It’s a whole blended journey, which really an LMS helps you to roll out and implement. And then, of course, you can ensure consistency into the material that you’re delivering, so much better for engagement as well.

And that follows on to the next point around using your L&D time and resources effectively really by having that one central portal where all employees or maybe even volunteers or students, anybody that really engages within your organization that may need training, they can have unlimited access to materials. And, therefore, learners don’t have to wait until you’re next running a course or for you to print materials, either post them, deliver them. They can take a lot more autonomy really to develop their skills and work related tasks.

Of course, to be able to centrally track and report on learning progress and development analytics, so tracking and reporting is not only key for things like compliance, specifically around any mandatory training, or expiry dates, whether that’s legal or financial conduct, but really any sort of safeguarding or just mandatory training that people need to do to complete their roles. And with an LMS, you can highlight specific areas or courses that are popular or potentially alert you to problem areas. So having that analytics and reports is just a lot more in-depth than maybe just completely running classroom training or paper-based, really.

Cathryn: Okay. Thanks, Megan. It’s time for our second poll now. What HR challenges would you want an LMS to tackle? So there’s five options on screen for you: improve course uptake, create a single repository for learning content, better reporting and analysis, save time on administration, and ensure employees have done mandatory training. You can vote on as many of those options as are applicable to you. Megan, what challenges do you expect it to be priorities for our audience?

Megan: Well, without it sounding like I’m avoiding the question, I think it might be different at every organization because, in all honesty, I think reducing administration, that’s a key driver in any organization. But with some of the other options, I think it will really depend how established that L&D team is. Some will just be beginning to think strategically about course content and having that in one place, whereas others may be looking more around reporting, being more strategic, and how they can take their learning to the next level, really.

Cathryn: Yeah, that’s great. I definitely think organizations will be at different points in their sophistication of using learning systems. So we’ve got some really interesting results here. We’ve got some quite close priorities at the top. So the top one came out, 81% wants to save time on administration. Close behind, 75% want to have better reporting and analysis. And we have a joint tie for third place, to create a single repository for learning content, and to ensure employees have done mandatory training, both scored 69%. And then lagging behind, though not too badly with 44% was to improve course uptake. Megan, are you surprised by this?

Megan: Well, I suppose to reduce administration was the key one that we both said there. So that would make sense. But, yeah, I think it’s also good to see that people are all thinking very similarly in the middle than around reporting and also trying to be more strategic with administration and having things in a single repository. That’s really good to see. So just following on from the key or most percentage basing on reducing HR administration, why integrate your LMS with HR really does revolve around that.

So at the base level, it’s around user creation and auto-enrollment on courses. So not only is it very time consuming to create new users or remove people when they leave the organization, but, of course, you’re running the risk of human error, time lags and engagement. People need to log on, do the courses, do any mandatory training. And it’s just another administrative task that’s taking time. So by integrating with your HR you can really keep the two systems up to date with any starters, changers, leavers, remove the administration. But also compliance piece around GDPR, and not having to worry about users in different systems, automation can help with that as well.

And, again, the idea around increased compliance, mainly focusing, like we just said, on GDPR but also the peace of mind that mandatory training or legal requirements have been completed. Through centralized reporting and things like auto-enrollment, you can have peace of mind that individuals in specific job roles and responsibilities are compliant with and up to date with any specific training required of them. So anybody that’s in a role that does have something, whether, again, that’s legal or financial, or just general safeguarding, then you can have the training dates automatically populated within CIPHR and you can also have auto refresh as well.

So you know when that mandatory training needs to be completed again. And, of course, that then falls into centralized reporting. So being able to strategically think and analyze courses that are performing well, people that are also performing well and developing, where you take those learners, and where you take those programs. So whether that specific formats that you’re producing content in, specific providers that you’re getting content from, you can actually begin to analyze and see the uptake, the success, and then intervene before it’s too late with anybody or any courses that aren’t performing.

