Performance management systems offer a lot of benefits. They allow you to sidestep the issues with older performance management methods. When coupled with digital technology, they can also offer agility, flexibility, and the chance to actually build a stronger organization. However, not all performance management systems are created equal. One of the key features to look for when comparing your options is the train-the-trainer module. But why?
What Is the Train the Trainer Module?
While digital training helps to democratize the education process, you cannot completely eliminate human trainers in many instances. These individuals may still be very necessary and might be required to handle in-person learning, blended learning, and even some aspects of eLearning. Of course, in order for them to uphold these responsibilities, they need to be trained themselves.
This is where train the trainer comes into play. Being a subject matter expert is often not enough. Understanding how a particular software program works is not going to cut it. Train the trainer helps your team leaders and trainers connect the dots and learn the skills necessary to make their training more effective and to support improved outcomes for all learners across the board.
When it comes to training, it takes less time to train one trainer, who will then provide training to internal experts and other trainers within your organization.
Build Internal Expertise
No matter what type of system your organization uses, from in-person training to pure eLearning, your team members will have questions. Those are best answered by people they regard as trained experts. By training your internal team members, you also help to ensure that employees can seek answers from people with whom they are already familiar rather than outside experts who may be less approachable.
Corporate Culture Specific
Training the trainer is also an important consideration for ensuring that your corporate culture is supported. If you brought in outside trainers to help your team, the training might be technically accurate, but it would not necessarily be branded to match your organization. This dissonance between your corporate culture and the training being provided can create a rift that prevents learners from retaining some of the information being taught or even cause them to fail to appreciate how a particular topic connects with your organization. By training the trainers within your organization, you ensure that this does not happen. Your subject matter experts are also experts in your corporate culture and understand your brand, its personality, and everything else.
Build a Training Team
In some cases, it may be necessary to create an internal team of training experts. A train-the-trainer module or program can give key talent within your organization the skills and training necessary to become primary trainers in their own right. This goes beyond their area of expertise.
Team members completing the train the trainer program have an in-depth understanding of how to deliver training material. Even if they don’t have expertise in another area, their familiarity with training delivery means that they can provide training for your teams, thereby shortening the time required to complete the entire process.
Train the trainer models allow you to save more than just time. You can also save money. Rather than paying for multiple outside trainers, arranging for venues, and the like, you only need to pay for your trainers to train. Then, they can provide training to your employees on your own terms.
With the right learning management system, you can deliver train-the-trainer concepts seamlessly. It even enables you to use video, provide real-time feedback on performance, and allows you to record and save training information for reference down the road.
Finding Trainers in the First Place
Of course, a train-the-trainer program is of no use if you haven’t yet identified the talent within your organization who needs to be trained. Not all individuals are well-suited for a training role, even if they are subject matter experts. So, how do you ensure that you’ve made the right choice?
It goes beyond the area of expertise. You need people with whom your employees are already familiar and those who have at least some degree of authority with your team members. Other things that help make an individual better suited to being a trainer include the following:
- Experience in Leading: Training is not necessarily leading, but those who have experience leading meetings and other gatherings often do better as trainers.
- Consider Organizers: Don’t limit yourself to just those who have led meetings. Also, consider employees and team members who have experience organizing events. These skills can be invaluable for trainers, particularly those who are training large numbers of other employees.
- Committed: It does you little good to choose a trainer and get them into the program if they are not going to be committed to it. Any number of things could pop up that derail their ability to see things through, but make sure that your trainers are committed to the project.
- Willingness to Fail: Training the trainer is not a once-and-done thing. It’s a process. It’s also probably pretty unfamiliar to your trainers, even if they have some previous training experience. They need to be willing to experiment and fail in order to see growth. If they are unwilling to accept the possibility of mistakes, they probably aren’t the right candidates for this program.
Ultimately, train the trainer capabilities are invaluable for businesses of all sizes in all industries. These features can save you time and money while building a stronger organization, and a more connected team and ensure that training is delivered in accordance with your brand and corporate culture. However, not everyone is a good fit for train-the-trainer programming. Make sure you’ve chosen your trainers with care.