trainingCarol’s latest post on the Nextiva blog talks about the benefits of bringing in outside trainers. In “Can You Train Employees Better than Professional Trainers?” she walks us through a process for vetting outside training resources. Carol begins:

“Change is an essential part of any small business. Whether you need to hire more employees to accommodate growth, advance the skill levels of employees you want to promote or if you need to change processes to meet expanding business requirements, everyone in your organization needs periodic training.

Before you assume that you or knowledgeable staff members can conduct effective training in-house, consider that many subjects — from word processing to the diversity initiatives — are generally best delivered by professional trainers who know how to develop core competency levels. Don’t let the costs dissuade you. If you follow certain steps to obtain high-quality training, you will get major bang for the buck from the new skills and knowledge that employees bring back to your business.

Step 1: Identify your training goals

You perform due diligence before choosing a new parts vendor or hiring new employees, and you have to do the same thing before calling in a trainer. You should use the answers to questions like these repeatedly in your quest for trainers:

  • Do you need to train the occasional employee on a one-off basis or entire teams?
  • Do employees need to learn off-the-shelf software like word processing (ideal for an off-site classroom) or do you need training that is specific to your company’s unique processes and procedures (in which case, customized training performed at your premises may be more effective)?
  • Will the complexity of the subject matter require the use of crib sheets or other job aids after employees return?
  • Can you afford to make do without employees during training or will you need access to them to some degree?
  • How will you know if the training has been effective and, if not, what are the available remedies?

These and other questions specific to your company’s needs form the foundation for selecting providers and planning an effective training program.

Step 2: Identify appropriate trainers

If people in your professional network can recommend trainers that meet your goals, go for it. Otherwise, get out the goal list from Step 1 because searching for training providers on the Web creates a very long list.”

You can read the rest of the post here.