Create a Successful Training Program

[tweetmeme]Legally mandated training requirements can range from simple steps for good housekeeping to complex procedures for how and when to wear a respirator or handling and disposing of hazardous wastes.   As an employer your goal should be to make sure your training program keeps your company in compliance and protects employees and the environment.   But let’s face it, training is expensive and keeping a full time trainer on staff may not be the wisest way to invest your resources.   Instead consider outsourcing to industry experts.

Qualified and successful trainers can be hard to find; after all anyone can go online, pay subscription fee and download tons of Powerpoint presentations, videos, etc and call themselves a trainer.   But, as author Harold Stolovitch famously titled his book: Telling Ain’t Training, all too often, the telling part gets passed off as training, and then everyone sits back and wonders why their training program is failing.  

Successful trainers use a “discussion” mode to cover materials, keeping in mind the needs of the adult learner.   They utilize course creating techniques, and learn from previously successful training approaches and evaluation.   Trainers must keep the interest of the student through interaction such as exercises, questions and tests.   Simply reciting verbiage on a Powerpoint slide is a sure fire way to put people to sleep fast!

Some of the best industry professionals out there can’t train!   I am reminded of the beginning of a Seinfeld episode, where Jerry would introduce the show through a brief standup bit.   He was talking about fears people have.   Jerry related that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death.   Think about that, he says, at a funeral you’d rather be in the coffin, instead delivering the eulogy.   This is why most of the best and brightest people in industry are terrible trainers.   They simply are afraid to speak in front of a crowd, they are terrible at it.   So they go into bunker mode, and begin to read slides! YAWN!! I am tired already.

To have a successful training program you need to find a trainer that has a game plan going into the class.   Check references, ask for a sample of the course material.   If he/she performs public training, go to one of their classes and observe them in action.   But whatever you do, don’t subject your employees to bad trainers, and then scratch your head as to why your training program is failing.   You know why!    Fix it!!

There are a variety of reasons why you might decide to outsource your training:

1. You have complex regulations to comply with, such as those governing safety or environmental issues.

2. You have legal requirements to meet, such as those governing equal opportunity, harassment, and discrimination.

3. You have a small staff and don’t have enough (or any) qualified trainers.

4. You have large numbers of employees who need refresher training.

5. You want to keep employees up to date on what’s happening in your industry.



  1. Great blog Greg… Kudos to Mr. Lemke!!

    Wishing you a great Christmas season!! tm

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