An overview of learning business process outsourcing

An overview of learning business process outsourcing

Whether you are an oil and gas refinery, or an arms manufacturer, or a mutual fund, the laws of the land you operate in place certain responsibilities on your organization that need to be complied with. You need to file your tax returns, you need to provide a safe environment to your workforce, and so on and so forth.

Though these may not be statutory in nature, regardless of the industry you operate in, there are still other activities you must perform for the health of your business. One of these is training, or learning as it is now more commonly referred to as, considering that it is adults we are talking about who should be taking the responsibility for their own edification, rather than their employer sitting them down in a school environment and forcing them to learn, which was known as training more commonly.

But training is not what an oil and gas refinery or a mutual fund or an arms manufacturer were created for. So, how do we expect them to do it well?

Exactly.

Though often critical to the success of a company, training is a function generally outside the core competencies of the organization, requiring specialists to be hired. The challenge with hiring training specialists is that they are deficient in the knowledge they need to impart. The other strategy adopted is to use some of the subject matter experts for imparting training. That often delivers sub-optimal results as the personnel are not adept at handling the nuances of training, learning styles of trainees, the evaluation process and the soft-skill requirements.

This is where learning business process outsourcing (Learning BPO) steps in and alleviates the situation. It is referred to by other names like ‘training business process outsourcing’ and ‘learning process outsourcing’ as well.

Though barely eight years old, oWorkers stands shoulder to shoulder with the best in the industry. In its chosen field of data based BPO services, it is already counted as one of the top three providers in the world.

 

What is learning business process outsourcing?

What are we talking about? Getting a training partner to handle training programs for the organization? Isn’t that something that is as old a practice as corporations themselves?

Yes and no.

Yes, because the running of training programs is done by the provider.

No, because the engagement is not limited to delivering training programs, it goes much beyond that.

Is there anything more to training than delivery?

Indeed, there is. It is not just about the delivery of training. It is about managing the training process and all its components. The engagement is deeper and longer than the hiring of an agency for the delivery of a training program. Moreover, each engagement can be constructed in a manner most beneficial to the contracting parties.

Learning strategy

Strategy, more than ever before, is important for the effectiveness of the learning program or initiative. It is widely known that different people learn in different ways, like visually, through hearing, through doing and so on. Each subject also lends itself to learning in different ways. A strategy that enables the organization to pursue its goals more effectively can be facilitated with the engagement of a learning business process outsourcing provider.

The oWorkers leadership team, with a combined experience of over 20 years in the industry, provides strategic guidance to the team in all matters and projects.

Digitalization

While digital learning was an option occasionally chosen by companies, with many preferring the traditional classroom model for its effectiveness, the model has been turned on its head with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, more and more organizations are trying to implement digital learning solutions with the occasional classroom training thrown in.

Digital learning assets are important tools in the arsenal of a provider. While large corporations may have the scale to invest in digital learning solutions like a ‘learning management system,’ many companies may not be in a position to justify the investment. Engaging with a Learning BPO will enable the client to use digital learning tools without the need to buy them. Digitalization itself is a significant driver of Learning BPO adoption by corporations.

oWorkers operates out of Super secure facilities and protocols and is ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified. Its GDPR compliance is a further icing on the cake.

Trainer complement

Despite digitalization, facilitation continues to be an important aspect of learning, even for adults. Facilitation could be for online programs or for classroom sessions.

Many companies find it challenging to create a team of trainers. Their subject matter experts are not good at delivery and may not fancy a job in training. Professional trainers might struggle with the functional knowledge, as well as the fear that they may not have career paths available to them. They might want to work for a training provider where they see growth and a future.

By engaging a provider, companies generally end up getting trainers of a better quality.

The ability of oWorkers to attract the best local talent also enables them to hire trainers of great quality. These trainers ensure that the quality of resources delivered to the various projects are of the highest quality.

Development of content

Content is a requirement for any managed learning activity. Many companies duplicate the work of development of training content. If there are a hundred banks operating in a geography, it is quite likely that each one would have developed their training content all by themselves. This is perhaps needless duplication, since all of them perhaps follow the same policies and laws with regard to banking. All hundred training packs might actually look very similar though one bank does not know what the other bank’s pack contains.

Learning business process outsourcing providers perhaps bring efficiency into the picture at a broader level with their perspective and wider knowledge. They are able to create reusable content with minimal changes.

With its ability to attract talent, oWorkers is able to offer the ability to handle steep, unexpected spikes in client volumes, to the extent of a hundred resources in 2 days. Whether it is a suddenly enhanced requirement of content development, or any other, this ability of oWorkers saves clients a lot of money which they might have otherwise spent on an unproductive bench.

Consultancy services

This is another key role played by the Learning BPO partner. Each company focuses on its core business most of the time. Training is generally considered to be a support function that is an enabler, hence may not always get due attention.

