Back to School Time – Are Your Teachers Trainers Ready?
September 4, 2019
It’s back to school time across the country, and as the kids gather their school supplies and grudgingly accept the inevitable, it got us thinking about the teachers that await them in the classroom. We all know that teachers are integral to learning. For many of us, they were the first ones to encourage and inspire our learning.
In the business world, our teachers are called trainers and they are no less important. They bear the responsibility of passing on critical skills and knowledge while attempting to inspire and motivate lifelong learning.
It’s a big ask because teaching and training don’t come naturally to everyone. We often rely on subject matter experts to take on the roles of trainers. After all, they know the content the best. Shouldn’t they be the ones who deliver the training?
Well, yes and no.
Knowing the content of the training is only half the battle. The second half is knowing how to facilitate the training itself. These are two different skillsets and that’s where a train-the-trainer program can be very valuable.
Train-the-trainer can be used for nearly any organizational content need, from leadership development to OSHA training to the newest software rollout – basically, any situation where groups of people need to learn critical skills, either as a one-time training or as part of an ongoing program. It’s extremely cost-effective and efficient to have in-house educators who can deliver training as needed on-demand or as part of a planned, time-critical schedule.
A good train-the-trainer course should teach instructional design, the pros/cons of different platforms, instill confidence in the trainer to facilitate learning, and – here’s the important part – ensure retention. It’s not enough to impart the information – your audience needs to be able to remember it and apply it. This applies to training in a classroom, online or on-the-job setting.
Your corporate trainers can’t do it all. In-house trainers can be subject matter experts, managers, or full-time trainers – anyone who needs to educate others. And consider this additional benefit – training supervisors and managers to be instructors is a significant opportunity for growth and development. Teaching leaders to be trainers gives them a powerful new skill that will benefit them in many other areas – coaching, presenting, public speaking, and sales.