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Choosing the right Learning Provider

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Choosing the right Learning Provider

  1. 1. 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop The Outlook Partnerships Guide Choosing the Right Learning Provider
  2. 2. 2 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop Contents Are you sure that Learning is required?.............................................................................................................................. 3 Why do YOU need a Learning Consultancy? ....................................................................................................................... 3 What sort of Consultancy are you looking for?................................................................................................................... 4 How should your relationship work?................................................................................................................................... 4 Do your homework!............................................................................................................................................................. 5 Measure Success ................................................................................................................................................................. 5 Are you thinking about a new Consultancy?....................................................................................................................... 6
  3. 3. 3 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop Are you sure that Learning is required? Learning and Talent Development is about getting the best out of your people. Being able to identify their current and potential strengths and linking their skills and capabilities, to drive business performance, is all pretty important stuff! So do you even require a learning solution? Do you require an outsourced option? Can you determine the exact learning need? How do you measure success? With so many questions to think about, we’ve entitled this guide ‘How to Choose the Right Learning Provider’ rather than ‘choosing Outlook Partnerships as your learning provider,’ as we might not be the answer for you. If you’re serious about Learning and Development and getting the right results, then this guide will help you make the right choices. You may not even realise that you have a learning need or that you require a learning solution and that’s where a consultancy can help you …. but then we would say that! There are many Consultancies out there and most profess to do the same thing, the most important thing for you to consider is the need to find one that aligns themselves with your businesses culture, vision and values. There are 3 main reasons businesses choose a Learning Consultancy: - 1. You have no specific internal Learning & Development team 2. Your existing team has limited resource 3. You want to bring in new expertise, a different point of view and a fresh approach You may identify with one or all of these points, so… Why do YOU need a Learning Consultancy? Learning underpins your business performance. By developing knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits you’re more likely to create sustainable business results. Learning isn’t a quick fix, it can’t just be ‘done’, you need to think about what results you’re wanting to achieve, how this aligns with what you are currently doing and what’s the connection with your overall business strategy. Your Learning and Development Strategy should target long term development, encompass employee engagement and identify high- performing and high potential employees. If you already have a Learning and Development team, that’s great, they should be a talented and experienced function. They can create and implement your business strategy, they will understand your business objectives, goals and values. They may however be limited on resources, capacity, constrained by budget and not have had any learning invested in to their own development and that’s where a consultancy can help. If you don’t have a Learning and Development function you should still invest in your people and understand the value of learning to your business results. This is also how a consultancy can help you to create and implement a successful strategy aligned to your overall business strategy, which might be to achieve any of these business areas: -  Improve business results  Develop a growth strategy  Increase employee engagement  Implement successful changes
  4. 4. 4 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop What sort of Consultancy are you looking for? First of all, decide what you want a Consultancy for? Is it to help with your Learning and Development Strategy, is it to review inefficiencies in your current operations? Provide an extra resource?, Facilitate some of your training sessions? Develop management and leadership capabilities? the list goes on. There are many Consultancies that can offer you off-the-shelf open programmes, which are cost effective and give you the ability to tap in and out of the resource as and when you have a need. To maximise on this solution, you should identify your specific need, choose the right package that suits your needs, attend the open programme and achieve your goal. This works well if you’re looking for a standard learning solution, with a quick turnaround and with a limited budget which allows you to meet specific individual needs. You’ve ticked your training needs box and can move on to the next item on your to-do list. If you’re looking to work with a Consultancy that can change mind-sets and beliefs by embedding themselves in your business, aligning with your business culture, beliefs and values then a Learning Partnership may be more suitable. To maximise on this solution, you should share your business strategy, discuss what’s working well, what you want to do differently and agree a learning and development strategy to develop your people to meet your business needs and measure the impact and return on investment. This is much more of a bespoke learning solution which is tailored to your specific business needs and they work with you in a long term relationship to achieve your business goals. So pick a consultancy that works in the same way as you work. Meet the people you will be working with, understand how they work, discuss their business culture and values to find a match for your training needs. Does size matter? Most Consultancies are small businesses and in the top business to business consultancies, the vast majority of the top 70 turn over less than £1m. The most important question to consider is how do you feel about the ongoing relationship with the people that are going to be working in your business, so… How should your relationship work? If you’ve managed to read this far, then you must value the importance of getting learning right in your business. Don’t be afraid to change your learning provider, even if it’s an internal department. If it’s not working or giving you the right results, then it’s time to make a change. Don’t choose your Consultancy on the role of a dice, both parties need to have the same vision, beliefs and passion. You should develop a partnership with your training provider, so you are both aligned and in agreement with the terms, goals, timeframes and implementation of delivery. You have a duty to ensure that your learning provider adheres to protecting the integrity and reputation of both parties. Communication is key in your relationship, if you don’t like something, talk about it constructively and agree the way forward, when things are working well, review the results, share best practices and successes and build a learning culture that you’re both proud of.
  5. 5. 5 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop Do your homework! Whenever you use a new learning provider, you’re going to be putting your trust into the Consultancy to look after your business, your reputation and your people …. It’s perfectly natural to be asking yourself Can they deliver what they’ve promised? What will they be like? How are you going to justify the costs of an external provider? how are you going to check and measure all of this? Firstly, ask yourself how did you hear about them? Larger Consultancies have the backing of their brand and you can rely on their brand equity. Smaller Consultancies are about relying on referrals, testimonials, Case Studies, so think about who they are working with currently, what feedback they have from their existing and previous clients, check out their website, social media profiles and endorsements and how you feel after meeting with them. Do you feel you trust them, can you respect and value their opinion, do they appear knowledgeable and an expert in their field of expertise, can you see them bringing value to your business, can you commit to a pilot or a small project to build your confidence in their ability? It doesn’t really matter if the Consultancy has a glossy looking website, or an international footprint, their values should resonate with you … you should be able to trust them. Measure Success You’ve chosen a Consultancy …it’s the start of a beautiful relationship! Measuring success is a journey, it’s not just looking at the numbers, it is about evaluating your objectives, reviewing what’s working well, what results you’ve noticed, what needs to be done differently or is still outstanding …. and of course the impact on your bottom line! An experienced Consultancy will evaluate results not just on the “Happy Sheet” at the end of a training session, but on the before and after comparison on a stepped process, so the best practice measure of success is the “Kirkpatrick Evaluation” which is the immediate impact, normally the delegates feedback, the intermediate impact, the changes in behaviour, feedback from some of the key stakeholders involved with the training, normally the delegates managers and the long term evaluation of the business results, normally the difference between the business results prior to learning and the business results after a 3 – 6 month period.
  6. 6. 6 0116 237 4558 www.outlookpartnerships.co.uk amanda@outlookpartnerships.co.uk @trainingop Are you thinking about a new Consultancy? If you’re now thinking about working with a new Consultancy, we would love to meet up for a chat about whether or not we’re the right Consultancy for you. We can do this through a Learning Review Meeting, which means we just have a chat with no obligations. Just click the link and we’ll be in contact, but remember though to do your homework in advance, so check out our Website have a look at our LinkedIn Profile read through some of our testimonials, case studies, endorsements and look at the type of clients we’re working with. CLICK HERE to book your Learning Review Meeting

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