You have a training problem. You need to provide ongoing training for your employees, but you don’t always want to outsource it. It gets expensive, and employees don’t always respond well to outsourced or external trainers. Plus, the perception of a trainer is fairly low among most employees. Here’s how to turn your top workers into trainers.
Use Managers As Trainers
Managers make excellent trainers. It might seem odd to pull them off their job to do training, but it’s incredibly effective for a couple of reasons. First, employees tend to respect managers more than external trainers. Trainers are, well, trainers. They don’t do much else. There’s a sense that they’re somewhat disconnected from the inner workings of the company.
With external trainers and training companies, there’s sometimes the feeling of total disconnect because the trainer doesn’t even work there. But, by positioning managers as mentors, they can pass on their own knowledge and personal experience with the company. They can more effectively train because they understand the larger vision and goals of the company.
They’re not afraid to venture out into “no man’s land” to get a point across, and they can implement new strategies with junior employees and new hires without worrying about upper-level managerial approval. Employees will get the strong impression that management is one their side, which is getting to be more and more rare these days.
Use Senior Staff To Train Others
Senior staff are another great resource that’s underutilized. Rank-and-file employees who don’t connect with management almost always connect with “one of their own.” On a very basic level, senior staff represent the “old guard.” The wiser, more savvy, of the staff. This puts them in an implicit position of authority without actually being any higher in rank.
The connection factor can’t be overstated. Employees who learn from other employees will tend to take the training more seriously, will tend to accomplish more in less time, and are more likely to make the training personally meaningful to them – thus improving company morale and productivity.
Use Periodic In-House and External Training
There may come a time when you need to hire out a training company like K Alliance. That doesn’t mean you have to totally hand over the reigns. Internal staff can still administer the training program, even if it’s designed by someone else.
This is usually necessary when you need to train employees on new processes that you yourself aren’t competent in. An example might be a manufacturing company that’s being retooled to handle a higher level of output.
If the machinery is new to everyone at your company, then you’ll probably need outside assistance with the creation and distribution of information.
Since retaining employee trust is the number one priority, you should strive to use upper-level management as first choice for the training. This will help boost confidence in lower rank-and-file staff, since the information is new. If it comes from upper management, there’s implicit authority and agreement that whatever you’re doing will work.
Anthony Buckley enjoys his HR work. He likes blogging about effective methods of improving employee productivity and satisfaction.