SumTotal Blog

Heather Krebs (2 Posts)

Heather Krebs

Heather is an accomplished Product Manager with over 14 years of experience successfully managing global product lines and operations to deliver the strategic implementation of sales goals and objectives. She currently has an excellent track record of contributing to the success and delivering marketing solutions, services, and support to organizations. Heather is a dedicated and passionate professional, always striving to meet and exceed targeted goals set before her.

Why SumTotal is on Training Industry’s Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies list

Why SumTotal is on Training Industry’s Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies list

There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

As a global leader in Talent Development solutions, SumTotal works hard to continuously innovate and evolve so we can meet the needs of our customers. We are always planning and looking ahead to ensure we are delivering a service and product that organizations want. We are busy always innovating, which is why it is so rewarding when our efforts are recognized, especially by the most trusted source of information on the business of learning.

As part of Training Industry’s commitment to continuously monitor the training marketplace for the best providers and services, they released their 2019 Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies List. SumTotal is on this list.

Selection of the Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies was based on the following:

  • Quality of learning portal/LMS user and administrative features
  • Industry visibility, innovation and impact
  • Number and strength of clients
  • Geographic reach
  • Company size and growth potential

Here’s a brief overview of the reasons for our win:

  • We provide a unified, comprehensive, Talent Development suite delivering measurable impact across the entire employee lifecycle.
  • Our learning management system (LMS) delivers a modern, engaging and trackable learning experience. Regardless of where learning occurs, it is tracked in the SumTotal LMS while personalization and curation capabilities ensure the most relevant content is served to the right employee directly in the flow of work.
  • With a UX that mirrors the consumer-grade look and feel of the most popular consumer apps, we provide intuitive and engaging user experiences. With the SumTotal Mobile App, learners can complete training from anywhere, at any time and on any device.
  • We have built preconfigured integrations with many of the leading content providers on the market today including a deep integration with Skillsoft’s robust content library delivering multi-modal courses, videos, test labs, books, book summaries and audiobooks across 29 languages. In addition to Skillsoft, SumTotal has integration partnerships with providers like Harvard Business Publishing, edX, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and Moodle to name a few. Our roadmap includes a continued focus on content partner integrations.
  • We are the first LMS to fully enable content aggregation across xAPI, CMI5, third-party and custom content.
  • The updated LMS delivered a brand new, modern, consumer-oriented and learner-centric design to help learners find and consume content essential to closing close critical skill gaps. The new user experience met the demand for the consumer-led experience learners have come to expect and features cutting edge technology and an intuitive interface. Additional innovations include:
    • Mobile Enhancements: Smartphone optimized and more dynamic learning experience, including e-signature capabilities and support for curriculum registration on mobile devices.
    • Enhanced Content Experience: Rich APIs enable access to channel curation, multiple modalities, courses, videos and books in a best-in-class manner along with dynamic content duration, competency alignment and reporting.
    • Extended Enterprise Marketing Tools: Customers can control training offered to external audiences, delivering flexibility in cost, currency, duration, cancellation methods and policies and bundles.


Want to experience SumTotal’s award-winning solution? You can.

3 Ways Continuous Feedback Improves Performance

3 Ways Continuous Feedback Improves Performance

How often do you conduct performance reviews in your organization? Are you still on the annual review cycle? If not, what did you replace it with? How long after a new hire starts do you check in with them to see how they are adjusting? What about people who give notice – do you conduct an exit interview?

If you have responsibility for overseeing performance reviews, consider the following:

According to one survey, although 94% of executives are confident that employees are satisfied with their company’s performance review process, most employees feel the process is outdated.  In fact, while nearly 70% of companies still cling to an annual or bi-annual performance review schedule, more than half of office professionals say that’s not nearly enough–they want performance check-ins at least once a month. Even more (94%) would prefer their manager address mistakes and development opportunities in real-time, which enables more agility through coaching and behavior changes to address skills gaps and shifting strategies.

In a recent Gallup study, over half of exiting employees said that in the three months before their departure from the company, neither their manager nor team lead had spoken to them about their job satisfaction or future with the company.

Replacing the once-off with continuous feedback

Today’s worker can reach friends and family instantly. This instant access is extending into the workplace and manipulating how feedback needs to be given by managers—” the millennial experience of being able to check in, ask questions, and get feedback in real-time in their personal life would be mirrored in their desire to have similar access and input in their professional lives.”

It is also true that providing continuous feedback increases morale and helps employees stay on track with their professional goals. When employees know where they are in their development, for example, a nurse who needs two more courses to advance to the next pay grade at a hospital, they’re motivated to continue their development.

Further evidence that continuous feedback is preferable:

  • Over 90% of employees want their manager to address performance mistakes or development opportunities in real-time when they happen
  • 67% of executives admit to removing negative feedback from employee evaluations because too much time had passed between the incident and the review for it to be relevant
  • 86% of executives say their company would benefit from more frequent check-ins with employees
  • Nearly half of employees don’t feel comfortable raising issues with their boss between formal performance reviews, but almost three-quarters say they’d be more proactive in raising issues or concerns if they received more frequent feedback

Regular feedback = rise in output

However, it is important to note that there is another reason for companies to adopt continuous feedback- increased performance.  Let’s take a closer look at how regular reviews and input boost performance:

1.  Frequency

Frequency of feedback alone can boost employee engagement. Allowing feedback to come from multiple sources increases the number of teaching moments provided to each employee. A self-service time clock that engages employees every day (clocking in each morning, clocking in and out at lunch, clocking back out in the evening) can provide feedback on where they are with their training and how to advance to their next promotion. Showing progress in training and compliance can keep employees safe as well as motivate them to progress to the next level within their organization. Both managers and employees benefit from multiple sources of feedback on performance and training.

2. Culture

Frequent, data-driven feedback not only supports manager decision making but also supports a positive workplace culture. Frank Elavsky, a data and policy analyst, says: “The most important skills to have in life are gained through interpersonal experiences…Human bodies in close proximity to other human bodies stimulate real compassion, empathy, vulnerability and social-emotional intelligence. These skills are imperative to focus on, as the future is in danger of losing these skillsets from the workforce.” Encouraging continuous feedback and supporting a coaching culture creates a workplace that is people-focused. A performance strategy that puts people at the center shows commitment to workers, their well-being, and their success.

3. Analytics

Today’s managers have more tools than ever available to track and monitor employee training and performance. Technology may be the most valuable tool in helping organizations overhaul performance management. Capturing performance data (on-time rates, customer satisfaction results) can provide managers with tangible metrics to assess and rate employee performance. Issues afflicting performance management, such as biases and human error, can be eliminated when promotion and pay scales are based on data. Workers can be identified as top performers and rewarded for their performance when managers have access to accurate information on key metrics for success.

SumTotal’s Performance Management in action

Often, I hear that while the idea of frequent feedback is excellent, the reality is that organizations are just not set-up to efficiently or effectively conduct them. Well, that’s no longer the case. Technology is a great enabler, and SumTotal’s Talent Management solution is the answer.

Here’s Universal talking about our tools:

“SumTotal Talent Management ensures Universal is evolving to align with our ever-growing organization and facilitating more regular engagement in conversations and documentation about employee performance and development.”

– Kristin Chase, Senior Director, Organizational Development, Universal Parks and Resorts

Read the case study to learn how our custom hourly performance snapshot enables Universal managers to quickly and efficiently evaluate the thousands of hourly employees working.