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ATD Blog

The Secret to Satisfied Training Teams: Outsourcing

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Every year, Mimeo runs a survey of our corporate training network to find out more about how you amazing L&D professionals tackle problems. This year, we partnered with Challenger to produce our fifth annual report. Here are some sneak peeks from our upcoming 48-page report.

Quick intro to the survey: We invited corporate learning and development professionals to take our 15-minute online survey in February 2020. These results are based on 201 anonymous responses from across multiple industries and company sizes.

In looking at the survey results, we were surprised to see two things: not enough trainers are satisfied with the training they deliver, and too many training teams don’t outsource any services.

Not Enough Trainers Are Satisfied With Their Training

When looking at the survey results, we noticed that L&D is not satisfied with the training their teams deliver.

On average, training professionals estimated that 83 percent of learners are satisfied with the training delivered. In contrast, L&D professionals reported that, on average, only 69 percent of the training delivered by their team is deeply satisfying to them.

In other words, while your learners are relatively satisfied, you feel that you could be doing a lot better.


Not Enough Trainers Get Outsourced Help

Here is another stat that surprised us: Twenty-two percent of training teams don’t outsource at all, which means that even if you’re on a team of 10 or fewer people, you’re not bringing in any outside help. You’re designing courses, creating materials, organizing logistics, standing in front of printers, delivering training, and administering post-course feedback—all by yourself.

We wondered if there was any correlation between training professionals who get help from outside sources and those who are actually satisfied with their training.

It turns out, there is. Trainers who are satisfied with more than 75 percent of their training are also more likely to outsource, but they do so selectively. Satisfied L&D professionals are most likely to bring in help with:

  • training delivery (as in, hiring contract trainers or using channel partners)
  • training classes (as in, bringing in a consultant for negotiation skill training)
  • training locations (either standard classrooms or hybrid facilities).

These are all services that are resource-intensive to manage internally and easy to get help with. In contrast, these satisfied training professionals keep control over processes that are more custom to their organization, such as graphic and instructional design. Check out this interview with Diane Elkins for more on the specific times that make sense to outsource e-learning design.

Improve Your Training by Outsourcing Wisely

If you’re at all like our average survey respondent, you already have a laundry list of ideas for how to get your training up to snuff but you just don’t have the time or resources.

So, here’s a tip from your more satisfied peers: Outsource the work that steals your time so that you can focus on the activities that will move your department forward.

Get more insights from the Mimeo and Challenger sales State of L&D 2020 report at ATD 2020.

About the Author

Katie Flanagan is on the marketing team at Mimeo, where she hosts monthly webinars for the Learning and Development community on everything from designing good handouts to measuring your training to getting executive buy-in. Find our more about Mimeo and our webinars at

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