Photo by: Samuel Clara via Unsplash
What do you do when your organization expands the training department to meet the increased training needs of a growing company? Most commonly, the first step is to bring in new employees. Often these new trainers do not have significant experience.
Here are seven steps to ensure your new trainers are successful:
Select the Right Candidates
The successful candidate should have strong interpersonal and organizational skills and be somewhat comfortable speaking before a group. Ideally, a potential trainer should have demonstrated the ability to concisely state complex ideas. They must also be flexible enough to adjust to group dynamics. By way of example, an informal motto of Langevin trainers is “Semper Gumby”—always be flexible.
Provide Knowledge and Skills
Most people don’t automatically have the skill set to do well in a classroom. A train-the-trainer course that focuses on delivery and organizational skills, and that includes opportunities for practice, would provide the basics. Furthermore, if the potential trainer must teach in the virtual classroom environment, they must also have the technical skills to use the available platforms.
Provide the Right Tools
In addition to knowledge and skills, a new trainer needs access to soft and hard copy standardized materials such as a well-designed leader’s guide, a good training area with an appropriate learning environment, dependable audio-visual tools, and training aids to enhance learning. If the training is technology-based, the tools must be stable and reliable.
Establish Clear Standards of Performance
The procedures to be followed in the classroom must be clearly spelled out so there is no doubt in the trainer’s mind on how to meet the standards.
The new trainer must know the organizational standard for an instructor, as well as the metrics that will be used to show how they are performing in relation to those standards. What are the acceptable scores on end-of-course evaluations? What are the minimum scores that learners must achieve in training? What other key performance indicators will a supervisor check on to determine how well the new trainer is doing?
Measuring performance is great, but it is even more important to let the new trainer know what they are doing well and what areas need to be improved. This type of feedback should be provided as early as possible after observed training and be limited to just a few points for improvement. It is also important to track the improvement in performance in the areas in which previous feedback has been provided.
Provide Incentive to Perform
Incentive can be provided in many ways. For example, it is incenting to have training as part of an overall employee development program. If high marks in training can be linked to advancement within the organization, so much the better. Somehow, the new trainer must receive a reward for meeting or exceeding the organizational standards.
No matter how solid the preparation, there is always a learning curve for a new trainer. People, including trainers, learn by doing. Expect and require continuous improvement.
For the knowledge and skills step, Langevin’s Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop will provide delivery skills, key information on course structure, and course management skills—everything to ensure a new trainer is successful!
For the trainer tasked with working in a virtual classroom environment, Langevin’s The Virtual Trainer workshop will provide the core delivery and platform management skills that are key to a new trainers’ success in a live online environment.