Being able to easily combine and configure different learning journeys. So it’s not just that we’re doing things in a classroom-based or that we leave our current roles for a two-day course anymore. That idea of having a blended format and content that can be accessed anywhere, anytime through whether that’s watching a video, answering questions, really taking autonomy and being able to do things in the format and process that are required even though that you do everything by a certain date, we’re seeing a lot better engagement from users accessing that for an LMS. And that leads us on to the last point of then having increased productivity and learner engagement.

There’s a lot of time and resource spent trying to learn new systems and if you can integrate the LMS and HR together, then users themselves through things just like having one single sign-on, so they use the same username and password, we see much better engagement. But also just having an intuitive and easy system that people are used to using as well. If that’s where they go already to book holiday, or to download their pay slips, then it makes sense that that’s where they also go for their learning. So it’s just a nicer add-on, and then it flows really well.

So now I’m just going to take you into an overview of CIPHR Learning and a brief functionality and run-through of the product. And really, it starts with the idea of learning journeys. So this is a concept for strategic L&D. So what we’ve got on the screen at the moment is how a user would log into the system and understand what’s required of them. We mentioned on that previous screen around the idea of gamification, so users understanding that, actually, this is very simple and intuitive system to use and it just flows on very nicely and easily for me to log in and pick up where I left off.

So users would launch onto the Dashboard here and you can see that they have a map which is their learning journey of the required training. So each pin on that map represents a different piece of e-learning, whether that’s maybe a course to complete, a quiz with question and answers, a video to watch, a presentation, or maybe booking on to scheduled classroom training or WebEx. We can have that blended format all within one journey. And journeys can either be role specific. So using any filter that’s currently in CIPHR, you could enroll all sales managers on the sales management training, and they can all be part of that one centralized learning. Or they could be status specific.

So perhaps if you’ve got a new starter induction and onboardies, then anybody that’s just begun in the organization could be auto-enrolled onto the induction training. And, of course, you can be on multiple journeys at one time as well. Just an understanding from an administrative side around how you can manage those learning activities. So CIPHR Learning is a platform to launch content created in-house. So any content that you’ve either made yourself, whether that is SCORM-based or maybe it is a presentation, a video, pictures to look through, or whether that’s content that you’ve procured externally from providers, you can also launch anything there.

And then, of course, also bringing into the mix scheduled training. So whether that’s face to face in the classroom environment or scheduled online through something similar to today through a webinar or WebEx. It’s really simple to administrate and also use as a learner. So the whole overarching message there is around being able to combine all of your different e-learning types and deliver centrally via one platform and one journey. A key part of the LMS is reducing HR administration. We see that a lot with things around scheduled training. So whether, like I said, that’s classroom-based or via something online, it’s more…yeah, where it is scheduled.

So, specifically, we’re trying to give users the autonomy to book on to courses at a time and date that’s convenient for them. Users can automatically see how many spaces are left on the course. They can automatically be sent joining instructions or date reminders as well as the notification when they do begin [SP] through a course to add it to their iCal. So it works in a very similar way as time off in CIPHR or absences. When an employee books a holiday, they can then add that to their iCal.

So the key driver here is to reduce that HR or/and L&D administration with you just having real time access to course information without having to come to you to ask for it. But you can also still maintain authority over things like budgets and cancellations through implementing a verification process so that course requests and cancellations must go through for line manager approval, for example. So, again, very similar to the process of booking annual leave within CIPHR.

Course content itself. So you upload, as we went through in a couple of slides ago, the different formats, you upload that content. And this is the platform for you to launch and then for employees to complete it. They can do that via any device with an Internet connection. So that’s fully mobile responsive for phones and tablets, as well as laptops and computers obviously being compatible, too. It’s on-demand learning, so users would log into the system either when they need to solve a problem that they’ve encountered in their role and are looking to learn a specific skill that they want to employ straightaway or whether they just want to revisit a previous piece of content. They do have unlimited access to materials that will always be delivered consistently. And they can absorb the information they need when they need it.

