In my over four (4) years of working as an independent training consultant in the Philippines, there’s something about how most HR and training managers think and approach their internal training consultancy needs that I’ve been wanting to correct.
I’ve observed that every time they or an associate or assistant of theirs looks for a training provider in the Philippines that they would outsource their in-house corporate training need to, they just ask for a generic proposal without explaining to the training company being considered necessary answers to questions like:
- What’s the cognition, competency, or character gap or performance improvement need?
- What is/are the root cause/s of these gaps?
- Are they sure training is the intervention to begin with? What are their bases for knowing or how did they arrive at picking training as the corresponding solution?
- If training is really the needed solution/intervention, how did they identify the training type they’re looking for is what will really close the gap or provide the improvement need?
- What are the goal and objectives of the program?
- What learning outcomes do they expect the trainees should experience and gain after training?
- How long must the training be for? If they determine a duration, what’s their bases for being sure how long or short it is will do the trick?
- How many participants should benefit from the program?
- Who are these participants and are they really going to need the training program?
More often not, they simply request an off-the-shelf proposal and will just revert to any of the bidders if their proposition gets them interested.
This is not how it’s supposed to be done. Even if the next step, once they identify the best-looking training outline, is they will still sit down with the shortlisted candidate and discuss the tailoring or customization of the training need, the next steps to be taken might surely go wrong if the first step was already done incorrectly.
HR or training staff from their heads (vice presidents, directors, senior managers, and managers) down to their personnel (assistant managers, supervisors, generalists, specialists, and associates/assistants) must be required to get the right proposals the right way even when they’re still gonna filter them anyways.
They can’t just tell a training vendor, trainer/speaker supplier, or training company to turn in a proposal when they request, let’s say, a leadership training. They must already explain the following in addition to the details mentioned above:
- If the beneficiaries of the training program are newly-promoted, tenured but untrained, or tenured and trained but still need to learn more.
- Is the leadership need basic or advanced? Had some or all of the participants already undergone a similar training with the same company or previous companies before or are they taking up a leadership training for the first time?
- Is the need even corporate training facilitation or just a professional resource speech on the topic sufficient?
- When and where will the training be held?
- Will any default program on leadership in stock suffice or the need calls for customization or tailoring?
- Are there specific leadership areas for improvement (weaknesses or problems) that have to be addressed or is the training merely to equip them with anything they might need in the performance of their job?
There’s no danger looming if the requesting company doesn’t have to pay anything at all. However, they’re going to invest money in this consultancy need. Therefore, so as not to waste their organization’s precious funds, they’re better off being critical with what they need, how it’s going to be provided, and who provides it.
One mistake and they’re going to end up paying for an expensive training program from which their employees get nothing or only get a little once everything has been said and done. Worse, they don’t get to apply back to the workplace a single thing. No Return on Investment at all. Just experiencing training for the heck of it.
Therefore, through this article, one very particular lesson for HR and training managers in the Philippines that I love to emphasize and share is to provide our employees what the right learning and development interventions that will effectively correct, replace, enhance, or add on to their knowledge, skills, and attitude by:
- Identifying what the performance improvement needs are
- Analyzing the root causes of these needs
- Determining very carefully what available and doable intervention is going to provide these needs
- Requesting a detailed proposal from training consultants or training providers in the Philippines if they decide to outsource
- Critiquing submitted proposals to assess whether the training consultancy companies really know what they say or do.
When HR or training managers and employees think like this, there shall be no mistake in learning and development and no unnecessary costs will have to be wasted.