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Are 'Train the Trainer' programs effective?

Training is extremely important for the growth of any employee in an organization. Under these circumstances, it is important that this training be conducted by trainers who are well versed with the functional and knowledge aspects of the training. However, not all those who are subject matter experts are good at imparting training to others. Therefore, train the trainer programs play a very important role in ensuring that proper training is given to all staff members. Training the trainer is something completely different from training your other employees. Thus, for such training to be effective, it is important to know what goes into such training programs for trainers, as this will help formulate better and more effective training programs.

Here are some important aspects that such trainings should consider:

  • Understanding the needs of the trainee 

    In any training program, including the train the trainer programs, it is important to understand the needs and requirements of those attending the training. By doing so, we are ensuring that we meet those requirements and the training does not go waste. In other words, if the training program matches the needs of the attendee, it will be effective.

  • Concentration on subject matter skills

    One of the important factors that most train the trainer programs follow is their excessive concentration on subject matter skills or functional skills. While this is definitely important and required to a great extent, it is difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of any training program when the concentration on such skills is overwhelming. This is because the people who attend this training are usually subject matter experts and might find nothing new from these programs. Therefore, to make such training programs effective, it is important to ensure a reasonable level of emphasis on subject matter skills.

  • Soft skills and their impact

    Train the trainer programs are most effective when the concentration is on imparting soft skills training to the attendees. Often it is seen that most experts are bad trainers because they are not aware of the best way to conduct training. Either their communication skills are poor, or they have certain personality issues, which could cause problems in training. Moreover, others might have problems with creating interpersonal relationships. Creating a training program that will concentrate on the tackling of these issues will help the participants improve. Moreover, it will also help you to evaluate the effectiveness of your training program for trainers. Having a good structure and design for any training program that imparts training on soft skills to trainers also increase the effectiveness of the program. These are measurable impacts that you can actually see and ascertain.

  • Skills related to training design

    Often it is seen that training programs are not designed properly or lack a certain structure. When train the trainer programs concentrate on these issues, they become truly effective, given that you can easily measure the same after the training is over. 

From the above discussion, it is evident that train the trainer programs are effective, provided they concentrate on the above issues and do not digress.


Comments Listing
Posted: 01/09/2016 09:40:59

Train the trainer programs are an effective source of facilitating skills and knowledge to trainers only if the goal and objective of training the trainer is well planned, designed and communicated during the training. This tool is more effective in skills training especially in the acquisition of industrial skills. An example was when I was the Operations Director of a skills training centre called Ghana Industrial Skills Development Centre, established by the Governments of Ghana and The Netherlands to train trainers (facilitators)to handle the various industrial skills of fixing and finding solutions to challenges and problems normally encountered in the work world of industry. A very good tool of impacting skills and knowledge.

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