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Thu, Jul 20, 2017

Choosing the right trainer

How To Choose A Good Trainer That Best Fit Your Employees' Learning Needs?

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." - Lao Tzu

A good trainer should stimulate hearts and minds of the employees' by fulfilling their learning needs and making them more productive at their work. He or she would be responsible for preparing objectives, defining content, selecting and sequencing activities for a specific programme. A good trainer can not only help others learn about managing their knowledge and skills individually but also learn how to work as a team. But a good trainer also has a role of selling training and development viewpoints, learning packages, programme and services to target audiences.

Hence, there are some areas HR should look out for when selecting a trainer. The question of identifying a good trainer would depend on some of the following effective qualities:

He or she should set the stage and create an environment conducive for learning so that is non-threatening.

The trainer should provide clear focus and clear objectives before the start of the workshop.

He or she should be able to draw out the best and trigger enthusiasm in the participants. Sometimes trainers that have a back of metaphors, stories, acronyms, quotes, ice breakers and energisers would keep the engagement and audience involvement. The trainer should also relate with the participants using real and practical experiences and examples.

There should be a two-way communication that allows a dialogue session and stimulates an interactive community. He should be accountable and be able to engage participative learning and taking into consideration the relevance to their needs.

Why is it important to pick a good reliable trainer?

The benefit of rendering the services of a good reliable trainer would be closing up the gap in achieving the desired outcome of the organisation. One of the biggest advantages is how much closer to the productivity target the organisation would be. After just a few weeks of applying the trainer's ideas and strategies, you should find your organisation transforming into a "masterpiece of muscular dimensions".

This is something you can't achieve by working on your own within the organisation. Some areas to consider include:

The reputation of the training provider: if a training provider hires the services of a trainer with a bad reputation, the institution hiring his services and the human resource manager would get a bad name for not being diligent in their selection process or even by association with that trainer. The human resource manager or the training provider should do a thorough check on the trainer or ask for testimonies before engaging their services.

Some participants seek training as a stress reliever and a bad training session would leave a bitter taste, resulting in no interest or reluctance in attending. This would reduce overall productivity within the organisation.

Types of trainers you should look out for and stay away from:

There are many types of trainers ranging from old, young, experienced, inexperienced, serious, funny, generalist and the specialist. One of crucial factors a good trainer should have is the ability to build rapport with the audience and not trigger a hostile or aggressive environment. However, some trainers make the mistake of having a lack of knowledge of the participants' needs, including any special requirements.

Other ineffective qualities of trainers include being power hungry and very authoritative. Trainers should not force or obligate participants to participate in the activities such as group presentation or threaten to penalize them or make them incompetent in their exams should they fail to contribute ideas in the class discussions. The trainer should not use his power to control the audience, where there is only a one-way instruction and no questions are allowed.

Beware of trainers who deal with the training in a highly theoretical approach. Training has to be fun and it is important to draw out the learning objectives for participants. A trainer who has a habit of utilising the word "I" instead of "We" might seem very individualistic versus the more collective approach.

A trainer also needs to take pride and professionalism in what he does. You could see this through his investments in training equipment or any self-development such as upgrading himself taking up course that could improve his work in training.

Researching for the best trainers

The most cost-effective way to find out about a trainer would be simply searching his or her profile on the internet e.g. Google, twitter, ezine articles, YouTube, Facebook. You can get some of their past testimonies or completed training evaluation forms or even past training videos.

Another effective way of researching a trainer's background is through an interview, or asking the trainer to do a mock-up presentation. The trainer could, through a role-play in your interview session, market a course to the training provider. A guideline would be getting them to highlight the problem or the concern that requires a training programme. So he or she could list out the objectives, benefits, cost, teaching methodology and some learning outcomes for your company and you could decide on the best trainer for your employees' needs.

But should HR pick a freelance trainer or one who is contracted to a training consultancy? This would be very subjective as some trainers would prefer stability and security. However, the freelance trainer would always be on his or her toes as the importance for him or he to be in peak performance would be extremely higher. They would not want to have any mistakes that could jeopardise their career. It is more ideal to find trainers with a lot of passion and who are able to and willing to share instead.

But there could be situations such as freelance trainers who might not give their 100% during workshops because they were not well-remunerated by the training providers. However, this is a rare occurrence.

How to tell when a trainer is overcharging? What is the standard fee?

Trainers fees are very subjective. It would depend on the demand of that trainer. With regards to overcharging if the training provider finds the trainers fees unreasonable and if he is easily replaceable, they could always source for other trainers. The range of fees for 8 hour work for an average trainer could be from $40/hr to even $500/hr.

Essentially, it is about investing HR's training dollars wisely when selecting the most suitable training partner for the company's needs as it is important for every organisation to increase their sales and reducing their cost in strive for increasing the wealth of the shareholders.

Thought Leadership