Train the trainer to train the trainer?

I do human resources consulting, with the aim of helping companies set up training and development programs for their employees. I also do some general HR consulting like compensation, performance management, etc. but my main activity is training and development. Due to the pandemic, work was slow, so I started working nights to teach at a local university.

I had a large company in the community service industry with which I had been consulting in performance management for almost two years. The COO was very happy with my job (that’s what I thought), and we had a discussion right before Christmas about what the next twelve months will look like for them.

COO: Next year we plan to expand our training programs for staff. We really want to make sure our staff get the best training possible.

Me: This is actually my area of ​​expertise. I would love to work with you on this!

COO: Oh, well, we’ll keep that in mind. However, we actually hired another company to run it. We know that doesn’t suit them, so they charge us well over $ 100,000. We expect big things from them though – we know they can handle it!

I found out the name of the other company that had been hired. It is a hotel company that offers catering services for events and provides secondary training in the hotel sector.

Fast forward to this year, and I meet with the COO to ask him how things are progressing and where they need me for the next six months. We start to discuss the business in general, and I ask how the training and development aspects are going.

COO: Not as good as we had hoped. We had to pay them an additional $ 75,000 because they keep complaining that the work we ask them to do is beyond their reach. Apparently they all need special training.

Tonight I had my first introductory lesson in training and development. There were at least four people from that hospitality company present – two of them in chef’s uniforms appearing dead on their feet, falling asleep. Considering that I would have billed the big company about half of the $ 175,000 they spent on their training programs, something tells me that they’ll be hard pressed to see value for money anytime soon.

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