As more and more companies keep training functions in-house, employee trainers become front and center. For success, a combination of work experience, training skills and interpersonal skills are necessary. A basic job description for an employee trainer is to develop the skills and knowledge of company personnel by planning, designing, developing and delivering training. United States companies spent $87.5 billion on internal employee training in 2011, according to 2012 research by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). This is more than three times the amount spent on training by external providers.
Planning and Analysis
Employee trainers must create a training plan that aligns training needs with business goals and budgets. Training plans are for specific time periods – monthly, quarterly or annually. This task requires the ability to work with and convey information to a variety of people including department managers, human resources, administrative staff and finance officers. Trainers must also use suitable industry practices to conduct training needs assessments to identify and analyze training goals, objectives and resources.
Design and Delivery
Based on training plans, employee trainers must take on the task of designing training programs targeting learning objectives and required job competencies. Trainers have to select training methods best suited for meeting established goals. Methods include lecture with audio-visuals, group discussions, demonstrations, and practice sessions with feedback and role play. Employee trainers also need to understand how adults learn to deliver training that is active, relevant and draws on the experiences of the adult learner.
Evaluation and Follow-Up
Evaluations determine training effectiveness. Employee trainers are responsible for frequently checking student comprehension and understanding throughout the training period. After training, they must follow-up using observations and interviews to verify that learning objectives were met. Employee trainers are also tasked with reviewing and adjusting training programs to make sure that relevant, accurate and up-to-date information is always presented. In some cases, learners may need further development after training. Employee trainers will work with these employees to establish personal development plans that continue the learning process.
Skills and Attributes
Leading training sessions, conducting meetings and conferring with subject matter experts are expected job duties of trainers. As such, speaking skills are essential as well as the ability to communicate information clearly. Strong social skills are also necessary because trainers must deal with a diverse mix of personalities and still accomplish training goals. In terms of education, most people will need a bachelor’s degree to become a trainer. This requirement can be offset depending on knowledge of training and curriculum design, teaching and instruction methods and methods for measuring training effectiveness.