In 2000 started the mobile device technological revolution and at that moment Generation Y (of the ones born between the years 1977-1994) adopted these technologies by integrating them in their lives very easy, one could say that this was a natural evolution. The scientific explanation is a simpler one. Our brain is the organ consuming the biggest quantity of energy (approximately 20%, while the heart is consuming only 5-7%) from the total amount of energy available in the human body. The brain will always look for the easiest way and with the lowest energy consumption in order to work. This was proven by a study in which 2000 participants were involved, to whom the cerebral activity was monitored through EEG inclusively (electroencephalogram) and it was discovered that from the year 2000 until now our attention span decreased in average from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds, and for things to be even funnier, the famous Goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. The fact that our information sources have diversified, multiplied and everything is so accessible, made us be more comfortable in the way we learn and assimilate new information, both from the point of view of the quantity and of the time we allocate to the process. Most of those who want to develop are not willing to follow videos longer than 4 minutes, according to a study by Deloitte company. The same study mentions that we are interrupted from what we do every 5 minutes in average and, what is even more ironic, the source of these interruptions are the applications and the work and collaboration tools we use. And finally, it was observed that the employees are willing to allocate only 24 minutes in average for training and development activities in a week. I am sure many of you think that you are not like this, but let's not forget that the evolution is not necessarily development, but rather adaptation.
Taking in consideration this context, the only way we can continue the development of the employee competences is to use all this technological advance in the process of delivery of the necessary information, and this was the main need that brought to the creation of learning management systems (LMS). These are actually virtual platforms that offer a variety of possibilities, from guided training itineraries, up to complete autonomy offered to the employee regarding his own professional and personal development.
These systems manage to compensate a part of the adaptive shortcomings that the use of technology created for us. Therefore they operate mainly online and apply micro-learning and blended learning principles in order to create content. Concretely, it focuses on offering shot packages of information, well structured, in a friendly and informal digital format, with immediate practical applicability - briefly, it teaches you to do something very specific, with little time allotted, just as our brain loves it.
Another important aspect that defines LMS is that it offers user freedom of decision and autonomy in choosing alone the content to be browsed, which makes the user experience achieve a higher relevance and importance than into a classical training, precisely because the option to participate was a personal one, and not constricted by a context or other external factors. The versatility of the LMS software is very important in this direction because it should offer the possibility to the user to create his own learning paths, to be able to pause the followed content and replay whenever he wishes to, to offer the possibility of socialization with other users (80% from all that an employee is learning at work happens through his interaction with his colleagues, team members or managers) in order to be able to exchange ideas, ask for opinions and explore a diversity of solutions).
As an integrating part of an LMS both in daily work flow, but also in the personal life of the employee, the platform has to offer complete access on every intelligent device (phones, tablets, laptop etc.). The Search option becomes critical taking into consideration that over 70% of the employees use search engines in order to learn something necessary to their job.
Which is the impact of an LMS onto the organization and the employees?
We recall again the science in order to demonstrate the importance and impact of such system with the adequate implementation. According to a study made in over 60 countries, after 885 L&D responsible from top companies were questioned, employees wish that their learning and training processes be characterized by the following aspects, in the order of their importance:
+------------------------------------+ | Customized/Adaptative delivery | +------------------------------------+ | Collaborative/Social learning | +------------------------------------+ | Micro-learning content | +------------------------------------+
And the LMS systems manage to deliver all these aspects in a very attractive package for the user and efficient for the organization.
Increase the involvement and commitment level in the learning process (decreases the drop-out rate) - through the fact that packaging of the content is in interactive form and without informational ballast, these aspects fight the user boredom, mental burnout and the brain uses less energy.
Increases the information recall time - The brain capacity to store short term information is around 4 items, however through the use of micro-learning and delivery of information in pieces in an interactive and stimulating way, this capacity can be extended and will facilitate the integration of the information in the long term memory.
It is faster, easier and cheaper to develop and implement - all the development content, whether it is about technical trainings or soft-skills, are in one place, always accessible. The costs overall are reduced with 50% because the companies pay a single time for development, and then that content is their. Further, because everything is in a virtual environment there are no additional logistic costs (accommodation, food, presentation infrastructure etc).
Increases the employee productivity with 37% and the quality of the work delivered with 26% - the fact that the employee manage to store more information and implement it more often, has a clear effect on his results in the working place.
Global coverage, customized for various cultures - because we are talking about a fragmented content, delivered online, it is easier to adapt and/or to translate the materials, and these materials reach colleagues in other countries, just by the clicking the upload button.
Ether we want to buy or develop an LMS for the organization we are part of, it is important we begin this process from the user and his particularities of the learning mode. We should also take into account that the evolution doesn't necessarily means growth, and employee development management systems like these are surely the inherent future that this year, due to the global situation, came earlier. I did not claim at any point that these platforms could replace human physical interaction, but I consider that would be extremely useful to be aware of the important benefits they bring to both sides, to the employee and to the organization, and how well these could complete the classical training and development approach.