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Orientation & Training: Part Four

Training the Trainer

In order to keep your training programs fresh, relevant, and up-to-date, it is recommended that you incorporate a theory of lifelong learning into your workplace. This includes a practice of training the trainer - recognizing that despite having an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter in question, there is always room to learn and grow. 
 
When it comes to training, the goal is to strive for excellence. Perhaps one of your new trainers needs a boost in confidence in order to come across more effectively, or maybe one of your more experienced trainers would benefit from a re-energized approach after years of following the same program. Whatever your needs, reinforcing new learning will help even the strongest members of your company continually grow with the future of your work force. 
 
Identify and Learn
 
With the help of your team, write down the characteristics of an exceptional trainer. Which traits does your trainer exhibit on a regular basis? Where is there room for improvement? Meet with your trainer regularly to discuss strategies for growth. Allowing your company’s training programs to remain on a stagnant path sends the message that there is no need for self-reflection or improvement. Keeping asking yourself the following: what’s working? What’s not? What needs revamping? These types of questions will help keep your key trainers on point as they guide new hires. 
 
Explore Trainees’ Expectations
 
What do your new hires expect to learn when they enter your place of business for the first time? A good trainer recognizes a group’s needs and adjusts material to meet them (instead of refusing to veer off course). Adaptability is key – what works for one trainee may not work for another.  

Facilitate  
 
The most effective trainers are those who facilitate learning throughout the training process. Facilitation is achieved through interaction, frequent Q & A periods, and a close monitoring of a trainee’s level of engagement. Assess your trainer’s level of responsiveness when teaching new hires – does he or she simply speak at the audience? If so, brainstorm creative ways to transform basic presentation skills into engaging learning sessions between teacher and student. 
 
Stay on Top of Trends
 
This does not mean you should forgo your company’s tried and true training methods for the trendiest concepts on the market. Instead, it simply suggests that experimentation with new ideas often has positive results. Many trends in new employee training become popular because of their high level of effectiveness. Encourage your trainer to dabble in the unknown every so often and adopt a previously unfamiliar tool or technique.   
 
Lifelong learning is a challenging yet rewarding prospect. Even the most accomplished professionals seek guidance from seasoned veterans and idea-fuelled individuals. Trainers who adopt a continual cycle of learning and growth will ultimately lead the most effective employees in the work place.