However, there are several potential challenges here. Firstly, many people who find themselves in a manager role have never received any instructions on how to train others. In addition, they may not even possess the very competencies and skills which they need to impart to their teams.
This is why it's vital that HR managers are involved in the process to ensure that the right level of training has been offered to the staff. In today's post, we'll have a look at how you can help your managers to train your staff effectively.
1. Assess your managersThe first thing you need to do is work out what your managers can and cannot do; in other words, you need to know the starting point. It's important not to make assumptions here.
You might take it for granted that someone who has attained a management position is able to use PowerPoint and to facilitate the required presentations in the training room, but this may not be the case. They may need support in some of the most basic areas of developing training plans and conducting the actual training.
2. Teach them about interactive learningSomeone who is not well versed in training techniques may often default to just verbally relaying the information to their students, monologue style. Clearly, the “boring lecture” approach is far from optimal - people learn best in an interactive environment.
Staff are much more likely to assimilate information when it is engaging and relevant to them and their roles in the company. Techniques such as role playing and collaborative learning can be very effective here.
New trainers should be given the opportunity to learn a little about the basic psychology of learning. This will help them to train in a way that's engaging and readily absorbed.
3. Explain various learning stylesEverybody learns in different ways, so it is crucial that new managers and trainers understand how people vary in their preferred learning style. If a novice trainer learns best via certain methods, they naturally tend to teach in the same style.
It’s important for trainers to identify their own styles, preferences, and biases around learning, and to understand how others learn in different ways.
4. Teach them technologyNowadays there is an abundance of technology solutions available to help trainers in the workplace.
Gone are the days of the overhead projector – your trainers may well find themselves using video conferencing, interactive whiteboards, or even the cloud. Ensure that your managers understand the technology required for the training and are able to utilise it in their training sessions. If used properly, it makes collaborating, sharing, and learning much more effective.
5. Train them on soft skillsSoft skills, such as listening and empathy, are crucial for effective training. However, a common problem here is that the characteristics that often allow managers to work their way up in an organisation – such as being dogmatic, decisive, and persuasive – can be at odds with the necessary traits of a good trainer and mentor.
You may need to help managers understand how to foster an environment that stimulates learning and development.
6. Develop materials for themManagers are busy and may not have the time to learn all the new skills, find videos, or draw up handouts to facilitate effective training. If possible, provide them with a function where you can help them put together materials for their training sessions.
7. Set up a central training repositoryCloud applications make it easy to set up a folder for shared files. Set one up for training, and allow your managers access. Drop in resources and encourage managers to do the same. This can quickly grow into a tremendous resource for staff across the entire organisation.
8. Help with training letters and packsThe administration of training can be a problem – and a time consuming one – especially to new trainers. Assist them by providing training letters and packs for your managers and, where possible, distribute them to the employees so that the managers don’t have that responsibility. This is not always possible or appropriate, but it may work within your organisation.
9. Provide guidance on gap analysisOrganisational training should be an on-going process, with both formal and on-the-job training interspersed to build teams of people who can fulfil their roles effectively. Managers need to be trained to do a gap analysis in order to identify the primary needs of their teams. They also need to think in terms of competencies, so that they can deliver lasting change.
All individual and group training efforts must have clear goals. Effective training will drive behavioural and attitudinal change in a positive direction. Supporting your managers in the formation of the training, especially managers who are new to this area, will ensure that the process has a good chance of success.
Remember – training is vital to any organisation, especially in today’s fast changing world. Managers need the tools to conduct training confidently, effectively, and regularly in order to increase flexibility and build an organisational culture that facilitates success.
If you're looking for a more thorough treatment of the topic, we dive much deeper in our Train the Trainer courses.
HR teams can help managers to train their staff in many ways, but perhaps the most important thing is to make sure that managers are supported. If they are, they'll be able to offer effective training that empowers their employees to be more competent and productive in their roles.