You can also see that users have the ability to resume learning where they left off. And for reporting purposes, this will then track all training hours spent in the portal to give you an accurate reflection on how much time people in your whole organization are spending doing training, whether that’s through online content, on the job or classroom training. The user experience is based around multiple learning journeys as we started with. So this is all driven from information in CIPHR. So from an L&D and administration point of view, it removes that jewel entry.

For example, I might be enrolled on the health and safety training because I’m a fire warden and that’s logged in CIPHR as well as me being an onboarder or being specifically enrolled in a journey for my job role. So whether that’s per job role, office or department, you can enroll specifically and you can also set things like deadlines and send reminders to complete certain courses, too. So they can be tailored to the learning and development of each employee, of each journey, or of each piece of content. Employees can then stay on track as they take ownership of their own learning and progress through easily to use graphs and statuses.

Cathryn: Megan, just to interrupt you a second there to ask a question that’s come in from someone who’s producing a leadership development program. Would they be able to produce this on a learning journey and assign this to certain people? It sounds like that is possible.

Megan: Yeah, of course. That’s exactly how the journeys can be created, really. So they’re either for a specific role type, so as you mentioned, leadership. As long as you can flag all of those individuals whether they’re in different offices, countries, maybe even different job roles, then we can assign them to certain learning journeys. Or even if that’s just one person, you can have a journey just for that one person. But it does help to obviously standardize things and launch it for a group of people and progress them all and keep up to date on their status.

Cathryn: Brilliant. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

Megan: Thank you for the question and keep sending them in. Yeah, so just the last point to mention there would be around employees being able to keep up to date with their own learning. So taking autonomy, understanding what’s outstanding for them to complete, what they have completed, what comes next, really plan for the future so they know what needs to be completed at what time and where they might be in, say 12 months’ time if they get through that learning journey.

And, again, focusing on the learner progress. Obviously, from a reporting point of view we’ll get onto, you can do all of that centrally for all employees but also for the individual to be able to take control of their own development and complete things in a time and speed that works for their learning and their behaviors. It’s a very intuitive and simple platform for users to engage with and complete and it really engages them to come back and return to complete either where they left off, so resuming something, or completing something new or really just keeping up to date with the status of their learning.

You can also then, along the idea with journeys, you can also then launch any content that you want to make available to specific either users, job roles, offices, or make everything available to everybody. It’s a very configurable system that you can either lock down or open up. So users at any point have a learning library. And you can therefore allow them to complete both mandatory and any voluntary training that they might want to complete for self-development. And we often see that employed for use where employees are maybe trying to solve a specific problem that they’ve come up against or want to learn a new skill for something they’re working on, but also to be able to track the time associated to that and identify and recognize that that’s development.

So having multiple formats, durations, and categories with different skills and requirements allows people and individuals to come in and complete anything that they might think is relevant or interesting or necessary. From an HR and L&D point of view, it’s a real investment in your staff to show new content, access to materials and ongoing recognition of achievements. A last point then on reporting, naturally, all time spent in the system is logged. So although we give the users the option to resume learning and pick up where they left off, we are still tracking all of that time spent through learning. And that might obviously differ as per different job roles and different pieces of content but it’s simply that this is reporting that can be filtered by any of your fields in CIPHR.

So any additional fields or units that you’re recording people in, whether that’s through job roles, through their offices, through specific line management, things like that, you’re able to report easily on the status of their training, the kind of formats that have been popular and specifically maybe around compliance and peace of mind. So things that have been completed, things that haven’t, and what’s outstanding. This also then forms part of a training record within CIPHR itself. So upon completion of a successful course, this creates a training record as per the employee within CIPHR, and therefore you can associate that with all other previous training and ongoing training and have that single reporting functionality.

You can also then use the system to set reminders for auto enrollment. Once that training has been recorded successfully, perhaps it needs to be redone in 12 months, then you can set that reminder to do the refresher course in 12 months. And it can also help you be more strategic to understand which formats or providers of courses and content that are popular and successful you may want to invest in further, or easily identify any problem areas where your employee base is struggling to complete successfully, taking longer or even if that’s just one specific job role or office, intervene before it’s too late or before that mandatory training isn’t completed.

