Train the Trainer programs are more and more common as organizations seek ways to scale training without increasing overall headcount or incurring third party fees for facilitation. If you’re a healthcare provider considering implementing a Train the Trainer model, it’s important to get the essentials right to realize the return on investment your organization is looking for.
Having helped many clients establish successful Train the Trainer programs here are GSC’s five essential steps for building a “Train The Trainer” program.
1. Design Great Learning Content.
Regardless of who the messenger is, your training will only be as successful as the message itself. Leveraging a “Train the Trainer” model still requires that you design and provide training material that is engaging and informative. This arms your trainers with content that their audience wants to entertain and retain. Your learning content should include:
- Effective Visual Aids: Visuals are a powerful tool in a workshop to keep your audience interested in discussion.
- Leverage presentation software such as PowerPoint to create the talking points and images needed to explain the training’s goal and main points.
- Include videos, pictures, and even statistics showing real numbers make information concrete and easy to remember.
- Provide handouts summarizing key points and learning objectives in the presentation. This allows each learner to hone in on the important information as well as be able to add their own notes.
- Interactive Activities: Keep things interesting for your learners by incorporating interactive activities. This empowers your learners to put ideas into action, breaks up the monotony of a lecture, and gives your trainer a chance to prepare for the next lesson. Options for interactive activities include:
- Team discussions provide groups of 3 to 5 an opportunity to think about and the how or why of a particular topic.
- Games or competitions get individuals or groups to participate in the lesson while also keeping interest throughout the training window.
- Role-playing allows participants to get hands-on and practice in a safe and controlled space.
- Open Q&A allows participants to ask the trainer or other subject matter experts attending questions. Allowing for a planned time for questions keeps the lesson moving forward while still acknowledging and addressing questions for learners.
2. Build A Great Facilitator Guide.
Equipping your trainers with a great Facilitator Guide is important to ensuring that as your organization rolls out your learning program each trainer has the tools and answers at their disposal to be successful. A great Facilitator Guide should not only summarize the information in the presentation, but explain key points, provide relevant examples that can be shared with the class, and provide answers to known common questions. Another essential element of a Facilitator Guide is to explain the different visual aids and activities included in the lesson. Consider this a How-To with steps and directions that ensure your trainers can execute each lesson flawlessly.
3. Choose the Right Trainers.
Successfully deploying a “Train the Trainer” model depends on choosing the right team. Individuals with these attributes drive excellent results for “Train the Trainer”:
- A leader or role model. An employee that leads by example and is well-respected.
- An employee with excellent communication skills, open to leading discussions, and a good listener to his/her coworkers’ concerns.
- A person who demonstrates a positive attitude and excitement about opportunities to learn and share with others.
- Employees who may have prior experience leading training which may be appropriate and beneficial.
- Employees who have the flexibility and availability in their agenda or willingness to dedicate extra time for the topic and organization.
4. Equip Your Trainers with Facilitation Skills.
While your selected trainers may have the right attitude and education to succeed, facilitation skills may be new or unnatural for them. It is important to establish a baseline for all employees selected as trainers so they feel comfortable in their roles. Golden Source Consultants provides a Training Facilitation 101 class that helps our client’s trainers know the tricks of the trade of professional facilitators. Where to stand, how to manage the room, when to speed up, when to slow down, and how to plan are all skills you should equip your trainers with before you launch your training program.
5. Evaluate the Results.
In a Train the Trainer model evaluating the results is not just important for your organization to understand the success of the material, but it is essential feedback for those selected as trainers. The feedback from those in the classroom allows trainers to understand what worked and did not work about their facilitation. It also allows for each trainer to receive any coaching or know what areas of the content they should revisit as they prepare for the next class. Do not forget to give the gift of feedback.
If your “Train the Trainer” program includes these five essentials you are well on your way to reaping the benefits of your training investment.