With the growing competition in the business world today, companies are continually looking for ways to enhance their stand in the market.
One of the most crucial ways to go about it is through training.
Sure, hiring the best people and training them has been the way businesses have functioned for a long time. But in recent years, companies have broadened their training radius focus from just business employees to the “extended enterprise” as well.
These people are the stakeholders that might not be a part of your company’s hierarchy but still play a vital role in its functions. And their training can prove pivotal in the growth of your business.
In this article, we discuss the what, the why and the how of extended enterprise training. Read on.
What is extended enterprise training?
A business does not only consist of its employees and management, but it also comprises of the vendors, consultants, customers, clients, etc. External Enterprise training refers to the training of these (above-mentioned) external partners of a business.
This kind of L&D practice or program is designed to educate the external partners about the said business or organisation. And things like processes, products, ethics, mission and vision are shared.
This might seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming exercise but wait. This brings us to the Why.
Why do companies need extended enterprise training?
Adopting extended enterprise training can be not only positive but highly beneficial for your company.
- It drives revenue: Years of organisational work has shown that training one’s employees reap better results in future. Because when a person knows a business, its services and their role in it inside out, they tend to perform better and pass on their learned information in a more convincing way. This same principle applies to the training of clients, distributors and other external partners. When they know something well, they will be able to revenue off of it that much better.
- It builds relationships: Through learning and development, all your associated third parties will understand, not only your product or service but your ethics and morals as well. This can help you in building a stronger brand name and image and your extended enterprise family to relate to you and believe in you in a better way. And when they have a deeper understanding of your work, you will have a stronger bond with them, at the same time, they will be able to be better brand ambassadors.
- It improves business processes: overhauling business processes it is a lengthy procedure that requires a lot of patience, data and training. This is when technology comes into play for businesses because while you can work out the patience, collecting present and past data might become a task.
This is why there are learning management systems to help you out. Choose from the top extended enterprise LMS, and you can digitally track the results, progress and feedback of all your third-party partners.
All these benefits make only the tip of the iceberg. But let us first take a look at
How can you go about implementing an extended enterprise training program?
The answer to “how do I start?” Lies in a few simple steps.
1: Identification of your extended enterprise
The first step of any project is to identify the target audience. Similarly, here as well you need to list down the employees you would like to train. And it is essential to remember that this training is not for your immediate employees, so your training approach must be in resonance with your “extended” trainees.
2: Definition of KPIs
As any training program goes – expected outcomes of the study must be defined/measured beforehand. These key performance indicators must be determined based on the category of learners like customers, clients, distributors, etc.
3: Appraisal of your LMS
It is quite a possibility that your LMS might not be initially equipped to handle your extended enterprise training program. However, it is also likely that your system is still capable of being modified for it.
So the third step is assessing your current LMS for things like license, user profiles extension and other things that might help make it more suitable for extended enterprise training.
4: Calculating the costs
One of the most important things to do before beginning the training process is to estimate the associated costs and expected ROI. This will help you in getting the stakeholders to accept the training program without hassle.
5: Planning, approval and implementation
Now that you have gathered all the possible resources, you can go on to creating a comprehensive plan and getting it approved. Not only the training plan but also the business plan. You can even start with a pilot to test the waters before diving deep.
Including your extended associated in learning and development has many benefits.
It promotes right learning across all the partners who play an essential role in your enterprise.
So, it is time for you to do your research and adopt extended enterprise training.