Learning & development in your organization
DIY or shopping around?
When it comes to learning and development, the classic dilemma pops up: do we give training ourselves or should we go for an external partner? We listed up some pros and cons for you to make a better decision!
Do it yourself
- Cost-neutral – possibility to set up training with a limited budget
- Easy to formalize internal knowledge – e.g. technical training courses
- Often concrete examples & case studies
- No need to hand over control to an external company – no trust issues
- Better alignment and connection with the company culture – this can be both positive and negative
Work with an external partner
- Keep the focus on your core business – not on training & development
- Embrace the outside-in mindset: new views on your way of working and innovation
- Independence – neutrality – security
- Time efficiency – spend your time on business critical projects
- Higher employee engagement rate & ambitious goal setting
Shopping around …
First of all, calling in an external organization and their experience/expertise might just be the thing for you. As an organization, you can’t or need to be an expert in everything. When you have to train your people in a very specific domain that requires specific knowledge, call in the experts! You need your people to take steps in their leadership skills? Look for a company that made it its core business. Learning from specialists is often the way to make sure your trainings are of a professional level, cutting edge and in line with the latest insights and developments.
Organizations are also often stuck in their ways-of-working. ‘It’s just the way we always do it here’ might be thé killer phrase for any innovation. Another advantage of bringing in the “outside perspective” in your trainings, is that the external party can be used to challenge the status quo of your organization. Their independent and unbiased view can show some new ways of working and give that breath of fresh air you and your coworkers might need. Added bonus: the fact that an external partner is neutral can also guarantee an environment where people feel safer to share their opinions and ideas.
There are also some practical benefits to use external trainers. Creating and developing internal trainings is very time consuming and asks a lot of investment from your people. Using external trainers frees up a lot of time for your co-workers to focus on the core business or critical tasks of your organization. These co-workers also have different training needs and waiting for a group to be big enough to have a certain training is not always possible. External partners can allow participants from different organizations, so you can send your people when it suits them best. Furthermore, when using external trainers, the participants often have higher expectations and they set more ambitious learning goals. Not only are the participants more curious, but it also creates more engagement and commitment towards implementing the insights of the training “on the work floor”.
… vs DIY
This doesn’t mean there are no advantages to developing trainings yourself. Internal trainers often have a better view on what’s going on in the organization. They know the company culture and can link the content of a training more to the reality of the business. They can share real cases and stories based on their own recognizable experiences.
Using internal trainers might also be preferred when you want to pass on critical knowledge and competencies in the organization. Your trainers are then the trustworthy specialists that safeguard a continuity, and they make sure the (often technical) knowledge that makes your product or service unique is kept in house.
Furthermore, putting your trust into an external party for the training of your co-workers is not easy. After all, you are putting the development of your people in the hands of people you might not really know yet. How can you be sure the content this external partner offers, is in line with your vision? How can you be sure an external partner is giving you value for money? These are some of the questions that are important and might be a hindrance for organizations to call in external trainers.