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9 LMS Features Slack has Built-in

December 7, 2021

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With today's transition to remote work, many companies have eschewed in person training in favor of online learning. Although online learning initially took off due to Covid-19, learning outside of the office is only going to continue to grow as companies adopt more virtual work tools.

While there are multiple ways of delivering content online, the most common approach companies use is a learning management system (LMS). LMS’s give companies an easy way to build, assign, and track employee training. However, there are plenty of different LMS’s on the market, each with different pros and cons. Choosing one is extremely important for managers and L&D leaders to ensure their teams have the skills necessary to succeed in the modern, and increasingly remote, work environment.

Here are 9 features that every LMS should have. 

1. Integrated with native work applications

Arguably the most important feature for any LMS is integration with tools companies are already using. Embedding your team's learning and development into apps your employees are already using has two primary benefits.

The first is that there is no need to switch around applications. 70% of knowledge workers report that app-switching prevents them from getting essential work done. Swapping around applications, waiting for them to load, and dealing with more complicated tech stacks are all unneeded inefficiencies.

The second reason is that it familiarizes employees with tools they are actually going to use in their daily workflows.  While external LMS’s like Litmos might seem appealing, contitual engagement is a challenge because of their lack of integration with work. This means that the time spent in training never resembles real work, increasing the time needed to get new employees up to speed.

Complete Slack integration is what makes Haekka special. Slack reports that the average user spends 9 hours per day logged in!!! In this day and age being able to use Slack effectively is an important skill in itself, and Haekka allows users to familiarize themselves with Slack while training. Some other examples of virtual workplace tools are Microsoft Teams, Workday, and Jira. Haekka is currently developing a Teams application.

Integrating learning into the workflows employees use will increase engagement, accelerate learning, and integrate learning into your company’s culture.

2. Collaboration/social aspect

Another crucial feature of any learning and development platform is having a social component. Think about when you started work. Did you get all of your knowledge on how to perform your job responsibilities from a wall of text? Odds are you learned much more from talking to your co-workers and asking questions than from whatever videos you watched or manuals you read. Increased learning through social interactions isn’t just a hunch, the research backs it up.  

According to Linkedin’s Workplace Learning Report, learners in programs with social aspects consume 30 times more content than learners without social interactions. L&D professionals say that learning is more engaging when people learn together (86%); teams who learn together are more successful (91%), and learning in groups imparts a sense of belonging (92%).

At Haekka we believe that Slack is the perfect social platform to learn alongside peers. Creating a training channel gives new hires a safe environment to ask questions they may not feel embarrassed to ask in front of more established co-workers.

With the transition to teams being dispersed across the globe, many employees will never meet their team in person, making bonding a challenge. Using Slack (or any other communication tool) allows people to connect to one another from day one. Why have trainees in a separate environment from their peers when they can learn alongside the people they will be working with for years to come? It’s simple, being around people makes us learn better and feel more welcome, two things every company should strive for.

Collaborative learning improves learner engagement and retention.

3. Centralized, integrated information hub with search

Having your company's information in a centralized location allows new hires to find answers to any questions they have easily and efficiently. This just doesn’t apply to new hires. Think about how much time employees spend asking their teammates and managers questions whose answers exist in a company guidebook.

One of the biggest benefits of using Slack as an LMS is how it serves as a knowledge base. 

Slack has built an in-depth, customizable search feature so employees can get the information they need right away. When it comes to training, this cuts down on time spent going through different resources and allows people to focus on preparing for their role.

Another benefit of using Slack as an LMS is how easily it integrates with other workplace tools. In today's work environment teams are using an ever-increasing number of applications to boost efficiency and productivity. Slack makes blending apps together a breeze.

If you have your company documents on Google Drive, use Zoom Video Conferencing for calls, and leverage Jira to organize your workflows, you can manage it all from Slack. Learning a company's entire tech stack can be complicated, but having it all in one place makes it much less of a burden. Slack is one of the best ways to organize knowledge, so it naturally makes sense to consider it as an LMS. 

4. Comes with built-in training library for modern work

Many existing learning solutions on the market are essentially empty shells for companies to write and administer training. While employers can bring their own training, writing training can be cost-prohibitive for smaller teams. Research from the Chapman Alliance found that creating just a single hour of online content can cost upwards of $10,000! Figuring out what content you need, finding resources online, writing it yourself, and configuring it for an LMS are all extremely time-consuming. For all workers, this valuable time can be spent on other, higher value tasks. When looking for a new LMS, look for one that packages content with it, but make sure the content is relevant for work in 2021. 

Haekka was built based on a need for effectively training remote teams, so we wrote our own content. Haekka ships with all of the critical trainings you need, and many more! It also includes third-party content from PagerDuty and Adobe, and we are always adding new information whenever possible. Better yet, all Haekka content is fully customizable.

Make sure whatever LMS your team purchases has built-in content centered around remote work.

5. Allows custom content

While the previous feature was all about shipping with content, allowing companies to write their own content is what brings an LMS full circle. Training and onboarding a new employee should ideally have three components.

  1. The first is basic awareness of digital security and compliance. That is best solved by using pre-existing content written by experts on the subject matter.
  2. The second is teaching company norms, culture, and expectations for the workplace. This facet of training can’t be replicated with external content. Every organization is different, so each one needs their own version of a company culture onboarding. Exposing employees to company culture from day one and communicating expectations and responsibilities strengthens your organization and ensures professionalism. 
  3. The third and arguably most important aspect of onboarding is providing employees with the skills they need to actually perform their job duties. This can include how to do role-specific tasks in detail, or teach employees soft skills such as effective communication or email standards. In today's work environment, “upskilling” or improving your knowledge and proficiency in certain skills is a rapidly growing trend.