With a Learning BPO partner what you get is an expert who runs it as a business; it is revenue for the partner. Hence, the partner takes keen interest in developments around the world and picking up best practices for eventual deployment. The knowledge they gain enables them to consult their clients on suitable learning approaches that could enhance the opportunity for them to achieve their goals.

The oWorkers team is a global organization, with its ability to engage with, and support, clients in 22 languages.

Learning administration

The unsexy part of the job needs to be done so that the sexy part can be sexy.

Administration of an LMS system is a time-consuming job. Courses have to be set up, trainee ID management is required, along with mapping to courses. Measurement of performance and effectiveness also needs to be carried out, for courses, trainers as well as trainees.

Classroom sessions have their own administrative challenges as companies want optimum usage of all physical assets that exist. It also requires ensuring that the material needed for conducting an effective session is available.

Vendor management might also be a part of the administration service. Even learning business process outsourcing providers may be relying on other providers for some parts of the material or service. Ensuring that the vendors are playing their part is an activity that needs to be done.

Across its sites, oWorkers is set up to operate on a 24×7 schedule, where there is a need. For administrative and support tasks, it is usually a requirement.

 

Learning business process outsourcing – partner selection

With the entire training function being in scope, selection of a partner assumes great importance for an organization.

There is one aspect of the business to business (B2B) engagement that is perhaps like any other engagement between two organizations. This relates to the process that needs to be undergone till success, in the form of the start of a relationship, is reached. It has to do with processes like identification of need, letting your requirement be known, evaluating interested bidders, holding detailed discussions and presentations to understand each other better, and eventually choosing one and signing a contract based on terms and conditions that should have been discussed along the way.

The other aspect is more learning and training specific that should enable you to establish who would be the right partner for you. Some considerations that many organizations have when looking for a partner:

Headcount or capability

Does the partner seek to provide the required number of trainers or are they going to take responsibility for the training outcomes? A BPO engagement entails a complete outsourcing, with well defined expectations as well as success (or failure) criteria. The client is doing it because they feel that they will be better served by a partner who has competency and experience in training. Hence, the partner ought to take ownership for the outcomes as well.

oWorkers operates with employees, not freelancers or contractors preferred by some of their competitors. This enables oWorkers to work with them in building competencies across domains, enabling clients to benefit from the upskilling. This upskilling also leads o the creation of a reliable supervisory cadre of resources.

Track record and specialization

Training (or learning) has many forms. Many different sets of target groups undergo different forms of learning. There is K-12 learning, there is college level learning and there is adult learning or learning for the working population. And this is just one way of dissecting the population into bite-size chunks. There may be training companies providing training to the armed forces, or to youngsters for doing well in competitive examinations.

The partner you want is one who understands the world or corporations and organizations and can work with the, often fluid, environment that can operate in such organizations. They need to have personnel competent to engage with working professionals and executives.

Digital capability

While the classroom is an integral part of learning, more and more training is becoming digital and self-paced. Apart from the fact that it is cheaper, the pandemic has forced us all to be alive to digital solutions and use them either whenever we can or when we need to as a backup. The result is that a partner without a digital footprint and capability may not serve the purpose of seeking a learning business process outsourcing partner.

Digital capability itself covers a wide range. It includes:

  • access to a capable Learning Management System (LMS)
  • competence to effectively administer the LMS
  • ability to create e-learning content in the form of SCORM and Video
  • ability to create online quizzes and evaluation systems
  • access to a comprehensive library of learning content

The strong bonds built with multiple technology companies gives oWorkers access to the latest technologies. Clients benefit as these technologies can be put to use in their projects.

Cultural compatibility

While you do need an independent and free-thinking partner for your organization’s learning requirements, the partner also needs to be able to work with the culture and ecosystem of your organization. As they grow, some organizations tend to develop fairly hard-coded processes, systems and cultures that not everyone is able to adapt to.

However, an independent thinker should be able to. The common goal for both is the success of the learning initiatives. The partner should have independent ideas but equally should also have the flexibility to operate within different organizational environments.

Several unicorn marketplaces around the world rely on oWorkers for supporting them. We hope to become a trusted partner to many more organizations.

 

The oWorkers advantage

The staff, both past and present, of oWorkers, rank them 4.6, on a scale of 5, or more, on independent platforms such as Glassdoor. It is a matter of pride for the company.

The pricing offered is the finest, as it is a result of the efficiencies oWorkers implements in its operations. Clients like the oWorkers practice of being offered a choice of pricing, between output-based and input-based models. Most from Western Europe and the US profess to saving up to 80% in terms of cost when compared to pre-outsourcing costs.

oWorkers makes it a practice to work with less advantaged communities and enable a few to gain an entry into the global digital economy. Your work will enable us to employ a few more.

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