Tip #804: Train Your Trainers!

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” John Steinbeck

As the world moves at a faster and faster pace, with continual innovations and changes both presenting opportunities and taxing company’s capabilities, skilling, upskilling and reskilling have become a necessity. The responsibility for providing that training primarily falls on company trainers. And how is that training delivered?
“Slightly more than half (54 percent) of the formal learning hours used in 2018 were delivered using the traditional, live, face-to-face classroom, similar to the previous year. Organizations delivered another 11 percent of hours used through virtual classrooms, which rely on technology to connect a live instructor with learners. Employers can use virtual classrooms to reach dispersed workforces in real time while reducing or eliminating travel costs and time. The fact that about two-thirds of learning hours used were delivered in a traditional or virtual classroom underscores the importance of skilled trainers.” [The emphasis is mine.]
Those statistics are from the Association for Talent Development’s 2019 State of the Industry report, which is sponsored by the American Management Association.
The importance of skilled trainers cannot be overstated. Yet, how many of your trainers were never trained as trainers? How many of your trainers have been placed in their position solely because of their technical expertise? How many of your trainers rely on lecture and PowerPoint because those methods are all they know?
Trainers tend to be underrated. Not every CEO or manager understands that effective trainers need to know more than their topic and how to create a PowerPoint presentation. In fact, effective trainers need to be able to:
  • conduct training assessments to ensure that training is the answer and the right people get the right training at the right time;
  • design skill-building training that incorporates sufficient skill practice to build the participants’ confidence in their own competence;
  • design attitude-changing training that engenders employee buy-in and generates behavioral changes;
  • meet the needs and expectations of employees of different generations;
  • deliver learner-centered training programs;
  • create and maintain a welcoming and psychologically safe learning environment;
  • manage difficult participant behavior in a constructive way;
  • engage the participants’ supervisors in reinforcing new learning once the employees are back on the job; and
  • evaluate the effectiveness of training interventions and make revisions where necessary.
Employees who have the skills and experience to perform their jobs effectively are the lifeblood of any successful organization. Leaving their training to unskilled and under prepared trainers makes no sense.
Do your company a favor. Support your trainers and start the new year off right! If you would like to have your trainers better able to design and deliver dynamic or attitude-changing learning programs.
May your learning be sweet.

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