Training for Outsourcing Jobs part 2

I’m sitting here reading an article on HRO today.  It is about training process outsourcing.  The article claims that many American corporations have no idea what their expenses are for training employees.  A VP named Ed Trolley of a large American company was interviewed and gave some interesting answers.  Ed claimed that training was one of the most under-managed, under-leveraged, and under-valued, not to mention misunderstood functions in a corporation.    Training is often viewed as something you have to do.  But, how much emphasis is put on results.  Outsourcing training can help a company focus on what their core competencies are instead of stumbling, trying to train their own employees.
When I work with outsourced companies, I am always very aware of how their employees handle situations.  There is always a loose screw.  Some are good workers, but can’t communicate.  Others refuse to answer emails even if their life hinges on it.  Many do their work in a mechanical way without insight.  There are so many things to pay attention to in any type of job, it must be baffling to train people. 
Thoughtlessly picking a program
Getting “a” training program doesn’t seem to be a great idea.  Looking at the costs of training programs and saving money by outsourcing them seems to be missing the boat as well.  I believe that the key is to understand the various levels of training that need to happen.  In any type of task, there is a mechanical aspect.  If you do call center work, you need to punch in some numbers, or press a button so a computer can do that for you. You have to read a boring script, and try to be polite when answering questions.   So, there are different levels in the training here.
Levels of training
The first level is purely mechanical. How to make the call, what to say, how to answer commonly asked questions, what to do when the customer gets upset, or acts inappropriately.  But, what about the next level of training?  Ideally, in any call center, your manager should be looking over your shoulder from time to time and should be looking to see if you are gracefully handling all of the tasks involved in interaction. The manager should give you pointers from time to time and even write up a review about your work from time to time. So, we can say that reviewing and nitpicking could be level two in the training scheme.  But, there is yet another level! What could it be?
Sophistication and nuances? 
The individual who trains your employees how to make calls may likely be very unsuitable to teach nuances.  It is really on an individual basis who is good at teaching the different facets of any job.  Someone who is what I like to call, “Tuned in” can easily find all types of ways to refine an employee’s skills.  There are very subtle differences in the way you can answer a question that make the person on the other end of the phone much happier.  There are differences in your tone and amplitude of your voice that can make people think you are a nice person instead of a jerk — even if you say exactly the same thing.  The bottom line here is to pick the right trainor for each level in training.
Data entry training?
Data entry requires different types of training too.  Making sure information is complete and well formatted is key.  So, if someone can assess how well an employee deals with the trickier situations where answers are not so clear cut — is very important.  If you can spell well, you can catch other people’s spelling mistakes.  If you know what type of format is desired, you can correct formatting errors in the data input.   But, some employees do not catch the subtleties of the job, and some managers do not catch which employees can learn, and which should be let go.

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One Response to Training for Outsourcing Jobs part 2

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