How to Choose your Training Partner and Plan for an Out Bound Training Program?

When was your last out bound training program?

Did you have fun?

Remember the take away of your out bound training program?

I am really happy if you do but after having met and spoken to several connections in the industry, I am afraid that we do not remember much of the take away. Reason, is simple – the industry is facing a price war, a competition with the event companies that are slowly moving towards corporate companies to tap parts of their employee events. Corporate companies welcome these companies largely for two reasons – Price and Relationships.

I must say, some of the ‘team building companies’ are very good as the people behind them are experienced, come from training industry and launched themselves right on the identified gap by the event industry.

Training Companies are going through a robust change, at 2 levels some are adding value in delivery mode though right training simulations and content expertise. Others are cashing on low budgets and have found their space between team building activities and employee retreats. There are few who have created a perfect amalgamation of team activities & retreats and have labeled the product offering as ‘corporate retreats’.

The idea here is, to understand the thin line between Outbound Training Programs are corporate picnics, which are being framed as a popular jargon ‘corporate retreats’.

Here are few pointers, which you as an HR must understand to plan an Out Bound Training Program:

Know Your Audience

As the training organizer or coordinators, it is important to streamline the audience. You cannot plan an event for all in entirety.

Understand the purpose of Program

The most significant aspect of having a program is to work on the design & delivery of the program which is only done by a trainer who understand the competency model of the program. This is equally important in context to the previous point, you need to understand the audience. When we design programs, develop content – the primary facet of the same to understand the audience, competency mapping of the audience and then developing the program for them.

Use Science & Technology to its Best

The very purpose of a training program is – adding value to your team, your employees and to upgrade their professional capabilities. Training Industry is upgrading to simulations, it is about the science of training largely designed on the basis of neurosciences and how effective they could be in adult learning techniques.

Differentiate between OBTs and Retreats

Once you have understood the above requisites of an upcoming program, you need to clearly demand the training partners- they need t differentiate between an OBT and a retreat program. Retreats are good for team rejuvenation but OBTs are different and need to be focused and result oriented.

OBTs should cover the following:

  1. Audience Orientation aligned with the KRAs.
  2. Outdoor activities should be about Positive Challenges to your team, mental as well as physical.
  3. Team Games is not all an OBT needs, there has to be a defined cause & effect for each training element.
  4. Action in an OBT needs to be completely allied with the learning objectives which a training partner should design with Reporting Managers of the audience or the HR.

OBT Objectives for the Trainer

As a trainer, I believe little bit of customization and tweaking is required as per the industry, the audience, their job profiles and KRAs. Some of the standard objectives however will be,

    1. Structure the training program based on brief of HR, Employee roles and program design.
    2. Make your participants comfortable and be appealing throughout the program.
    3. Align the learning objectives with the OBT activities.
    4. Aptitude & Ability to understand the profiles, and interact with them to understand the problem areas.
    5. Deliver lessons sensitively but keeping the OBT environment light & candid

Firstly, you need to understand the need for certain training program, plan it in a structured way, define goals for a program, explain it to the team and bring the training content in sync with the client requirements, follow & inculcate the above trends and now you are good to go.

In case you need any further help on choosing  your Training Partner and plan for an Out Bound Training Program, feel free to write to me on,