As a learning and development manager, your livelihood hinges on your ability to transform regular employees into leaders. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to seek the services of an outside vendor to provide professional training and development. The nation's most accomplished training vendors are known for delivering impressive results that resonate long after coursework is completed. Below is a look at some of the benefits of selecting an outside vendor to provide training and the top five qualities to seek in a leadership training and development vendor.
What are the advantages of selecting an outside vendor to provide training?
Enlisting the services of an expert trainer will help you save valuable time and resources. But the perks do not stop there. By entrusting your leadership training to an experienced industry professional, you can concentrate on improving your bottom line. Here are the top three benefits of choosing an outside vendor to provide training:
- Expertise: An experienced trainer will have the latest cutting edge training techniques and tools to help your employees maximize learning
- Objectivity: There are no self-fulfilling prophecies or expectations about specific employees when an outside vendor provides training
- Improved Productivity: While a skilled expert is training your employees, you can focus on sales, marketing, and increasing productivity
What are the top five qualities to seek in an outside training vendor?
While the benefits of hiring an outside vendor are clearly enticing, it is important to realize that not all leadership training vendors are created equal. As a decision-maker in your organization, it is up to you to carefully evaluate prospective vendors and select a reputable organization that is known for delivering superb results. By seeking a vendor that embodies the qualities below, you are more likely to be pleased with the quality of leadership training offered:
1) A proven track record of success
The vendor you select should possess more than decades of industry experience training top companies across the globe. You deserve to work with a vendor that is known for developing programs that are highly recommended by nearly everyone who takes them. Additionally, participants should be applying the skills learned during training long after their programs come to a close. Before you finalize your decision, be sure to ask for references. Then ask those references the following questions:
- "Did you feel the program was worth your time?"
- "Do you feel that you are better able to lead and develop your staff as a result of the training?"
- "Would you recommend the training program to a fellow manager or colleague?"
2) Offers customized training programs
The world's top leadership trainers are superb listeners. They recognize that no two organizations are exactly alike, so they take time to listen to your challenges and needs before designing a training program for your company. Rather than using a cookie cutter approach, they craft a learning program that prepares employees to be successful leaders within your specific organization. They do this by recommending specific techniques designed to build a more productive workforce.
3) Views training as a process as opposed to an isolated event
Learning does not occur in a vacuum. It is an ongoing process that does not have a beginning or an end. Leadership development is similar, as the world's best leaders never stop sharpening their leadership skills.
The nation's top leadership training vendors understand this and they never approach training and development as an event with a finite starting point and ending. They may use one or more of the following strategies in an effort to produce lasting results:
- Schedule follow-up sessions: These sessions are a refresher for key points and can be conducted in person or via web meeting.
- Distribute newsletters and reminders: Short personalized newsletters are effective ways to remind participants of key concepts covered.
- Offer stellar support: Providing ongoing email and phone support after the training illustrates a vendor's high level of commitment.
4) Holds learners accountable for mastering content
Accountability plays a key role in a training program's effectiveness. The vendor who trains your employees should foster accountability by setting firm expectations with participants. For example, the trainer should clearly convey to participants that they are expected to provide progress reports at specified times after the completion of the course. Participants should also be expected to meet regularly with their manager to review their leadership development plan in detail to assess mastery of concepts.
5) Measures program effectiveness
A vendor can offer the best leadership material in the world. But without measuring a training program's effectiveness, there is no way to prove that participants actually improved or developed as a result of the training. When evaluating potential training programs, here are some questions to ask to ensure that the vendor is focused on measuring results and maximizing your investment:
- "What are the key performance indicators that you focus on during training?"
- "Do you have a pre-assessment tool to identify participants' competence in these key areas?"
- "Do you have a formal re-assessment tool to measure participant improvement in these specific areas?"
- "How do you assess long-term program effectiveness? Do you have a means of assessing skills at the 6-18 month marks?"
The vendor you select should be able to answer the above questions with ease. The program should be heavily focused on obtaining long-term measurable results, and should feature outstanding pre-assessment tools as well as a post-assessment tool that is linked to key performance indicators.
Finalizing your decision of a leadership development and training vendor
Selecting a vendor for leadership training is a decision that should be made with the utmost care. We invite you to contact us at NexaLearning to discover how we can help you provide a leadership training experience that is second to none. Our skilled trainers will work with you face to face to help you shape your leadership style and motivate your employees. We are also proud to offer a facilitator certification program that will enable you to facilitate the program internally if desired. We look forward to becoming your trusted resource for all of your leadership training needs!
You want your training programs to hit the mark. You want them to get the results you need. And you want to receive accolades from participants. But how can you make sure you are providing best practice programs you can be sure will do that? Download a copy of our whitepaper The 7 DEADLIEST Mistakes Training Managers Make When Providing a Leadership Program.