There is no secret to the advantages of partnering with a training provider. Industry research shows companies turn to external training providers for three key reasons: [i]
- Allow for greater agility in the L&D function
- Bring in expertise not available with in-house resources
- Enable ability to handle surge for training
You know that feeling you get when you have a business partner who you trust and really gets your organization. Everything just seems to connect. They understand the training challenges you face and arm you with a toolbox full of L&D expertise, talent, and resources. They make you feel like a learning and development superhero. There’s comfort in knowing your training partner is there to support the simplest of training requests to the most complex roll-outs.
3 Things to Look for in a Training Partner
Whether you are looking for your first corporate training partner or are evaluating existing ones, think about the following three criteria when selecting your next training sidekick. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to that feeling of training bliss (if you’re not already there).
1. Quality of L&D resources and subject matter expertise
Quality matters when it comes to outsourcing training talent. With the gig and freelance market thriving, it’s important to look at the selection of L&D talent offered—to better understand the training expertise, qualifications, and knowledge they bring to your organization. What value and subject matter expertise will they provide to fill in and complement the skills gaps of your team?
It’s also important to consider the specialization the training partner provides. If you need design and development expertise, what does their team of instructional designers and curriculum developers look like? Ask the training provider to share work profiles, sample projects, and experience. What is their background working with the latest tools and technology to create learning across different modalities? If you are transitioning training content into digestible microlearning, do they have the skills to do just that?
Having a network of trainers, designers, and developers is not enough. Many training companies have stringent vetting processes for their training and development talent, so they can offer experts who have experience in the latest training topics, tools and applications, and learning principles. By asking these questions, you’ll uncover if the L&D team has the experience to turn your training into a memorable learning experience with successful outcomes.
- In-person instructors
- Training facilitators and coaches
- Virtual instructors
2. Experience to deliver solutions
As L&D and HR professionals, you are faced with many different facets of training. It’s your goal to offer employees the latest soft skills and technology training, address different generational workforce needs, and consider the various learning styles and platforms – all while factoring in the speed at which technology is influencing learning.
Your training partner should have the experience to guide you along a path to address these opportunities. What is their training experience and credibility? Do your due diligence here. You need a trusted partner who has the experience of working with many different clients and can share measurable success stories and best practices.
You want a partner who can offer not just experienced talent, but someone who understands the nuisances and successful results of training. Experience matters and having a trusted partner can uncover training possibilities that you never thought possible. Get ready to open the door to innovation.
3. Ability to customize training solutions to your needs and company culture
Let’s face it. There is rarely one size that fits all for anything. Learners’ needs vary and there’s complexity across learner preferences for training. Training programs delivered through at least one preferred training method are 50% more likely to be effective.[iii]
Off-the-shelf content and training work in many cases but there are times when content needs to be customized based on the different needs of the learner. Companies continue to use blended learning curriculum to increase learner engagement. Having a training partner who offers different training solutions provides the flexibility and customization needed to make a difference in your organization.
It’s also important to evaluate the strength of a training company in recommending L&D talent and services that precisely align with your employees’ unique needs and company culture.
A Powerful Partnership is Waiting
The right training company will guide you through the changing training landscape. Grab your training sidekick, so together you can align your training initiatives to company goals, deliver meaningful training, and get measurable results.
If you’re interested in learning how to strategically assess and manage your L&D team to meet increased business demand for learning, Michael Noble, PhD, shares how in the blog: From People Management to Talent Leadership: 8 Directions for Learning Leaders.
This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated to share more relevant information.