In the IT industry, good training for your workforce means equipped with knowledge on using the latest, much needed technology, better performance and finally making a successful technologically upgraded shift.
There are hundreds of options for a training partner, that have several different areas of expertise and the sheer number and parameters to check them can be overwhelming. Every individual company’s needs are different, while some factors apply to everyone. When there is so much to look through, how can you be sure what you pick will be the best training vendor for the needs of your company? How do you check if the training vendor fits your company’s bill of the learning experience it needs? What are the priorities that should top the list? Here are 5 pointers to help you begin:
- Making the match -Do they understand your industry: You must pick a training vendor who can match up to your needs of scale, duration, budget and technology needed. Can their instructional design processes and time management deliver as per the deadlines that your company needs? Many training providers cover a number of domains/industries. They may deal with automotive manufacturers, online retailers, telecommunications and IT companies – during the same week. Similar material, concepts and study plans without any attention to detail paid for the needs of the specific industry. When there is no connect formed based on the industry, the course participants become disengaged from the course content and may even discredit the expertise of the trainer all together. So make sure to pick a vendor who specializes in your specific industry. If your company is an IT company, pick a training vendor that specializes in technologies alone. Here is where you need to ask a lot of questions. And answering these questions will help you decide.
- Can they customize the content: One style that fits all kind of courses can never do well. Generic practices alone are not what you want your workforce to be trained in. Customization is crucial to effective learning. Unless the course participants can connect the learning to their job roles and practice in a low risk environment prior to carrying out what they learnt in the real job world, they will not be confident. Pick a training vendor who is willing to understand and study the goals of your company, and create a schedule that goes best with it. Some training providers advise you on timeframe options and customizing core elements of the program like projects, examples, case studies etc. IIHT has created over 3000 courses over 25 years for atleast 200 out of the 500 Fortune companies! Now this is the kind of company you might want to look at.
- Work with a company of good reputation: Make sure the company that you pick is of good reputation with an impressive portfolio filled with companies of the same domain as yours. Get a good look into your potential vendor’s track record, talk to references and follow up with them. Look for personal touch in their work. Check if they have delivered personal, domain relevant, goal oriented courses for their past clients. A thorough investigation into these factors will help ensure that you get the optimal course for your employees. The more personalized the training is, the easier it is for the course participants to start with using what was taught.
- Do they offer Omni-channel, hybrid learning options?: A good custom training company is always willing to offer innovative training solutions. Learning doesn’t happen in a closed classroom alone – sitting in a stuffy classroom has hardly brought out the best learning experiences. For optimal results, training should give your employees an experiential learning journey. All researches done on learning prove blended learning to be the preferred method of learning. Effective learning must be a multi-channel approach with high levels of interaction and hands-on training. The vendor shouldn’t just present the learners with what they need to know but should actively engage them in the content. With blended learning, you can get learners to also have the advantage of hands-on training through cloud labs. Because doing trumps both – showing and telling! The rich learning journey reinforces through peer interaction, gamification, hands-on training in labs with 24/7 access, projects, complimentary content that includes white papers, highly specialized course content, quiz and live-interactive sessions facilitated by industry experts.
- Do they assess?: Training exists to get better. Measuring is key when it comes to deciding job roles and deeming whose fit for a project. A good vendor will insist on real time measurement of progress through effective tracking techniques and tools. This is when you know that the training vendor is result oriented, in not placing their value alone in how great their training is but in how great the results are!
You can use the points above as a checklist when you pick a training provider. Of course there can be a few more, but they all fall below the above crucial five.