Management Training Programs - In-House or External?

By Tara Jaks

February 10 2012 - Companies large and small have a very important decision to make when seeking out management training programs for their employees. Do they task an outside company with the training of their charges, or do they do it themselves? Each option comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what these are, and being able to weigh them against each other should allow a company to choose the one that suits them best.

With that goal in mind, let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you decide which is the better option for you.

The Advantages

In-House - In-house training has some very strong advantages that may seem to make it the obvious choice for training employees. First, the training program itself can be developed specifically for your company and the way it conducts business, and to meet the specific training needs of your employees. This is a great advantage over a generic industry training course, as ultimately your goal is to train managers specifically for your company.

Second, the knowledge you have of your employees should enable you to train them more effectively, with training that complements their skills and personalities, and specifically addresses their personal needs and necessary areas of growth.

External - External trainers have often developed extensive training programs that leave no stone unturned. They’re often filled with various exercises that give hands-on demonstrations of the techniques being taught. They’re also likely to get your employees thinking about business in a broader sense, and not just as it relates to your company.

Another benefit is that these public training events will allow your people to join trainees from other companies, allowing them to network with other up-and-comers from other businesses. These interactions could most certainly pay dividends in the years to come.

Finally, external training courses may come with accredited certification, which will give your employees added confidence in their abilities.

The Disadvantages

In-House - The biggest disadvantage of in-house training is the likelihood that your company won’t have the specialized resources available to adequately train your employees. These resources include personnel capable of teaching and training the employees, as well as the course design and training materials necessary to do so.

An alternative is to bring a professional outside trainer to your workplace to train your employees on site.

External - The cost of external training programs may be an issue for some companies, including the cost of the training program itself, and any travel related expenses. In addition to cost, there are the issues of coordinating time off work for your employees to coincide with when the training program will be taking place.

External training may also be either too narrowly focused, or too broadly focused to provide enough incentive to send your employees. In the former case, seminars or training programs may focus on just one narrow area of interest or study. Unless this topic is of great import, it may not be a worthwhile investment. In the latter cases, broadly based training events may be great for providing a lot of practical information, but may not do quite so well at providing tangible benefits for employees. Again, the rewards may not be worth the effort involved in sending employees out for the seminar or training.

The Best of Both Worlds

A professional trainer who comes in to work with your people on site combines the best of both worlds, as he or she knows how to tailor the content to suit each client’s specific needs. Trainers form a substantial part of the membership of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, or CAPS. These professionals can quickly bring themselves up to speed on your industry, your company and your challenges (if they’re not already there), and create a training program expertly tailored to fit your situations and your needs.

The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers is the association of choice for experts who speak professionally. Visit for speakers, trainers, facilitators and coaches. Whatever your conference or training need, CAPS has just the right speaker on just the right topic for you.