Cathryn: Okay. Thanks, Megan, for that interesting overview of CIPHR Learning. Lots of great functionality in there and useful features for HR teams and their employees. I heard a couple more questions come in so we’ll go through those now. But do keep sending them in. So just going back to reporting, is it possible to run a report on who hasn’t completed a learning event?

Megan: Yeah, absolutely. So any piece of content that’s been loaded, as the question says, can be an event. So no matter what piece of format that that is in, you can report centrally either by exception, so who hasn’t completed it, but also to be able to see who has successfully passed and completed it, too. So you can see both and all of the statistics down to the granular level of the course and then even to split that further. So, by which offices or by which countries, departments, etc. haven’t completed that piece of content as well.

Cathryn: Great. Loads of lovely data reports to get into there, which is fantastic. I’ve got another question come in about the learning journeys. Is there a limit to how many events you can add to the journey or can you make it completely how you want? Is it quite bespoke?

Megan: Yeah, that’s a good question. With the learning journey, well, in essence, no. There isn’t a limit to the number of, say, pins that you can put on that map. It’s just being mindful about trying to keep it engaging, and to keep the learner…well, yeah, engaged and not demoralized that they’ve maybe got so many steps to complete that’s gonna take them so long, that kind of mentality. So we’d often advise maybe if that could be split up into different parts, then it can be more visually as well as aesthetically pleasing but also just to help the learner. But from an actual functional point of view, no, there’s no limits to the number of steps that you can have within that learning journey.

Cathryn: Fantastic. Thank you. And another question has come in asking, what’s the difference between using an LMS for learning and development content versus recording training in an HR system such as CIPHR’s core HR system?

Megan: Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah, I suppose it all comes down to the essence, being able to launch content. So we’re not only recording successful training but we’re also launching that content. So it’s the jewel purpose, the that’s where the user goes to complete the training. But that’s also where you complete all of your administration as well. So the auto-enrollment and ensuring that mandatory training has been completed as well as reporting to ensure that that’s been completed.

And also the compliance and safeguarding around not just taking somebody’s word for it that they, “Yes, I’ve watched that video,” or, “Yes, I went to that training course.” You can obviously have that additional layer because the system is capturing that that person has successfully answered the questions, successfully watched the whole video, got to the last page of the presentation, etc. So you can put a lot more verification in place within the LMS than just simply recording, “Yes,” “No,” “Training Completed.”

Cathryn: Okay, that’s great. I guess the reporting functionality is another benefit of having it all in the LMS. You get that granular detail that you can break it down by offices, etc.

Megan: Yeah, of course. That goes without saying. And any way that you’re reporting in CIPHR currently, the LMS can then form an additional layer of that. So understanding how different offices or org units are performing and basically trying to act quickly upon that through the centralized reporting. Yeah.

Cathryn: Brilliant. I hope that answered your question. We’ve got somebody asking about the ability to review courses. Can you give us any more detail on that?

Megan: Yeah. So, in essence, if you do keep the system flexible and that users can see any training or content that you’ve uploaded, regardless of whether that forms part of their own learning journey, it means that they have that learning library to be able to search in the way that you would search any sort of document store, specifically if you wanted to search the word “Excel” or “management,” something like that. Any courses that have been tagged with those notes will come up for the user.

But then also then be able to sort of load the pre-screen which shows additional information. So maybe the duration of the course, any other tags that it falls into or departments. And once users have successfully completed the course, you can get additional sort of a community and engagement feel by them being able to vote and sort of give their own opinion on the course, so to give it a rating. And that can help then also established how users may be engaged or do choose to complete another piece of material.

But also, one last thing, that users can see courses that are popular. So whether that’s new content that you want to promote through a carousel, so maybe you’ve bought some new content from a provider or you’ve just written something new, you can launch that. But users can also then see, you know, “What’s popular?” kind of widget. They can see other courses or e-learning that people have been completing. And if that’s of interest to them, obviously, they would be able to do that themselves.

