Outsourcing training is something that no one seems to talk about. Instead, when most people talk about outsourcing training, they are thinking about literally outsourcing their businesses trainings - policy training, compliance training, etc - to a third-party.
Despite this, since outsourcing has become something that is ubiquitous in the business world of today. You should consider holding actual ‘outsourcing training’ for your managers so that they know how to find third-party contractors to help them meet their goals and milestones.
That is what we will cover here today: how to provide outsourcing training to your staff members, focusing - mainly - on things that you need to consider when finding and working with a third-party vendor/provider.
Let’s jump right in.
What Is Outsourcing Anyway?
As you probably know, outsourcing is when a company contracts a third-party to perform business activities. This can be for something simple like coming up with a design or making a webpage to things that are extremely complex like performing all HR or accounting duties for an organization.
Most of the time, especially for today’s examples, outsourcing for companies falls into the project space where a company needs to meet a deadline to meet a bigger business goal but lacks the staff, time, or know-how to complete the project in-house.
Times like these are perfect for outsourcing because it can get the work done without causing undue stress on the organization.
That is, if everything is handled properly and efficiently. There are, of course, times when a contractor fails to perform their role, costing organization the time and money they were trying to save.
What this means is that it is vital for your team members to understand how to find the right contractors to outsource to, which usually involves outsourcing training.
Outsourcing Training Is All About Understanding Pitfalls
Outsourcing, on the surface, seems quite easy to pull off. After all, the brunt of the work is falling onto the contractor, right?
Well, just like you hear horror stories of contractors messing up remodeling jobs on houses, the same can happen with your internal projects if they are not planned and executed carefully.
So, the first step in understanding how to successfully outsource a project is to understand how to communicate your needs to the contractor.
For example, if you are outsourcing a creative endeavor, let’s say a marketing campaign, you will need to have a whole plethora of meetings with the agency to ensure that they are creating something that is on brand and performs the exact way you want it to.
This means, basically, that you have to fully understand the project from start to finish if you ever want to manage it properly. If you are unsure of the details and rely solely on the outside group to carry out the project, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
After all, the outsourcing company cannot read your mind. They need a detailed report of how things should be handled and what needs done if you are going to be happy with your business decision.
Also, if you do not fully understand the project, you will be unable to gauge its success, which can cause a bunch of problems. This is why poor or bad communication is one of the biggest reasons outsourcing fails for some companies.
Outsourcing Training: Creating Realistic Expectations
The next step in any outsourcing training scenario is to help your staff members manage their expectations, especially when trying to cut costs.
One of the biggest let downs a company can go through is to hire a contractor for cheap and be less than thrilled with the turned in work.
It can be hard to outsource a project to an outside group because they may not have the same standards you do. To overcome this, you need to do a thorough examination of how the outside agency works and what their success is like. This will also likely be dependent on your budget and things of that nature. Do not expect to get out-of-this-world work for next to no money even though you are trying to cut costs by outsourcing in the first place.
By training your staff members to think this way, you can save money by not having to contract out the same project twice because the original company failed to meet unrealistic goals and expectations. This part of the outsourcing training will be easy to explain, but a lot harder in practice because we all expect the very best for our money.
Outsourcing Training: Managing Poor Performance
This section goes hand-in-hand with expectations. Letting go of a project and handing over control to outside agency can be tough. So you need to understand what is constituted as poor performance on the side of the contractor and what is a failure of expectation.
Performance and expectations can be handled simply by making sure that you go over the project in detail with the agency, signing a contract in the process that dictates what work will be done, when it will be completed, and things of that nature. Cover all of your bases legally to ensure that you get what you paid for and are generally protected.
Outsourcing Training: Legal Issues
The final training section you should cover is what legal concerns can arise when working with a contractor. For example, you need to be clear about who owns the deliverables that the agency makes, how your intellectual property is being used and protected, and what rights both parties retain after the project.
This section requires the work of a lawyer to ensure that everything is above board. Still, you should train your staff members on what these contracts look like and how to evaluate them if a contractor should present one in a negotiation meeting.
Outsourcing Training: The Takeaways
The real takeaway here is that outsourcing training is a great way to help your departments understand the best practices when it comes to hiring third-party assistance with projects.
Sure, your teams can probably go it alone, but to protect your business and your budget you should sit down with them to go over the entire process from start to finish.
Outsourcing training doesn’t have to be all that complicated because each project is different and requires different things. It would be useless to try to cover them all, but managing expectations, understanding how to deal with poor performance, and what to look for in a contact are things that will be standard across the board.