Learning and development can be a challenge for any company, but getting it right can pay dividends in employee engagement and retention. Challenges can come from projects, people and especially process. Working with a training company can help you to meet those challenges, even with a limited budget or small internal training team.
Here are specific L&D challenges you may encounter that working with a training company can help you overcome:
- Limited budget: To work well with a limited budget, prioritize employee goals and where they fit into long-term organizational strategies to prevent wasted effort and cost overruns.
- Alignment with corporate vision: Get clarity from corporate leadership, and maintain consistent and quality communication throughout the planning process to ensure all parties are on the same page.
- Insufficient metrics: Key performance indicators (or KPIs) are essential to assessing the effectiveness of your L&D program. Use the information you gather to communicate positive impact to leadership with data to back you up.
- Outdated content: Industry trends and standards are changing all the time. So, too, should your content. Regular updates to content should be a common-sense part of your L&D program.
- Decentralized L&D: L&D can often feel like an organization in and of itself within the broader environment of a company. While many different stakeholders may be involved in the process, L&D teams are often isolated from the settings that would help them perform their jobs better.
How can a training company help you address these challenges? With a focus on people and process.
Each employee is an individual with specific preferences and goals. They may be unwilling to take time away from urgent tasks to make time for training unless they see the benefit of training. Working with a dedicated outside training team will show your organization that you take employee development seriously. A planned, structured program tailored to your organization’s needs will make it easier for employees to work training into their schedules and promote a culture where career development is a priority. Here are some tips to accomplish this goal.
- Begin at the top. Managers should look at each employee in terms of his or her long-term potential. Keeping good people and helping them climb the career ladder internally is a smart business decision. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to successfully develop high-potential employees. That’s when a training company can make all the difference.
- Build consensus. It’s tough to achieve employee buy-in if the executive team is not on board. Gain stakeholder buy-in by communicating value. Focus on the importance choosing an L&D partner that will deliver a strong return on investment and be well worth the time and effort.
Once employees have an understanding that professional development is part of their job, make it easy for them to get the training that they need to be successful on the job and moving forward by selecting an L&D firm with a track record of success and a program that can be customized to your company’s goals. Here are some tips.
- Seek engagement. Engagement is a cornerstone of the L&D process. Learners should be engaged before, during and after a training program. Engaging learners can include generating awareness and excitement, communicating value before an event, providing engaging experiences during the training, and following through after the program is completed. Outsourcing training ensures that your team will work with individuals who have devoted their careers to training people and will approach the task with energy and enthusiasm.
- Manage expectations. What results do managers expect, and by when? Communicate with key stakeholders early and often throughout the process to set expectations. Looping in stakeholders will help you achieve your goals and keep your project on time and on budget.
- Communicate value. The most important task is to communicate value and engage your stakeholders, from your trainees to your L&D team to management. Training benefits companies in measurable and important ways. Make sure you’re tracking and communicating that value.
Partnering With a Training Company
Training companies have one focus: learning and development. They have the expertise and the bandwidth to help you develop and retain your best people while you remain focused on reaching your organization goals.