7 Scenarios When Training Outsourcing Is the Right Choice for Your Company
Learning is something that is constant with every organization, whether it’s an enterprise or SMB. More than ever, business leaders understand that the growth of their organization and its competitive advantage is directly proportional to the growth of its employees. In fact, by 2024, e-learning market is expected to exceed $200 billion.
While the importance and investment in corporate training is steadily growing, the need for L&D to scale up and down in an organization, at a moment’s notice, is a palpable pain point for L&D leaders. Here, we’ll discuss the evolution of employee development and how managed learning services can keep your L&D engine at top speed as your organization grows.
Evolving technology has made learning both, simple and complex. Simple for the learners – but more involved for learning leaders and administrators. Just a few short years ago, an L&D organization would schedule a course with a live instructor to selected group of learners, using printed materials – and that was it. One and done. Now we can deliver more training, to an exponentially large audience, in a fraction of the time. Learners can often direct their own learning and skill building and L&D leaders now have a seat at the table with top execs guiding the organizational strategy.
Some of the added complexities such as learning strategy, corporate/business alignment, training needs analysis, skills gap analysis, multi-generational learners, widely dispersed audiences, and a plethora of learning modalities are both time consuming and critical to L&D’s success.
Alike other things, technology has added both mobility and flexibility to the learning function. Previously, people used to get their course materials, in the form of books or notes, in the training class. It is now that various solutions like Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Smartphones have come into the picture that offer flexibility.
To put this into perspective, the term eLearning (e-Learning) wasn’t even in existence when many of you reading this graduated high school. Now it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. That’s how rapidly this field is evolving.
So, just like the learning function has had to keep up with the demands of technology, the demands of learners, and the demands of the business at large, so too have the practitioners. New technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being thrown about in conversation, but not everyone knows their implementation. Corporate learning departments are being tasked with knowing more and doing even more, often within tight budgets. Bringing on additional FTEs is not always an option.
Managed Learning Services, or training outsourcing, as we all know, is the process of obtaining L&D products or services from an outside supplier. This business function can be described through other names, such as contractor model, contingent workforce, agile workforce, gig economy, business process outsourcing (BPO), staff augmentation, subcontracting, farming out.
Business process outsourcing of non-core business functions has become a mainstream business practice and outsourcing the learning function is no different than outsourcing.
Let these 7 tips guide your consideration of training outsourcing.
1. Budget constraints: Outsourcing expert L&D staff can be more economical than training the existing staff to become efficient trainers. Once the training program is completed, the team is no longer an expense for the organization.
2. Time constraints: In case of mission-critical demand for any learning and development project, outsourcing L&D operations can be of utmost importance. Companies that specialize in L&D are highly skilled in developing and producing content in a short-span and provide the right number of resources to get L&D project off the ground. Specially designed programs, like train-the-trainer, are helpful in quickly polishing the in-house SMEs as master facilitators to meet company’s specific needs.
3. Your L&D organization is rolling out a large-scale program: Outsourcing L&D can also be helpful in case there is a large number to be taken care of, in terms of conducting training. When companies decide to upgrade from one technology to another, there are different users utilizing it for various purposes. While some will perform their day-to-day tasks and get well-acquainted with the technology; some use it very often, making it a task for them to understand. In such situations, you need to design custom programs for various functional needs. Outsourcing training and development teams will act as a key factor, ensuring that technology implementation, knowledge training, product or process rollouts are done with minimum hurdles.
4. Your company has diverse training needs: Different departments of an organization have their unique training and business needs. The marketing team needs to develop skills on analytics, SEO and automation. The IT department would like to learn about security threats and cybersecurity. Sales teams could leverage product knowledge and managers are certain to develop leadership skills. Most organizations do not have the resource or bandwidth internally to develop a program with such an array of content.
5. Your L&D team lacks technology expertise: Companies today work with an array of technologies and it’s almost impossible for the L&D team to learn every platform they need to create compelling eLearning programs. More often, internal technology or subject matter experts are asked to conduct trainings for other employees. The problem here is that not all technology experts are good trainers. Bringing technology as well as instructing experts will make a remarkable difference for learner engagement and learning outcomes.
6. You Need Highly Interactive eLearning: Today’s eLearning developers need to have skills in instructional design methodologies, graphic designing, project management technologies and good understanding of learning management systems. Depending on the level of interactivity and animation you want in your eLearning programs, will dictate the level of expertise you need to expect from the eLearning developer. Do your developers have the expertise required to deliver the end product that you need?
7. Short-term training or development needs: Conducting training and development programs are most likely temporary/short-term activities. Pulling out the entire team’s focus for such a task will not be a very productive job to opt for. Managed learning services partners can help fill these gaps to ensure there is no interruption to business operations.
If these scenarios apply to you, I’d recommend finding a vendor partner that is going to help you scale your L&D organization when you need it most. If you’ve never ventured into managed learning services before, get the guide on How to Buy eLearning for help on defining your detailed requirements and connecting with a vendor that is the best fit for your organization.