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What Do Trainers Do When They are Not Training?

In the new corporate environments where everyone wears more than one hat, trainers are often responsible for a myriad of duties beyond just facilitating new training classes. Their job is often that of Maintenance, IT Guru, Subject Matter Expert, Coach, Instructional designer, and Copy Clerk. There is an incredible amount of work that has to happen for a training event to occur. Let's look a little closer at the process.

Training starts with a new tool/ new behavior or a new policy. The training team is brought in at the development stage to work as a subject matter expert. They may be asked to do a Needs Analysis to identify what skills or behaviors will need to be learned or changed. They may also be engaged in the instructional design, so they need to see the project from the ground up. Training is called upon to represent what they think the client responses or questions may be and help the developers prepare to answer those questions.

Once the focus of the training has been identified the trainer will often be involved in the creation of the training materials. This can consist of everything in the instructional design process, from screen shots to learning activities, to knowledge checks. As the training guides are created the trainer serves as guinea pig for the materials, editor, and system tester to see if the material validates the learning. One the materials are complete the training team is often responsible for printing, collating, binding and distributing the materials for use. They are also responsible for long term maintenance of the materials, constantly updating any changes in the process.

The training team then steps into the role of liaison between departments. They discuss calendars, launch dates, business demands and space availability to help determine opportune training schedules. They often take on the role of communication and are responsible for any hoopla that is created around the training initiative.

The trainer is then in charge of preparing themselves and the training room for the training event. They must attend Train the Trainers to make sure that they know how to deliver the material. They must take notes and practice their facilitation skills on anything that they may have difficulty with. The trainer will prepare the room, making sure all the systems work, testing any projectors, sound systems, computers or lights that might be needed.

If the training event is a new computer tool or program the trainer tests access and response times in the training databank and confirms that the students will be able to log into the system and that the system mimics what will happen in the live data base.

If the training involves change management or behavioral skills, the trainer must be able to provide reasons for buy in and examples of successful implementation of the skill. In change management situations the trainer is often called on to act as proponent, counselor and communication liaison. The trainer is often the voice of the client as well as that of the agent.

Once the training event is complete the trainer steps into role of coach or observer and goes back into Needs Analysis to assess the effectiveness of the training event, close skill gaps and provide additional support to the trainees as they practice new skills or behaviors.

Trainers are often considered the point of contact to verify and validate information and are expected to be current on any changes, deals, policies or information in the daily interactions of their clients.

The training team is an integral part in the ongoing growth and development of a company and it takes flexibility, intelligence, personality and the ability to plan, multitask and deliver. They are expected to stay current in training practices, build their own skills and apply new training techniques into their presentations. As the world of training evolves to include e-learning, Web CT and blended learning the trainer must be able to adjust and provide value services in an ever demanding Call Center environment.

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