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maintaining a good relationship with the right partner is the secret of successful managed learning, claims new study
The challenges and benefits of appointing an external provider to supplement your training capability are examined in a new research report from Hemsley Fraser, which highlights that ‘managed learning’ can be undermined by poor relationships or a mismatch of expectations.
Called The secrets of successful managed learning, the report follows a study involving 17 clients of managed learning providers, ranging from private companies and public sector employers to multinational businesses and global corporations. It explains what managed learning is, where it takes place, the services covered and who’s involved in the decision to outsource training activity. It also reveals the driving factors behind managed learning and the key business benefits.
“Managed learning is a growing phenomenon, particularly in the UK and USA, yet uncertainty exists about exactly what it involves, what best practice looks like and how organisations can gain maximum benefit,” said Joanne Casson, a managed services expert at Hemsley Fraser. “With IT, payroll and recruitment, the entire function can be outsourced to a third party provider. But this isn’t the case in L&D. Corporate learning teams are more likely to supplement their in-house capability by appointing an external provider to source, book, administer and evaluate their training and to manage their training suppliers.”
According to the report, L&D teams usually manage bespoke training in-house but they’ll allow generic programmes - including management and leadership development, behavioural skills, customer service, project management, health & safety and diversity training - to be managed by the external provider. The study reveals that a critical success factor is the relationship between the L&D team and the managed learning partner.
“A third of participants said they’re not happy with their managed learning provider,” said Joanne Casson. “Fundamentally, the problems stem from a poor relationship or a mismatch of expectations. A good initial relationship can be undermined by factors such as poor project management, staff turnover, lack of trust, low proactivity, deteriorating service levels or an inability to deliver the anticipated results. An important conclusion here is that the market includes a range of different managed learning providers with different strengths. Organisations have a responsibility to choose their provider with care.”
The report identifies ten challenges in setting up and running a managed learning service and ten lessons that early adopters have learned. It also gives advice of what to look for when choosing a partner.
“There’s no standard process for appointing a managed learning provider but L&D, procurement, HR, finance and IT teams, as well as senior stakeholders in the business, are usually involved,” said Joanne Casson. “The key qualities to look for in a partner are training expertise, chemistry, credentials, the ability to add value and technological capability.”
According to the research, managed learning is growing because organisations want to enhance the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of their training; improve the return on investment from L&D; evaluate and control their training activity; rationalise the supply chain; cope with the volume of training requests; gain volume discounts on the cost of courses; ‘free up’ L&D practitioners to provide support in other areas and gain access to external learning expertise.
The report is available here. For further information, please call us on +44 (0) 845 071 2801.