A small local company GHY of about 50 employee strength is willing to implement LnD intervention for them to further scale up. They have their HR operation in place, which takes care of compensation & benefit. An appointed Lawyer cum CS guides them for labour laws too, along with legal aspects. but no other HR verticals are there.  Should they go for outsourcing or should hire people on roll or a blend to get L&D experts with them? Please advise your expert perspectives.

Pretext for implementation of Learning & Development Intervention in today’s business world:

In the advent of ‘Talent Management’, today’s organizations are focusing on developing their people as a unique resource and aligning with their business objectives. This one shift among a few more has made the vertical ‘Human Resources’ more strategic in nature. In this context, the small and mid-sized organizations are also thinking of implementing the Learning & Development Intervention (henceforth, we will mention it as LnD intervention) in their organization. But keeping the budget allocation in mind, they always weigh the benefit between on-roll deployment and outsourcing.

Probable Solutions as per above situation:

  1. Concept of Advisory Learning Council: Since the LnD intervention is going to be implemented for the first time, it is wiser to set up a learning council comprising of Management, Business and Functional Heads basis the existing structure of the organization. This learning council will work on three – four major areas (which are the big-ticket items), designing of LnD Roadmap, budget allocation, implementation of initiatives etc. If the council feel necessary, they can take help of Expert LnD Consultants from external source in these activities. However, this decision may be taken basis the strategic importance of the planned LnD initiatives and also their impact on operational performance. If these are of high strategic importance and having a big impact on operational performance, then expert LnD consultant can be hired on-roll; else, they can be hired externally. A structured planning wheel is important to assess the needs.
  2. Organizational Survey: Doing an organizational survey can give a very good input about the needs.
  3. Competency Framework Establishment: establishing a competency framework for the organization, function, department and for each employee in terms of existing situation as well as with future focus is a must. From this matrix, the need for training and other learning intervention would be generated.
  4. Market Survey: The Company can also opt for the market survey to know the practices being followed by the other companies in the industry (same or related or different) and can choose the best fit one.
  5. Expertise allocation for TNI / LNI: However, as here in the above example the organization size is small, hiring external Lnd Consultant can be considered for Learning / Training need identification. Training need analysis must also encompass inadequate behaviours against a well defined competency framework which reflects organizational values and culture. Otherwise, the improvement areas will become too scattered and not fully relevant. Talent engagement and development can be bundled together to drive various initiatives.
  6. Internal Training: If experts are available internally, technical / operational / functional training delivery can be trusted with internal champions.
  7. Implementation of MOOC: Some generic / customised training can be hired through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) e.g. Edex, Coursera etc…
  8. Niche Training through External resource: Niche training can be arranged through external resource.
  9. Implementation of Blended Learning Model in light of ‘Cost Effectiveness’:
    1. Predominantly 80% of the required skill sets can be acquired through ‘Outsourced model’. This will help to reduce / control costs as and when required, on demand basis
    2. For 20% of the required skill sets, it can be bucketed to be in in-sourcing model.c.  Online interventions thru MOOCs courses /cloud based training for on the move employees.
  1. Evaluation in terms of Tangible Performance Management Process & ROI Analysis: Evaluation of LnD implementation in terms of Performance Management / Improvement and through ROI (Return on Investments) is a must. Because the ultimate objective is better performance and staying competitive in the market. It is said that what is being measured, is being achieved. If we want LnD intervention to contribute successfully into organizational objectives, we need to quantify it and to measure it continuously. This will show whether we are on track or if there is any deviation. The process may be checked with the help of expert LnD consultants – internal or external, basis the availability of expertise. Training Need and ROI to be mapped with each other and target achievement to be measured accordingly. Since the company – here being discussed about – is a small set up, implementation of the traditional model may hit their bottom line if there is no concrete outcome from the implemented LnD intervention. In that scenario, blended learning works well.
  2. Implementation of LnD Initiatives: Implementation of L&D initiatives can be taken through an in-house HR Business Partner or through an HR generalist. People with great affinity on People Development & Talent Management are good carriers and executors of such initiatives. Mixed blends of business, HR and L&D verticals should work hand-in-hand to make the process smoother. As for the first time the LnD initiatives are going to be implemented, to conduct a few sensitivity training to bring the training culture in the organization.
  3. Budget Allocation for LnD Initiatives: With regard to budget allocation for LnD intervention, staying competitive in the market will be the ‘Mantra’ for the companies – be it small or be it large. And, the cost needs to be borne accordingly. Usually, the best in class organizations spend about 3% to 6% of their payroll for LnD intervention.
  4. Implementation of P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Learning: If some learning resource is available internally, implementing structured P2P learning with flip classroom technique would be a great idea.
  5. Implementation of Mentoring: Seniors can mentor their juniors for their further development.
  6. Building a Learning Culture in the Company: It is very important to set up a learning culture in the company; because, it is conducive to bring in shift in employee as well as employers’ mindset towards betterment through learning and thus, the favourable shift towards business objective attainment.

Moderator-n-consolidator : Jayati Mukherjee – an LnD Enthusiast and Content Writer

Acknowledgement of insights from Dignitaries, with sincere thanks:

  1. Mr. Surya Prakash Mohapatra
  2. Mr. Kumar Saurabh
  3. Mr. Debabrata Dash
  4. Dr. Ajit Kar
  5. Mr. Pranavesh Shenoy
  6. Mr. Mr. Anil Wilfred Dsouza
  7. Ms. Priyanka Kothari
  8. Mr. Venkat Raman
  9. Mr. Amit Murugkar
  10. Ms. Lata Vasisht
  11. Ms. Tejo Turner
  12. Mr. Arghya Sil
  13. Mr. Sunny Nagpal
  14. Mr. Sivakumar Palaniappan
  15. Ms. Urmi Gupta
  16. Ms. Shilpi Khandelwal
  17. Ms. Kalpana
  18. Ms. Kavita Yadav
  19. Mr. Sameer Behl
  20. Mr. Amit Jindal
  21. And, many other dignitaries across the nation