In-House vs Outsourced Training
Many businesses continually struggle with the question, "Do we do in-house or outsourced training?" We know that every practice has many different options for fulfilling their training needs. What I am going to do is help you focus on how to train one of most important members of your team: your Audiology Assistant.
Some practices are hesitant when trying to decide between the hiring of an Audiology Assistant versus another Audiologist or even a Hearing Instrument Specialist . One of the main concerns with hiring an Audiology Assistant is how to create the tools to effectively train them. The training that is available for Assistants is typically unknown. So, many practice owners simply shy away from the idea. But hiring an Audiology Assistant can be a very smart decision for your practice, improving efficiency and patient care. If you are one of the many practices that want to hire or have hired an assistant and you've been struggling with the question of how to train them, you might wonder, "Do I try to create my own in-house training? Do I try to outsource it to another group? Or do I have my Audiology Assistant use an online training course?" The choice you make in order to get your new team member trained can affect how well he or she ultimately performs over time.
Now, you may be thinking something like...
"I don't have the time to train an Assistant."
"How will I be sure of what they know and don't know?"
"Will they have to be retrained on how I do things in my practice?"
Let's discuss the things to consider when you're deciding on In-house vs Outsourcing the training for this very important position in your clinic.
Costs. Cost is important to everyone. Be sure to consider both the seen and unseen costs of training. And, make sure the value of training outweighs the cost. We all know that an untrained or poorly trained employee can cost the clinic more than the time and expense of making sure an employee is well trained. Some costly errors can be found right away with damaged products or incorrect paperwork but some costs will be unseen. For example, there may be a great cost to the clinic if a conversation or action causes a patient to find the service in your practice to be lacking, causing them to search for service with your competitor. Knowing and being part of the training (in-house), you will know firsthand what your employee does and doesn't know and can have a say in how they handle customer service issues. When you are involved in the training, you can be proactive and not reactive, saving you both time and money. And, when you consider the costly errors that can be made if a new employee is not trained correctly early on, the time and cost of an excellent training program becomes well worth it.
Control. Seeing and understanding the goals of the training material is critical to achieving successful training outcomes. With in-house training, you can be sure of what the Assistant is learning. You can easily move through areas that need less attention or you can slow things down to be sure to focus on areas that are most critical to your practice. You won't have to retrain someone if you do it yourself in-house. You will be sure that they know what you need them to know.
Convenience. We all look for the path of least resistance. Convenience is always a good driving factor of that. To have an easy-to-use, well thought out in-house training with a new or veteran employee is always convenient. And, with technology advancements, you no longer have to send your employee away to be trained. Online training has gained great acceptance. It's when a good on-line training program is integrated with your expertly guided in-house training and the experience from day-to-day activities in the practice that the training becomes most efficient and powerful.
Focused online training with practice-specific, expertly guided in-house training! It's even more amazing when you say it out loud!
Team Building. There have been many books written on the value and techniques of "Team Building" in the business realm. People travel the globe to teach others how to team build. So why wouldn't you incorporate team building into your in-house training? That's a very difficult thing to do when you outsource the training. Working closely with your new or veteran employee while they are completing the Audiology Assistant program and using focused training modules and homework assignments to work together, you will create not only a good line of communication but the framework for a strong team-focused mentality.
Productivity. Productivity can be tough for both in-house and outsourced training programs. The training Assistant cannot be fully productive until they are able to do things on their own and with minimal required supervision. Any type of training is hard to keep your already busy schedule productive. With the Supervisor's Guide, each week is pre-planned for the Audiologist involved in the training. The Assistant can progress faster through the training by not having to learn one way of completing tasks online, then a different way in practice. In as little as 10 weeks, the core techniques and foundational concepts of the training are complete and the assistant has already learned how to integrate into the practice, performing their essential job functions.
Real-world work examples. Training your Audiology Assistant in-house allows you to use real-world work examples (hands-on training) to help them gain the understanding of their job functions in your practice in real time. The Assistant is not learning "general examples" on how it might happen or how a concept, tool or protocol should be used in your practice. In-house training allows the assistant to learn faster and be able to start working independently sooner.
"Integrating the training from the manual into the actual practice here is great, as things come up frequently that are mentioned in the training and I am able to have multiple options and ways to go about learning from them." - Nicola Harris, Audiology Assistant trainee.
At Audiology Academy, we’re committed to strengthening the field of Audiology by committing to the well-rounded education of Audiology Assistant students. Our on-line and workbook curriculum is built around that conviction. If you’re interested in a well thought out training program that has already been created with the busy practice in mind, your new Audiology Assistant can earn a Certificate of Completion with our program in as little as 10 weeks. Contact us for more information.