Outsourced learning and development
Boost efficiency and focus on your zone of genius by working with a learning and development specialist
As an HR consultant, you play a pivotal role in the growth and success of your clients’ business. I also know that as an HR consultant, you are flexible, adaptable, and resourceful and do whatever it takes to meet the people needs of your clients. But what happens when it gets a bit too much? When meeting the learning and development needs of your clients stretches the limits of your resources and capacity? when, if you are honest, you would prefer NOT to get involved in learning and development tasks? If this is happening for you, you may want to consider working in partnership with a learning and development specialist and outsourcing some of those projects.
Learning & Development and HR - a long-standing partnership
In all the corporate roles I have had, learning and development and HR have worked hand-in-hand. At a very simple level, HR provide the ‘WHAT’. By this I mean providing policy, advice, and guidance. Learning and development has provided the ‘HOW’ – the skills and knowledge that people need to be able to apply policy and act on the advice they are given. I don’t see why this relationship shouldn’t exist between HR consultants and learning and development consultants to best support the needs of SMEs.
Think about it for a moment; as an HR consultant you have your work cut out keeping on top of ever-changing legislation, managing ER issues, supporting businesses with recruitment and talent management, and supporting businesses to grow. Therefore, are you also able to:
- Keep on top of new trends, approaches, and best practice in learning and development too?
- Devote time (or your colleague’s time) to creating solutions to meet your client’s learning and development needs?
- Increase your knowledge of the latest thinking in designing engaging and impactful training?
- Draw on resources, activities, ideas, and relevant approaches to support your clients’ learning and development needs?
If you answered NO to any of these questions and would like to spend more time focusing on what you do best, you may want to consider working in partnership with a learning and development consultant.
Learning & development specialists - your strategic partner
Now, I don’t need to tell you about the positive impact that training and development can have on businesses. I know you know that, and I see you talking to your clients about it (I can’t tell you how happy this makes me as a learning and development pro!). I also know that you will always do your best to meet your clients training and development needs. However, is it always the best use of your time for you to do it? Like HR professionals, learning and development specialists have a very specific skill set including:
- Expertise in learning needs analysis; being able to get to the root cause of a performance problem and creating solutions to address it (spoiler alert – this does not automatically mean training)
- The ability to draw on best practice and learning theory to design solutions.
- The confidence to deliver the solution and create engaging learning experiences.
- They can spot an ‘information dump’ session a mile off and can help turn it into something that promotes skills development rather than just knowledge acquisition (knowledge IS power but knowledge alone does not lead to new skills or new ways of thinking and behaving).
Leveraging these skills can greatly enhance your HR consultancy offering and enable you to effectively and efficiently meet the learning and development needs of your clients.
Collaboration NOT Competition
I can imagine what you may thinking. Possibly something along the lines of ‘if I bring a learning and development consultant into by business, I may lose my clients to them’. I want to assure you that that is NOT how I work. My approach is to work in partnership with you as the HR consultant. I can be as visible or behind the scenes as required in helping you with your clients’ learning and development projects. My only interest is that your clients get what they need, and that their people get training that is going to have an impact.
Let me share an example of some recent work I have undertaken with an HR consultant. For some time, they have wanted to deliver a short programme of manager training for their clients. They created all the content but they needed help with the following elements:
- Sourcing a suitable online platform for them to host course materials on, and to provide a space for participants to interact and share their learning experiences (SharePoint is not going to cut it!)
- Building the course on the platform and creating user guides so that their admin team can manage and maintain the course going forward.
- Reviewing the content they created for the live training sessions to ensure that it was balanced between providing knowledge and opportunities to develop new skills.
All of this was done by me, behind the scenes, in partnership with the HR consultants and their admin team. The result? A blended learning experience for their clients, training sessions that focused on skills development and knowledge acquisition, and capacity for the HR consultants to focus on their clients’ HR needs.
I’m not going to deny that my support comes at a cost, but consider this; how much more is it costing you in terms of time and effort by NOT seeking help for learning and development projects that could be completed efficiently and effectively by a specialist? As my client said, ‘Even working at our very best we cannot produce anything that is as good as what you can.’
Working in partnership is very powerful. This blog has shown how HR consultants can meet their clients’ learning and development needs more efficiently and effectively when working in partnership with a learning and development specialist.
If you are now considering how working with a learning and development specialist can help your HR consultancy, you can:
- Visit our services page to find out more about the different ways we can work together.
- Book a call with me to discuss your current learning and development challenge and find out how I can help.
- Download my free guide which contains 30 ideas for free or low-cost training activities that you can share with your clients.
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