Companies want employees to be the best versions of themselves, so that means continuous development. Haekka is a huge believer in upskilling, and has built the platform to enable companies to promote employee growth. Haekka even offers companies assistance with bringing custom training onto Slack! Haekka has a simple editor and handles the heavy lifting of making sure the content is formatted properly for Slack.

While there are general trainings for some skills, allowing your company to tailor training to be as relevant as possible to one’s role means happier employees that are equipped with the tools they need to succeed.

Developing custom content for an LMS should be simple and available to multiple editors.

6. Publicly available API

Custom content is a crucial part of an effective LMS, but being able to customize the LMS itself to your liking is the next level of personalization. Slack’s API is publicly available and is known for its ease of usage. Slack has even built several tools for developers to easily leverage Slack’s immense capability without needing advanced technical knowledge.

Having the ability to customize your LMS has several benefits. Learning designers can tailor lesson administration to best align with your company needs. This can mean focusing on text, videos, or any multimedia of your choosing. It also allows you to customize Slack with company branding to make the learning process feel more familiar. Knowing how the software works and being able to modify it is a huge advantage for optimizing it to your company's needs.

Slack’s API means it can be used as a messaging tool, knowledge base, learning management system, social space, and much much more.

7. Micro-learning based

How do people learn in 2021? Is it watching a three-hour video of someone spewing information? Is it reading pages of a guidebook and writing down notes? Is it a PowerPoint with hundreds of slides of content?

It’s actually none of the above. Research shows that micro-learning is by far the most effective way to get learners to retain new information. Micro-learning is defined by its short-form approach to learning specific content. Content can come in all kinds of formats: text, images, videos, slides, etc.; it is the brevity that matters.

According to Raytheon Professional Services, micro-learning improves focus and long term retention by up to 80%. Micro-learning is based on the concept of repeatedly reinforcing small bits of content. In the context of corporate training, this is a match made in heaven. Corporate knowledge isn’t about remembering large chunks of information, it’s about gaining and improving specific skills for your role. 

Haekka is built around micro-learning. Our content is meant to be digested in small bits at a learner’s own pace. The average lesson only takes a few minutes to complete, and is typically followed by a quiz. The quiz is crucial here. Decades of research on quizzes have shown several key benefits. Frequent quizzing leads to increased motivation, offers admins/teachers actionable data to evaluate learning outcomes, and helps learners remember information they just saw.

Any LMS built for modern work should have a focus on micro-learning. It’s the most effective way to learn and is proven to lead to better results. 

On a side note, Haekka does support long-form content for instances where it is needed. Although Haekka was built with micro-learning in mind, we understand that sometimes people need lots of information in a particular area. 

8. Tracks and reports actionable metrics

In today's data-driven world, metrics are everything. Having actionable data is how companies make decisions in 2021, and Haekka understands the importance of administrators being able to view their employees' metrics. Being able to see an employee's training progress and engagement, which employees have completed training, and when an employee finished training is crucial to building effective training programs.

While metrics are important for general learning purposes, they are even more important for passing audits to maintain compliance. With more and more required trainings, ensuring proof of those training is essential.

Having real-time evidence that employees have completed training relevant to their role makes the audit process much smoother.

It provides proof of knowledge and can save the auditor the hassle of interviewing employees one by one. It also saves managers time collecting evidence manually.

While there are other factors that go into maintaining compliance, employee training is arguably the most important one. Research from Stanford found that 88% of breaches are caused by human error. Even the most airtight systems are vulnerable to employees using outdated practices. Proper training mitigates the largest source of risk for most companies, so picking the right LMS is essential for compliance.     

9. Ease of administration

One challenge with most LMS’s is how much manual admin work is involved. Many companies have entire teams dedicated to installing and maintaining third-party applications. They need to make sure an LMS is compatible with every piece of hardware, see if it uses significant system resources, and deal with the hassle of upgrading software as needed. This all represents wasted time and money that could be better spent growing the company.

While training is essential, it should not be a pain for IT departments or managers. Ease of administration is another reason Haekka’s Slack integration is so special. Haekka sets up in minutes. All you need to do is add Haekka to your Slack workspace and it’s ready to go! 

Haekka’s is laughably simple to use and takes care of most admin tasks for you. 

Another way Haekka makes administration easier is that it allows admins to assign and sync training by channels. Most other LMS’s assign training to the entire company or on an individual basis, and Haekka allows you to do those as well. The difference in using channels is that the right training is delivered to the right people at the right time. This means you can assign sales training to your sales team, cybersecurity for engineers to your infosec team, and any other training by group.

Haekka is by far the easiest LMS for administrators to build, assign, and view training completions. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our case study on how CancerIQ uses Haekka to put HIPAA compliance on autopilot!

Choosing the right LMS is crucial for your company's growth and continuous success. While this guide focuses on Haekka, leaders should conduct additional research on what their teams need out of a learning solution before deciding on one. The features listed in this guide are a good starting point, but every company is different.

If you need more information about choosing an LMS, effective training methods, or Haekka itself, reach out at haekka.com/contact-us. Our team is here to help you with all of your L&D and security awareness needs!

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