If Learning & Development isn’t your core business, could you outsource some of it?

If you always do what’s you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. There is nothing new here. As business evolves, business models change and ‘disruption’ is now considered a part of normal practice. Businesses, now more than ever, need to be able to change with the demands of their market. Customers, competitors, attitudes and innovation are all forcing old businesses to re-invent themselves.

It’s now harder than ever for traditional business to stay ’traditional’. A more flexible business model just seems to make sense in this modern world. Outsourcing non-core business is one way which large business are adapting to the needs of the market.

Businesses are:

  • Trimming down the size of their business so they can be more agile and adaptive to demands of the market
  • Keeping smaller teams which means a leaner, more focused organisation
  • Leveraging external parties to deliver on services that don’t relate to the core function of the business

With the cost of outsourcing reducing dramatically, and the increased access to a range of global services from your desktop, we now no longer need to satisfy all functions of a business. The rise of peer-to-peer reviews has also brought a sense of comfort around outsourcing because you know more about what you’re getting.

Here are three of the most costly areas for business when managing the Learning & Development process:

  1. Competing priorities– if another team in the organisation needs to influence the Learning & Development program, guess what, they may not see it as their number one priority. They’re focused on their core business not yours.
  2. Positioning of Learning & Development – if Learning and Development isn’t ahead of the change curve and creating programs that set employees up for the ‘next move’ of the organisation, then it’s a reactive process that’s possibly adding more cost than value.
  3. Communication– yes, that old chestnut! If the reason, the required outcomes and the WHY isn’t built into the program then the learning may not ‘pack the punch’ you’re looking for. Does the communication flow in your business?

Wasted time on ‘false starts’ when introducing L&D programs can stack up to thousands of people hours. More meeting time and a re-work and re-deign of the program can be time-consuming and costly. So, how do you avoid this happening when you engage an external party? Be clear about what you want.

Here are some other thoughts on engaging externals:

  • Externals have a lot of ‘content in the bank’ – meaning they can get programs or projects up and running for you pretty quickly (Remember L&D is their core business).
  • They work to solve clients’ problems day in, day out – so they will bring a new perspective and confidently work through challenges.
  • You don’t need to go and ‘outsource everything’ – maybe it’s just the design or the facilitation of the program that needs outsourcing. Or maybe it is the eLeanring design and development?
  • Externals are paid to deliver on your expectations and outcomes – this makes you look good.
  • Researching trends is part of what they do – A good L&D provider won’t be coughing up content from the 1980’s (unless it’s tried and tested). They will be pushing you to the ‘future of work’.
  • They get it done on your time frame.
  • You won’t know until you try – find an external that understands your vision, but also pushes your L&D agenda to be at its best

To manage the project expectations, process and review, you will need to have a go-to person in-house to handle liaison. They can also provide business specific subject matter expertise and ensure quality is where it needs to be. As long as there are clear lines of communication between the organisation and the external provider, outsourcing your L&D will definitely save your business time, money and resources.

Spend your Learning & Development budget before the end of the financial year.

Contact me now to learn how. 0433 197 225 or ben@brg.net.au

Ben Roulston – Head of Client Relationships, BRG Learning and Development

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