What is different about leading a training team?
So you’re in charge of leading a team of in-house trainers 💡. What makes them so special?
Focus on individuality
I prefer not to use to standardised training, but to let every trainer’s own personality shine through. This is appreciated by the learner and trainer alike. Make sure that all trainings have a certain level of standard through guidelines and template material but don’t be afraid to let your team excel in the way they do it best. One of my most enlightening moments was working with a trainer who prepared training in a totally different way than how I usually did it. By both being humble towards our individual ways of working we learnt a lot from each other — and received excellent feedback and learning scores!
Allow creativeness and trust their expertise
Coming back to the point above here but I rarely say no to a team member wanting to try a new method, a new way of working or a new style. I’ve hired them for their expertise so of course I need to trust it. Though the methods that team members have tried haven’t had a 100% success-rate, both me and the team member have made sure to learn from the experience. If you’re part of a training team and not creative then I believe you might be in the wrong line of business. I doubt any learner would want to experience a non-creative session — be it online or on-site.
Guide when needed
As someone who prefer to hire passion over experience, whenever I’ve hired someone I’ve made sure to tell them during the first days that I (presumably) know what they have experience of and what is new to them. I do not expect someone new to the e-learning software we use to know it from day 1, rather I want them to ask questions about it. By not elevating their perceived expectations on certain topics you’ll often find that their first year goes smoother. Your team-members will more easily come to you with “embarrassing” questions, because you already took the embarrassment out of the topic. So for example when hiring someone straight out of university I don’t expect them to know how to book a meeting room in Outlook, but I do expect them to have ideas for how to make people learn.
Listen to the organisation
I’ve had people from other departments telling me they were crying of joy due to the work my team member did, while the very same team member did little to impress another department. As with many areas of business it is a matter of matching skills, personality, motivation and need. Here I’ve learnt to carefully listen to the organisation before giving a task to a certain team member. Is the result needed soon with great results? I’ve got the person for you. Is the result needed long-term with exceptional results? I’ve got another person for you. Is the need unknown and we can experiment? I’ve got just the person for you. By understanding the needs well you’ll be able to articulate to your team and get someone to volunteer for just that project, which means greater motivation from your team member.
Leading creative people is both great fun and an honour. Make sure you let the creativity shine!