We Love Our Consultants
Every year, TrainingPros celebrates Consultant Appreciation Month. But what is it? Why do we do it? What happens? In this short blog, I’m going to highlight our 2013 Celebration of Consultants:
What is Consultant Appreciation Month?
All of us appreciate our Mother every day. However, we don’t always take the time to tell her that. That’s why we set aside one special day each year to celebrate how much we appreciate our Mother. That is the idea behind Consultant Appreciation Month. We at TrainingPros (and most of our clients) appreciate the consultants each and every day. However, we don’t always take the time to show the consultant or tell the consultant how much we appreciate them. For the past three years, TrainingPros has set aside a whole month for communicating our appreciation to our consultants.
Why Have Consultant Appreciation Month?
This is a great question that we are often asked. I spoke with several Relationship Managers at TrainingPros to ensure that I could answer this one thoroughly – because the answer is very subtle.
The Consultant-TrainingPros relationship is a reciprocal one. Our consultants work hard to develop new skills, learn the latest techniques and software platforms, and to continuously improve their consulting skills. Many of our consultants reach out to us each time one of their projects is ending to see if we have assignments for them. By working so hard to keep their skills current and improve their consulting skills, and by keeping us informed of their availability, they allow us to provide our clients with the very best Learning and Development consultants.
We want to make sure that our consultants know that we think they are the “best of the best” and this is one way that we accomplish that.
What Happens During Consultant Appreciation Month?
One of the most important results during this month is the building of a consultant community. Our consultants have a chance to meet each other, discuss their consulting experiences, exchange business cards, and just expand their network. They also have the chance to spend some non-business time with their local Relationship Managers. And finally, they get to see postings about their colleagues on social media.
For 2013, we really stepped up our celebration and offered more than in any other year. Here are the great events we offered:
Talent Screening Days
We offered three separate “Talent Screening Days” in three separate cities. On these days, several Relationship Managers teamed up to meet as many new consultants as possible. This is our chance to review portfolios, discuss opportunities, and just get to know the consultants.
We hosted breakfasts in a couple of cities just for consultants. This was a great chance for consultants to meet us, network, and meet each other.
In St. Petersburg, we had our biggest breakfast with seven consultants and two Relationship Managers meeting.
Lunch And Learn
TrainingPros arranged for a national speaker (who happens to be located in Atlanta) to offer an educational session in Atlanta, GA. This was offered at lunch time and a sandwich buffet was provided. Consultants learned about how to leverage the latest learning technologies.
We also noticed quite a few consultants staying behind to network and exchange business cards!
Two Relationship Managers participated in a Career Fair where learning professionals were able to network with colleges, continuing education programs, and employers. We met many new consultants that evening.
We sponsored a meeting held by the Charlotte ASTD on improving your webinars. Sponsoring ASTD, ISPI, and SHRM Chapters is a great way to support consultants since professional development groups are a great place for consultants to gain skills and network with one another.
Gift Card Giveaways
We gave out small gift cards with Thank You Notes to fifteen randomly selected consultants. While the amounts weren’t large, we hope the thought behind the gift cards are known.
My favorite part of all was all the great comments we received from our consultants about how much they like working with us. (Because I want our consultants to be happy!) Here are a few of the comments:
“I have worked with TrainingPros for several years as both a client and a consultant. In both capacities I have received wonderful service and support and I couldn’t think of a better organization in this industry to work with!”
“My experience with TrainingPros has been completely positive. The TrainingPros staff is professional and helpful and to achieve success, they understand how important it is that both the consultant and the customer is satisfied with the engagement. Also, I am very impressed with the level of expertise of other TrainingPros consultants that I’ve met. It’s like playing tennis – in order to become a better player, you need to play with someone who is better than you. In the past year that I’ve worked with TrainingPros, I know that I have gained new skills and improved my expertise through the colleagues I’ve worked with.”
“I have been consulting/contracting for over 15 years and in comparison your agency has been one of the best. I feel the amount of interaction is a perfect balance; not too much, and not too little. In addition, I always get a response immediately when I have a question.”
“I have to admit, that of all of the contract agencies which I have worked with, TrainingPros is by far the best. Their Relationship Managers are personable, and will promptly answer your calls and/or emails. Unlike many agencies, they follow through with you and keep in touch even if you didn’t get the position you interviewed for. I feel that they work hard for their Contractors, getting the best companies at the highest rate possible. They make me feel “special” and not like just another Contractor. I have been absolutely spoiled by Training Pros, and I don’t want to use any other company!”
“I have worked with TraningPros for over 12 years now, and I can simply say that TrainingPros has provided me with some of the most rewarding contractual experiences throughout my career as an instructional designer.”
“I’ve contracted through all kinds of agencies for many years, and TrainingPros is the best. Others cut their contractors loose when the contract ends, they aren’t set set up to even try to hold onto talent. But my colleagues who work with TrainingPros tend to stay with TrainingPros, from one contract to another and another. They have the opportunity to work at the best client companies, at great rates, with less anxiety about where to go next as they finish each contract.”
Leigh Anne Lankford is an instructional designer with more than 21 years’ experience in the field of HRD. She is a Relationship Manager for TrainingPros in Atlanta, working closely with training and development departments of large organizations to identify, attract, and on-board contract professionals for very specific and specialized training and development needs. You can reach Leigh Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.