When Robin and I started Impact Factory nearly 25 years ago, training was more often than not considered a waste of time and money. In some circles it still is.
Fortunately for employees of many companies training is considered a necessity and people’s annual Professional Development Reviews include what training needs to be undertaken in the year ahead.
This is why there are so many more training departments than when we started out. Not only is that, training (sometimes slowly) is moving on from PowerPoint tedium and extensive note-taking to programmes that are far more experiential, practical and relevant.
This is great news for anyone in the business of delivering training and of course Impact Factory’s work is based on providing superb tailored programmes delivered by superb ‘home grown’ trainers.
What we’re also incredibly good at is training other people to become more dynamic and engaging trainers no matter what the subject.
Our experience is that trainers need training too! Many medium size companies often have just one trainer, and larger companies may have whole Learning & Development departments but their trainers usually work on their own. It can be a lonely business delivering training on your own with no one to bounce ideas off of or simply to get feedback that what you’re doing is OK.
Everyone needs feedback and trainers are prone to question themselves anyway because standing up in front of groups of people day after day, helping them develop their skills can be daunting. All you need is one tricky delegate and you begin to wonder why you ever signed up to the job in the first place.
I ran one of our Train the Trainer courses a couple of years ago and every single delegate worked on their own for their organisations; the relief they felt simply spending two days with colleagues in the same boat was enormous. They all left feeling refreshed, revitalised, with loads of new ideas to bring to their own training. It was a great two days, but what I remember most was how important each of them felt it was in being able to take two days away from the fray for their own professional development.
It’s a hugely rewarding job training other people in new skills or developing the ones they already have. Whether it’s hard skills like IT and Finance or Soft Skills like Communication, Leadership, Change and Customer Service, trainers are crucial to every organisation’s progress; the better the trainers the better the organisation’s potential for growth.
By Jo Ellen Grzyb, Director, Impact Factory