October 26, 2016

A concise definition of “successful trainer” is clearly stated by Derek Stockley in his article, “The two main requirements for success as a trainer”:

“To be successful, a trainer has to have: 

                   – Knowledge and skills in training techniques.

                    – Excellent knowledge and skills on the training topic

 You need to know your subject and you need to have the ability to communicate with others about it.”

 That is, without doubt, the core of the matter —- succinctly stated.

But, what about the “successful trainer’s” organization?  How does it fit into the “successful training” equation.

New equipment, with its technological improvements (and, its unique training challenges), comes into your plant routinely.  “Ol’ Charlie,” who has been lubricating the rotating equipment in your facility for twenty years, may not know what he is expected to know.  Supervisors may become “blind” to safety hazards that they pass by ten times a day.  Respiratory equipment procedures may rely on “written instructions” even though many individuals in the workforce do not read well enough to assimilate that information.

Unfortunately, training expenditures are often made only as a reaction to some internal operating problem: repeated packing failures; increasing waste; lubrication errors, etc.

Reactive training is not the way to address most training issues.  It is often piece-meal and is a “horse is already out of the barn” solution.

The key to successful training is to make it an integral part of the organization’s business objectives.

Up-front planning helps ensure that any investment in training will deliver measurable results.  The goal is to make training a cost-effective solution that supports the business objectives of the organization.

It is critical to focus training where it will have the greatest impact on performance.  Using needs assessment and task analysis techniques, it is possible to identify the greatest opportunities for improved performance.

In order to be successful, a training plan must become a solution that can be implemented within the existing structures of the organization.  From broad decisions such as curriculum design or the integration of new learning technology — to details such as staffing, scheduling, and equipping the learning environment, the organization should strive to transform the training plan into a smoothly functioning reality.

At the heart of it all should be a valid “Skills Assessment Test” — administered to everyone in the workforce.  Only then will it be possible to determine whether “Ol’ Charlie” really knows the best and safest ways to perform his assigned tasks.  In addition, money will be saved by tailoring the training to only those who need it, rather than continuing with a “one size fits all” approach.

To be successful, training must be integral.  It is as important to the organization as almost any initiative the company undertakes.

Only then will the “successful trainers” in the organization contribute their fullest potential and, in the process, the company will become the “successful training organization” it strives to be.

More on Monday –  –  –

   — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)