Research shows that organizations with a strong learning culture outperform their peers in terms of innovation, productivity, quality and market leadership. Many organizations hire short-term contractors or curate and develop training content in house. However, there are benefits to working with a skilled training provider that you should not overlook. Here are nine reasons to consider outsourcing your learning and development training.
Developing a training program is expensive from both an instructional design and production perspective. You need a dedicated group of designers who decide the best way to deliver the training and a production team that creates the content, edits it and releases it on your learning management system. This process can cost more than purchasing off-the-shelf training.
Developing new training can take anywhere from three weeks to three months, depending whether it’s a simple piece of content (e.g., how to save a document in Microsoft Word) or a complex program (e.g., an online course that includes a video with nine actors and multiple scripts). Because of the time involved, when developing training in house, many companies tend to avoid complex projects.
3. Subject Matter Experts
One challenge when developing training is the need for multiple perspectives. You want to be able to access various subject matter experts (SMEs) in order to gain a wide view of the topic, but relying on multiple internal SMEs can perpetuate organizational bias and groupthink, which can exacerbate internal false beliefs.
When researching a subject, it’s important to work closely with experts to ensure that you include the latest industry knowledge in your final product. Many training providers work with hundreds of authors, speakers and industry experts who serve as a powerful catalyst for innovation and change within an organization’s development programs.
4. Multimodal Learning
Modern learners demand integrated content experiences that fit their preferred learning methods and busy lives. One of the main reasons learning programs fail is a failure to understand and meet learners’ expectations. Today’s learners expect consumer-led experiences with cutting-edge technology, a simple-to-use interface and super-fast search.
Mobile learning has become more popular in the last five years, as it delivers increased completion rates and higher retention levels. Learners look for certain experiences based on their personal consumption of content on mobile devices. Using apps developed by training providers, learners can watch, read, listen or practice on the go.
Providing multiple ways to consume content means learners can choose a method that meets their immediate needs. In addition, with tools that provide personalized content discovery, users can quickly find the content that is most relevant to them.
5. New Content for New Topics
Training content must reflect evolving subjects and topics. For example, digital transformation is driving a convergence of business and management skills with traditional IT skills, causing companies to rethink standing organizational structures, create new roles, and recruit and develop new skillsets and competencies. Digital transformation drives the creation of new business models that develop digital intelligence across all levels of an organization. Successfully navigating the shift to digital and preparing the workforce accordingly is one of the most significant challenges facing learning leaders today. It can be difficult to predict and require new and engaging learning programs for the entire company, which is where training providers can help.
6. Legal Requirements
Before instructional designers even begin writing a compliance course, they must ensure that they have the best legal advice from a range of partners. Acquiring legal aid is an expensive and time-consuming effort for an internal learning and development team, so partnering with a training supplier can be helpful.
Ensuring your content is accessible for all learners is no longer just nice to have; it’s the law, as demonstrated by a recent lawsuit against Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment for website accessibility issues. Moving forward, accessibility, like any other major component of the design architecture, must be incorporated into the development and design stage of any organization’s platforms and content. Many training providers have invested in retrofitting their learning content and technology to meet these new standards.
Recent neuroscience research tells us that three elements are important for an effective learning experience: relevance, meaning and emotion. Many training providers are using instructional techniques like scenarios and panel discussions to create memory hooks for their learners. The use of storytelling convey abstract ideas in concrete ways. Individuals can connect the learning to pre-existing schemas and patterns in their brains while fostering connections between emotion and cognition.
9. Learning Paths
When you launch new content, it’s imperative to determine where it belongs from a curation perspective. Training providers use industry trends and data, anonymized user data, and input from clients worldwide to identify the most in-demand career paths and deliver content accordingly. Plotting a career path is critical to address specialization and certification requirements and the speed of change and disruption. Partnering with a training provider can help your organization map career development paths based on future roles.