I had some interesting discussions last week with training professionals in the Life Sciences industry, and one of the topics that came up was our approach to developing those rotating into (and out of) our training departments.
Some companies have a pretty well-defined training program for trainers, while other have good intentions, but not much of a plan (or too many time demands to carry it out).
As I see it, there should be (ideally) 4 “buckets” of emphasis when on-boarding and developing trainers from the field:
Training-specific skills (basic level) – such things as facilitation; basic ISD; adult learning principles; etc.
Operational/Functional skills – HQ orientation; MLR review procedures; project/vendor management; etc.
Corporate collaboration skills – influence with/without authority; communication (verbal, writing); networking; etc.
Next-role-prep – specific training as the employee gets ready to transition to a DM or Marketing or (whatever) role.
What do you think? Are these the right categories? What are other topics that you cover in your department?
The question also came up as to whether there should be defined competencies at the front and back end of training rotations – seems intuitive that there should be, but I’m not sure many departments have them (does yours?)
By the way, LTEN offers many of these topics in their Total Trainer Certificate Series. Joining those courses with other customized in-house and outsourced workshops should provide quite a strong foundation for the development of trainers into successful corporate performers.
George Ericsson says
I think these are great areas of focus for HQ trainers. However, I’d add a few thoughts:
– Trainer selection: Not all high performing reps (or sales managers) are going to be great trainers. Targeted selection is rarely used by HQ hiring managers even when they insist on it for entry level representatives. It should be.
– Baseline Management / Coaching / Civil Treatment training – Sales trainers become “agents of management” at HQ and now have to behave and interact differently with sales trainees than they might when in prior field based roles.
– Peer mentorship – making the transition to leadership during their time in the HQ training team rotation requires role models. Where possible, these mentors should be selected from the permanent department trainers (learning professionals) to expose them to learning approaches that reach beyond classroom delivered training.
Jim Trunick says
Product knowledge needs to be accurate and the absolute best. Trainers first must be SME.
Coaching … Situational awareness and leadership. Communication skills, ie.
Insights or DiSC. Values based coaching.
Organization … Knowing the org structure. How work gets done. Partnering with HR and marketing.