Two years ago, we made it into the 20th century, but just barely. We had just launched our learning management system (LMS), an online training and tracking system, where we hoped a significant amount of courses would be housed and offered in the future. One of the advantages of the LMS is that it’s available and accessible 24/7. To kick off the LMS, we used our annual education as the first program offered. It was essentially the paper and pencil test administered electronically, but we were up and running.
It was much easier to track, but not much fun to take. Our staff were given 30 days to complete it and it took every one of those 30 days to reach the entire organization. In fact, more than 50% of our staff waited until the last week to complete it, and truth be told, we needed a fifth week to catch everyone up. Required or not, it wasn’t much fun, so folks weren’t jumping in to get it done.
Lesson learned: Our goal was to have 100% of our staff complete the program. We did that, but not without a great deal of struggling. Test scores indicated that our staff read and retained (at least temporarily) the information, but the time it took us to reach 100% was unacceptable. We learned that just because something is electronic doesn’t mean it’s effective or interesting. It is, however, much more efficient from a tracking and trending perspective.