Our free learning and development series for non-profits is back. In the latest episode, our founder and CEO, Leah Chang, has teamed up with the Founder of OnPoint Employee Benefits, Tyler Hoffman, to bring you their top five secrets to evaluate your relationships with external consultants and the benefits they can bring to your organization.
In this webinar, Leah and Tyler evaluate relationships with external consultants to support your organizational goals. If you’ve never hired an external consultant and are interested in getting started, these tips and tools will help you feel confident in selecting the right one for you. If you’re already working with external consultants but want more out of the relationship, our webinar has great suggestions for how to evaluate your current relationships too.
Read on to learn Leah and Tyler’s five insider tips to evaluate your current and future vendor relationships.
Tip 1: Align with Core Philosophy (8:00)
Before you select a learning or benefits consultant, get clear on your core organizational philosophy and culture. Select a vendor that demonstrates how they will support you, then hold them accountable. Ask for specifics on how and where they will support your organizational goals.
When hiring an educational consultant, consider your organization’s philosophy on learning. Ask yourself, who is the experience for? What do you want them to DO with the learning? Is ongoing professional development part of your benefits package?
At Leah Chang Learning, we support organizational learning as being distinct from one time training, and it can have the following benefits:
A benefits vendor like Tyler can help you evaluate what your benefits strategy needs to achieve. They look at the bigger picture and ask questions like does our plan attract the right kind of employees? And are we meeting or beating the competition?
Tip 2: Take Advantage of Technology (16:22)
There are many good tools and systems available that can improve the functioning of your organization. A good vendor will be able to help you evaluate the right tools for you. We support taking an agnostic approach. This means coming into a client situation with an open mind. In making a recommendation, we listen to the organizational problems you are trying to solve, explore the digital architecture at your organization, and make a recommendation that is the best fit for you.
Tip 3: Don't Rush (21:22)
Consider the impact of any change on your team and how much time it may realistically take to achieve your goals. Shifting to a new technology or a new way of doing things takes time and energy from your staff. A good consultant will support the change management required to be successful by asking a lot of questions. They will outline what is required from you to support that success.
Tip 4: COVID Cost Savings (26:10)
A good vendor or consultant will be able to advise you in cost savings. Non-profit organizations may be eligible for grants and funding opportunities to execute specific projects and vendors can even help you write those grant proposals. Recently, Leah supported the New Westminster Arts Council with software implementation. She not only led the implementation and training of the project, she guaranteed success from the outset by helping them to apply for and receive a grant to complete the work.
A benefits consultant like Tyler, will ask questions to get a bigger picture of your organization, offering connections and suggestions for vendor discounts. For example, you may be eligible for a non-profit rate.
Tip 5: Assess & Repeat! (30:15)
All relationships change and grow over time and it’s no different for your external consultant relationships. That’s why Tyler suggests evaluating these relationships over time, or, following his three year “Are you too happy?” rule.
If you take away one thing from our blog post and webinar, it’s that we want you to hold your vendors accountable."
Access Our Suite of Non-profit Training Tools
As part of our mandate to support the organizational growth of non-profit and cause-drive organizations, we offer a growing number of non-profit eLearning courses. Click the image below to learn more and register today. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the work we do and start imagining how a learning consultant can support your organization today!
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Leah Chang is a learning consultant with 17+ years of experience designing online and classroom learning. In her spare time she goes on self-propelled travel adventures and tries to grow vegetables.