Companies invest a lot of time, effort and money into conducting an Outbound Training Program for their employees. So they obviously want to see it achieve the goals they have in mind. If you’re planning an Outbound Program for your team, you should be involved in the planning process, at least to some extent. We had earlier written about Planning an Outbound Training Trip for your team. And the most important aspect of this is selecting the right Training Partner.
A Training Partner defines the success of the program, since they take care of everything, right from the conceptualization, to the organization, and the feedback.
Here are the top questions you need to consider while selecting a partner:
1) Can they provide credible referrals?
Look up the past record of the provider. Do they have a website? If yes, does it look professional? Get references from past clients. There should be a good presence of companies from your industry. If possible, try and get direct feedback about the provided from these references.
Plan a questionnaire beforehand of the criteria that matter to you the most. See if you can get the references to give you information about these.
2) Do they understand your industry?
Training providers are often experts in certain areas or industries. Unfortunately, not all providers stick to their forte. They may be willing to provide the same training programme to employees of a Fast Food Company one day and a Technology Startup the next.
When a trainer is not well aware of the industry conditions, participants may disengage from their content and activities at the first go. And thus also not be open to absorbing any learning.
When selecting a training partner, make sure they understand your industry, business model and challenges, so they can create a training program for the participants accordingly. They ideally should have experience with other clients in your industry and related industry too.
3) Do they customize their program?
Training programs can never be a one-size-fits-all formula. The program needs to be customized according to the size of the team and the learning objectives, among other things.
A good way to check the ability of the provider is to start off with only one or two objectives. And add some more once they give you an itinerary. They should revise the plan or schedule with the changes/ addition to learning objectives.
4) Do they offer end-to-end training?
Employee training is not a process to be ticked off a list, but a journey. The training partner needs to have a solid pre and post-training plan. In the pre-training stage, the training partner should spend time understanding your team, problems, and learning objectives. They should also have an effective introduction session planned that gives some insight into the psyche of the participants.
In the post-training phase, the provider should be able to clearly communicate their observations made during the program. ‘Clearly communicate’ is the keyword here. Every employee has a different personality and the observations and suggestions should be communicated so that they understand and accept it.
The learning partner also needs to help you measure progress over time and create a schedule for further training.
5) Can they Scale up or down according to team size?
The training program needs to be customized according to the size of the team. As the team size alters, the learning partner should also have the resources to scale their program up or down. This means the ratio of participants to facilitators and volunteers should remain the same or similar.
With too large a team, the provider should not be short-staffed. There should be enough facilitators to make observations about the participants’ performance.
Similarly, with a much smaller team, the provider should be able to effectively scale down so as to save you the additional costs of a program designed for a larger team.
The training partner you select is going to determine the success of your Outbound Training Program. When you’re investing so much into a program, we understand that you want to empower and encourage your employees to do their best and work as a successful unit. If you’re not entirely sure how an Outbound Training Program can help you, here are some resources: