Today’s economic realities have necessitated a great deal of outsourcing. Organizations are clinging to their core competencies and value potential and hiring out peripheral tasks. In safety, more and more of the training function is being outsourced. This can be a good approach to some types of safety training but is definitely not for others.
Definite YES: Skills training by technical experts is almost always more effective. If the organization cannot justify keeping such an expert onboard full-time, outsourcing makes good sense and is often quite effective.
Definite NO: Training that establishes official management style or organizational philosophy. If you want your supervisors to coach safety or your leaders to stay on message about organizational mission and vision for safety, outside trainers are definitely not the way. Specific skills such as coaching or communications can be taught by outsiders, but the deep-rooted organizationally-specific style training is best done by an insider with recognized ties to the organization and specific information to answer questions on strategy and tactics.
Maybe with Qualifications: Training that is required for regulatory compliance can often be outsourced effectively. The one nuance is that much of this type of training is very generic and may not be easily or directly applied by workers to their specific tasks. Training that is too theoretical may lose its effectiveness if the link between the theory and workplace reality is not clear.
Outsourcing the right training and keeping the right training in-house can be a key to success in safety.
-Terry L. Mathis
For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com
Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.