Training the In-House Trainers

Trainers need two separate sets of skills and expertise. First, they need to know the subject on which they are conducting the training (subject matter expertise). Secondly, they need to know how to transfer that knowledge to the participants who are attending their session (instructional expertise). Both these skills are equally important. The problem is, corporations need people that know the topic material very well. So most companies hire trainers that have educational degrees or subject matter expertise in the fields they will be training. But this is a penance because most of the trainers have little or no training in instructional expertise or other words- trainer training. Organisations assume that since they have been exposed to so many learning experiences, they would’ve learned how to teach simply by watching other trainers teach. The problem that arises is that the teaching skills they learn along the way are traditional lecture style, which is non-interactive and not well suited for non-auditory learning styles. Therefore, it is crucial first to train the trainer.

Train the trainer refers to upgrading existing knowledge and developing the skills of individuals who conduct training. Remember, there is no end to knowledge. Training people is not an easy task, and you need to be ready to handle even the minutest queries and provide appropriate solutions to their problems. It is necessary for the trainers to keep themselves updated with the latest developments in their respective genres. Trainers need to keep pace with the ever-changing technology, and thus it is crucial for them to sit and incorporate necessary changes in their training style or course module under the expert guidance of an individual.

Top Qualities Trainer’s Must Possess

Since training employees is an enormous responsibility, trainers are expected to have a set of qualities to be able to create the desired impact. If we were to point out the desirable attributes of training managers, they would be as follows:

  • An In-Depth Knowledge of the Business

A deep and accurate understanding of the company or organisation is the biggest asset that a trainer can possess. At any given point, a trainer should be able to explain both what and how the organisation does in a few simple and concise sentences.

Most corporate trainings aim to build and expand the company’s resources, thereby creating a dynamic and prolific workforce. This is only possible when you are familiar with the skill sets that your workforce needs. In-Depth knowledge of the business is, therefore, necessary while designing and evaluating training programs that will help your team achieve the organisation’s strategic goals.

  • The Ability to Measure and Evaluate the Training Needs of the Staff

Trainers are required to conduct a precise training needs analysis before initiating a training assignment. This process helps determine two things – what are the team’s learning needs, and how to implement them while prioritising the learning. This requires a lot of interaction and input from the employees and the direct management as well.

  • Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Communication is the key to delivering a good training program. Understanding problems, communicating approaches, conducting training – all of this is conveyed through words. If you have trouble communicating, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to motivate your staff, or efficiently explain the need for training to your employees.

The flip-side to this element is that while having a way with words is a great asset, it is of no use if it isn’t mixed with empathy, firmly rooted in the understanding of how different people learn and backed by expert interpersonal skills.  Good trainers not only have great people skills, they genuinely enjoy relating to people. They love to talk and interact with people. They go out of their way to listen to the problems of others and love coming up with solutions.

  • Ability to Think Outside the Box

The idea of attending a training session can make anyone feel apprehensive and bored. So, be it seasoned corporate executives or employees who have just got on board, in most cases training doesn’t excite people. Haven’t we all been through plenty of monotonous and repetitive training sessions? We’ve all yawned through boring presentations that were delivered with minimum effort and enthusiasm by the trainer. Even if participants are excited to learn about a topic, a boring training session can kill their interest, and they may soon start to zone out.

So that’s the thing, training (even corporate training) doesn’t have to be boring. It all depends on the teaching style. So if you want to maximise your odds of holding the attention of your participants, try to be playful with your training style. Take risks with your training material and gather inspiration from all around.

While training isn’t an easy job, it is a rewarding one. Good trainers have the power to change lives and the destiny of an organisation. We at Challenging Horizons, offer programs that will not only enhance the skills sets of your in-house trainers but also make them accountable for the impact they create.