A Guide to Using Notifications in SuccessFactors Learning for Efficient Communication

  • by Eric Wood, SAP ERP HCM/SuccessFactors Solution Architect, Presence of IT
  • December 6, 2016
Learn how to use the latest features in SuccessFactors Learning for customizing the look-and-feel and content of email notifications to provide professional-grade communications to your employees around their learning activities. Understand the features, capabilities, and processes in the learning management system (LMS) for tailoring notifications to your requirements, and how they can play a key role in your HR communication strategy for learning and development.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • Use notification templates within SuccessFactors Learning for communicating key learning activities and tasks to end users and administrators alike, understanding what notifications are available and how they are triggered
  • Customize notification templates within the learning management system (LMS) using provided tools along with design recommendations focusing on ensuring your system emails are mobile responsive
  • Enhance system notifications with attachments and direct links, providing more enriching content and quicker access to further information within SuccessFactors Learning to end users
Key Concept
In SuccessFactors Learning, email notification templates allow companies to configure system email notifications for a variety of messages sent to learners, supervisors, administrators, instructors, and other contacts when certain actions are taken within the learning management system (LMS). These configurable templates define each notification email’s subject and body content and can support HTML formatting for building professional, branded emails based on corporate design standards. Notification syntax objects related to individual templates provide a set of dynamic content that can be used in notification templates, allowing notifications to include placeholders for dynamic information within an email based on the learning activity or task for which the notification is triggered.

Most seasoned project managers and systems implementation specialists will tell you that strong, clear communication is vital to the success of any project. This is one thing that has remained constant, even with the shift from implementing on-premise SAP ERP HCM to cloud HR systems. While the focus on the communication channels and messaging leading up to go-live is critical to the successful delivery of a new HR system, the importance of communication extends far beyond the life of the project itself. Keeping users engaged by the system, and getting critical information to them in a clear and timely manner and at a level that matches the user experience of the system itself, is a must for those organizations that need their system to grow with the company.

An ongoing requirement for learning management systems (LMSs) is the communication with learners, supervisors, and other key company stakeholders. An important part of any SuccessFactors Learning implementation is determining how the system will communicate with these key users, and how the message will be structured and delivered. The primary communication mechanism from the LMS are system email notifications, and there are many different standard notifications that can be triggered from the system (over 100 in total). SuccessFactors Learning comes with standard default templates for these notifications, but they are somewhat generic and are often not very useful in a productive environment. This is especially true for the notifications to employees and managers that are meant to keep these users abreast of their learning activities, deadlines, and actions needing their attention. Fortunately, SuccessFactors recognizes this gap and provides tools for customizing these system notifications. Therefore, companies can format and brand these system emails so that they can consistently, professionally, and clearly communicate with users.

The topic of system notifications should be a key part of any SuccessFactors Learning implementation. When reviewing notifications from the LMS, the following main points should be considered for properly leveraging these messages in an organization’s HR communication strategy.

  • Identify and prioritize LMS notification templates critical to the processes and features being implemented in your SuccessFactors Learning system.
  • Develop a consistent, consumer-grade branded template as the base in which to build all customizations to LMS notifications, as well as for building effective mobile-responsive communications.
  • Define the content of each template, keeping the message clear, concise, and to the point (no one likes to read lengthy emails).
  • Look to leverage certain LMS capabilities for providing more enriching content in system email notifications, including direct links, attachments, and further tailoring of notifications for specific objects such as learning items (courses) and scheduled offerings.

Eric Wood

Eric Wood is an SAP ERP HCM/SuccessFactors Solution Architect at Presence of IT.  He has 11 years of experience in corporate and consulting roles, focused on the strategy and development of HRIS solutions, specifically SAP ERP HCM. Eric has worked across a range of HR modules, both on-premise and in the cloud, for clients across various industries while based in the United States and Australia.  Eric is also a frequent conference speaker at SAP conferences in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Singapore.

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