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How to Train Colleagues

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If you have seniority in your current position, you will likely be called upon to train incoming colleagues. While it may feel like an annoying burden to train people, it can reap substantial rewards if you do it with excellence. Psychologist and social trends expert Fernando Tarnogol reports that "By training co-workers you will earn reputation, be recognized as knowledgeable and become visible to other members of your organization, paving the way for future growth opportunities." Be thorough and professional while training colleagues and you will likely become known as a leader in your department.

Sit down and make a list of the job responsibilities you want to cover in your training. Find out how many days you have to train your colleague, and create a detailed training schedule. Break each day down into specific topics to cover, so that you have ample time to cover all the bases in your allotted time.

Have your trainee observe while you perform the job responsibility for each training section. Explain what you are doing while you work, allowing plenty of time for your trainee to take notes or ask questions. Perform the task again, this time asking your trainee to verbalize each new step before you do it.

Instruct the trainee to perform the task, with you verbalizing instructions for each new step in the process. Allow your student to focus all of his energy on performing the actions, instead of trying to think of what comes next.

Have the trainee perform the task solo, verbalizing each new step as she performs it. Answer any questions the trainee may have as she works. Correct any mistakes the trainee makes, and offer encouragement for what she does right.

Repeat this process for each new job responsibility. Test your trainee at the end of each day by asking him to perform each task learned that day on his own. If he has forgotten how to perform certain tasks, retrain him on that task on the following day.


Use training videos, manuals or any knowledgeable human beings that are available to spice up your training and keep your colleague engaged.


It takes a long time to learn new job responsibilities. Do not get frustrated with your trainee, and refrain from making discouraging comments. This will only fluster your colleague, making it difficult for her to learn what needs to be learned.