by D. Romero | Jan. 28, 2015 | 7 Min Read

8 Reasons You Need a Social Learning Management System


Between a social learning management system and a traditional LMS, which one provides more value for you, your learners, and your business? In a face-off between the two, there’s no question of the winner; it’s the social learning management system. Here’s why.

1. You get the best of formal and informal learning, all in one place.

Formal training, be it classroom-based, online, or a mix of both, is an essential part of any learning journey. It creates a consistent way for your team to learn key knowledge, skills, and behaviors. But not all learning happens in formal settings. Some of the most valuable lessons and best practices are shared over lunch or in a quick team huddle. A social LMS helps you make the most of both formal and informal learning. People can take an eLearning or read a job aid, then come back and discuss how they applied what they learned to their job and the results they experienced.

2. You reduce your risk of brain drain.

In a recent MarketWatch article, Anne Tergesen warns of the brain drain employers face as baby boomers retire and take valuable institutional knowledge with them. But with a social learning management system, you don’t fall victim to brain drain. You’ve got critical info documented and stored in a central resource for future reference.

3. You give learners what they want: the chance to share their expertise.

You want to tap into and capture your team’s expertise. Not surprisingly, your team wants the same thing. They’re eager to share their experiences and help each other. And, when they actively participate in their training, employees learn more and retain information better. A social LMS gives you and your team what you both want: collaborative, peer-led learning.

4. You make better training.

Features like forums and built-in rating systems do double duty. Yes, they’re social tools. They’re also feedback tools. Notice a recurring question in different forums? Use these insights to identify and address training gaps. See rave reviews for a new, more interactive eLearning format? Create more courses like this to keep learners tuned in. A social learning management system is your (not so) secret weapon to design better training.

5. You say good-bye to silos, and hello to a more connected workforce.

By having a central hub where your entire community can come together, you can bridge the distance between functional roles, departments, and even time zones. Anyone, anywhere, can share and access important content in a transparent way.

6. You kill top-down communication and boost loyalty.

No longer are you meting out training in a one-way channel like you do with a traditional LMS. With a social LMS, you actively seek your team’s input and use it to make a training program that’s relevant, that’s contextual. This is huge, and learners notice. Wow, I’ve been heard. My feedback matters. They’re invested in me. A social learning management system is a boon for increasing job satisfaction and loyalty.

7. You increase productivity.

Another way a social LMS adds value? Efficiency. If a learner has a question, they can quickly find the answer. They can see which job aids their peers voted most helpful. They can start a chat or peruse a past discussion thread to get help in real time. They get exactly what they need, when they need it, saving time and effort for more important tasks.

8. You transform training from a have-to to a want-to.

With a traditional LMS, training is another chore on the to-do list. Learners do what they gotta do, then tune back out. A social LMS changes that. Conversation and collaboration are magnetic. They draw team members back in to pose new questions and share new findings as they gain more experience—fueling this powerful cycle of continuing growth and development. A social learning management system is your ticket to a smarter, happier, and more productive team. And, really, social learning just makes sense. Period. Learning analyst Patti Shank sums it up well: social learning is nothing new. For eons, storytelling has been one of the main ways to pass along wisdom. At its core, a social LMS lets people do what’s natural—learn with, and from, others. Ready to have a social learning management system in your corner? Check out Spoke.

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