Providing training to employees is a challenge, providing high-quality training using external trainers and training providers is even more challenging.
Its common to hear of L&D departments being under
pressure – justification of spend, existence
and having to get instant results are just a few complaints we hear. Naturally, L&D feel like they cannot get
Therefore, using external trainers and providers becomes a
Bringing an external trainer to deliver in-house training is
a great opportunity. It allows new
ideas, thought processes and observations.
Attendees may open more to a stranger,
share problems and what’s going well.
But the challenge is that the trainer must “fit in”, mirror L&D and/or the business culture,
and often never dare to dream of challenging anyone (yes, I have been given those
instructions from a client on more than one occasion).
If you’ve never had to use external trainers or training providers or have years of experience, the following checklist will be useful for you.
Define the change you want to see happen – behavioural change, knowledge gain, compliance. Make sure you have an over-riding goal that you can refer to post-training.
Create a clear brief – to include the above in as
much detail as possible. What should any
trainer need to know, avoid, what are
you looking for in a trainer, what is the company culture, job levels of attendees, their experience. The clearer this is the better your selection
process and outcome
Have selection criteria – you don’t need to share this
but you must know what you want to see, hear, have evidence of. Don’t be shy, you are the buyer.
Your expectations from a trainer – what do you
want. What level experience do they have
as a trainer, working in your industry,
as a working professional? What have
they done before to help solve similar problems / achieve similar goals? What’s their subject matter expertise?
Trainer personality and style – training is a
personal experience, so this is important. Will they work with the attendee’s
expectations? Will they “fit” with your
culture? What’s their approach and
Proof – what testimonials, references do they
have? Do they have any videos of
themselves delivering training? Or from
Work with specialists – Be wary of trainers who do it all. At Optimus, we ask trainers for their top 5 subjects they love to work on. We ask for specifics so “management” is never a good enough answer – what level of management we ask? So, dig deeper.
Demand to speak with trainers – If approaching a training provider, especially one of any size, then it’s likely you’ll be speaking with a salesperson and not the trainer. Don’t let that happen. If the provider doesn’t offer a chat with the trainer before you make a commitment, then drop them from your shortlist. We do.
Due diligence – do the background checks – financial,
insurance, working checks (if in government/with children).
What feedback they provide – Not only the happy sheets but what happens during the session. Was there any general behavioural patterns, trends or demands for more time spent on a certain topic, or feedback on working processes. Useful insights for you.
Trust – last of the list but a vital component of our
selection criteria. Can you trust the
trainer to fulfil your objectives and work with you? If you
have any doubts, explore them and if they are still there then consider beginning
the process again or speaking to others.
Contingency plan – have a plan B in case anything goes wrong. And act on it quickly. If a trainer is doing something unexpected in the session which is getting negative feedback, then get them to change. It’s always good to have a backup for the trainer and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Like an insurance policy.
The above takes time but its worth spending this time to get
the right solution.
If you are struggling to find good quality providers, Optimus can help. We have over 30 years’ combined experience doing
exactly this. Get in touch with us at email@example.com
or call us on 0845 519 7408