Cathryn: Great. Thank you. I think what’s really great for me about the review function is that, as an L&D or HR team, you can see which courses are working and resonating with users and which ones they’re finding most useful and ones that maybe they’re not finding so useful. And then you can use that to inform how you commission content or put courses together in the future, which topics you might need to do more learning around, which topics you may need to do less on, do you need a different presenter, do you need a different style of content? All of that feeds into your decision making about how you spend your budget wisely, I think.

Megan: Yeah, definitely. To be more strategic in either who you’re getting content from, what you’re building yourselves, rather than just plodding on doing the same old. Yeah, that’s really important part.

Cathryn: That brings me on nicely to another question around content. Where does all this content come from that we need to put into an LMS? Is that stuff that an L&D team can create on their own? Does it have to be purchased from certain third party providers? How does that all work?

Megan: Yeah, it’s a completely open platform. So being part of CIPHR, it gives you the ability to launch any content that you create yourself in really any format. And the way we’ve seen that work really well is that L&D teams can create their own formats and course content. But also maybe launch anything from additional departments. So maybe IT have a security presentation that everybody has to watch or read through. And, actually, it would have a lot more benefit if there were questions that they could assign to that.

But there’s no real central place to be able to launch that and if people download it from the Internet, they don’t tend to complete it and tell IT that they’ve done it, that kind of thing. So to be able to launch other departments courses or e-learning or maybe just things that everybody needs to distribute, then that’s a really…well, that’s a great function of having this open source. But you can also then launch anything that you do procure externally or link to external videos, whether that’s something on YouTube or Vimeo. You can have the option to create your own or any external providers, too.

Cathryn: Excellent. Lots of flexibility in there. And another question we have is around how much time an HR and L&D team might need to devote to looking after a learning management system. Is it something that it’s only for organizations that have a dedicated L&D manager or resource or is this something that can be done quite manageable?

Megan: Yeah, it’s very manageable. Essentially, it’s the content. So it’s either building or finding the content. But once you have the centralized system to launch it from, then the administration is low to non-existent specifically because there’s no upkeep of things like users or administration of auto-enrollment. It’s about being strategic and using that time effectively that can now be freed up to look at reports, to understand what content to either make, build, or buy. So I don’t think it’s necessarily restricted only to larger organizations where there’s a dedicated L&D team. It really is to anybody that has content and the e-learning to launch to their employee base, whether that’s employees, students, volunteers, anybody that engages with your organization really.

Cathryn: Fantastic. Thank you. And one thing we’ve been talking about throughout the webinar is about an integrated LMS, so integrating CIPHR Learning with CIPHR’s core HR system. Is that complicated technology? Is it stuff that I need to worry about, how that works together? Is it something that’s really hard to set up?

Megan: Yeah, good question, because with the CIPHR Connect platform, we’re talking about integrations a lot. And it often is something that is just passed on to IT teams or development teams. But I suppose that the core of everything is to understand that with any platform or any system, whether that’s an LMS or any other business system that you’re currently using, we can integrate but via what’s called an API which essentially is a way to securely send and receive data between two platforms.

So with CIPHR LMS we have that integrated so we already are taking the data from CIPHR to do with new starters, leavers, employees, etc. But we’re able to do that really simply and easily with any other system. And we’ve actually written quite a few white papers and additional information around APIs, in layman’s terms really, to help HR teams and anybody else understand how simple and straightforward it can be to integrate via APIs.

Cathryn: Great. Thank you, Megan. That brings us to the end of today’s webinar. Thank you, Megan, for taking us through the world of learning management systems. And thank you to everyone in our audience for joining us today. If you’d like to find out more about CIPHR learning or any other of CIPHR’s products, do get in touch with us. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s webinar and have a great rest of the day. Thanks.

Megan: Thank you. Bye.

Megan Hope from CIPHR discusses the benefits of integrating your core people management system with a learning management system (LMS), and gives a brief overview and demo of our new product, CIPHR Learning.

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