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Training the trainers - Giving L&D professionals the right skilling opportunities

Training the trainers – giving L&D professionals the right skilling opportunities

When a vehicle is not oiled, the engine gets damaged. The same is the case with learning and development. Employees are the engine of any business whose performance is affected when the L&D team doesn’t get the required training. 

L&D professionals are a powerful force that can drive the employees in a lucrative direction and help the business achieve its goals. However, the irony is that there is no process set to upskill the L&D team that takes charge of enterprise learning. Without a skilled trainer, employee skill sets would fall behind. Continuous skilling for L&D professionals is crucial for creating a positive performance culture that accelerates results. 

Training the trainer – What is a corporate leadership development program?

Whether it is Retail, BFSI, or E-commerce, the trends are constantly changing in every industry. The L&D leaders need to keep pace with the changing trends, technologies or latest developments and incorporate the changes in their training. Hence it is imperative to focus on corporate leadership development.

The trainers need to expand their skillset and abilities to stay competitive and confident. A well-planned training the trainer model can help L&D heads improve their approach toward planning, strategising, developing, delivering and evaluating learning and development programs. 

Why invest time in training the trainer? – Benefits of L&D manager development 

Training the trainer can help drive the results that can positively impact the business goals. 

Below are the benefits of training the trainer: 

  • Enhanced knowledge and skills to improve L&D performance. 
  • Prepare trainers to capitalise on the workforce strengths.
  • Shape a positive learning culture. 
  • Reduce employee turnover by training the L&D professionals to address individual learning needs.
  • Help trainers build the capabilities needed to boost employee efficiency and productivity.
  • Help trainers develop problem-solving skills to approach difficult situations confidently. 
  • Strengthening L&D professionals and employee bond by training the trainer on how to connect with people effectively.
  • Help L&D professionals align their training programs with the latest business trends. 
  • Enable L&d professionals to respond to learner queries more quickly and efficiently. 
  • Enable trainers to formulate and execute L&D strategies in a better way.
  • Prepare L&D professionals to drive innovation, leverage opportunities and scale performance. 

Leadership development program framework: Effective tips to train the L&D managers

A leadership development program framework is a support structure that simplifies the process of training the trainer. When you know in which direction you are headed, it becomes easier to move forward and reach the destination. Hence it is important to map out the essential practices that are crucial for L&D managers’ development. The L&D professionals play a critical role in turning employees into valuable resources for an organisation. So, streamlining the training framework can help develop the core skills and capabilities needed by the L&D manager to nurture and retain the best talents of the organisation. 

Need assessment – Identify the skill gap and define the purpose of the training program

Before commencing on the training the trainer journey, focus on three critical questions.  

  • Why is the training required? 
  • What is currently lacking? 
  • Why isn’t L&D able to drive the best learning ROI

Deep need analysis and assessment will help find answers to the above questions. 

The next step would be to define the outcome explicitly “What are you trying to achieve by training the trainer.”

Once you define the outcome, identify the skills required to conduct effective L&D programs that drive the desired ROI.

Below are a few essential skills that an L&D professional must have to provide engaging and impressive learning experiences. 

1. Facilitation skill

In a digital-first world where companies are following a hybrid model, the trainers need to develop facilitation skills for fostering engagement and making learning sessions more interesting 

2. Communications skill

Trainers need to convey the right message and give constructive feedback in real-time. Hence special attention needs to be given to the communication skills to ensure they are effective communicators. 

3. Assessment skill

The ability to assess learners is pivotal for ensuring employees are absorbing knowledge disseminated during the learning session and sharpening their skill sets. 

4. Analytical skill 

Analytical skills are crucial both before and after creating learning and development sessions. Through training need analysis, the L&D professional should be able to identify the training needs of the learners for creating relevant courses and later delve deep into analytics to measure the effectiveness of those courses. 

5. Training design skill

The trainers should be able to curate the right content and design impactful learning courses to get maximum enrollments, as high adoption can have a positive impact on the learning ROI. 

6. Technical skill

Trainers should be able to make the most of the learning solutions like LMS or LXP. So they need to develop the skills to use modern learning technology effectively. 

7. Leadership skill

L&D leaders are responsible for the performance of several teams, which can be overwhelming at times. However, L&D leaders need to stay calm, manage multiple tasks together and set a good example as strong leaders.

Skills needed for L&D professionals might differ from company to company. Using disprz, an advanced skilling suite, you can find out the necessary skills your L&D professional need. Once you have the catalogue of skills, conduct a skill gap analysis to determine the gap between the skills the L&D currently possesses and the skills needed to do their job efficiently. 

Planning the Learning and development –  Apply the 4MAT model for creating a learning curriculum 

Planing is crucial to make the training the trainer initiative successful. So once you define the desired outcome and skill gaps, create a learning curriculum to fill those gaps. Make sure you set a timeline and prioritise the learning topics. While creating learning programs for the trainers, make sure you align them with the company’s goals.

The 4MAT model can help you create an effective learning and development program for training the trainers.

4MAT learning cycle

The 4MAT learning cycle has four quadrants. For learning to occur, all the four quadrants of the learning cycle need to be addressed.

Quadrant 1 – WHY?

Why this specific topic/information will be relevant for an l&D leader? While creating a particular course, it is crucial to step into the L&D managers’ shoes and understand how the s/he will benefit from the specific concept that you are planning to share.  

Quadrant 2 – What?

What is the concept? Delve deep into the topic and be explicit about the theory. Explain what are the L&D managers learning and what will be covered under the topic that you have chosen to upskill the L&D manager. 

Quadrant 3 – How?

How to apply the knowledge? Give the learner use cases and examples. Give the L&D managers opportunities to apply what they’ve learned through exercises. 

Quadrant  4 – What if?

What if the skills are applied in a different context? L&D professionals are innovators, so give them the space to extend creatively their use of skills that they’ve developed in the learning journey. 

Measure – Find out if the training-the-trainer approach is reaping fruitful results 

After investing valuable time in training the trainers, you would expect an improved skill set and capabilities to drive better employee performance. However, do you try to analyse if your efforts are converting into desirable outcomes?  

Measuring learning initiatives can help identify and fill the gaps in your training in real-time. Nowadays, there are tools like analytics builder that can help you amass vital learning metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your learning programs. It is better to rely on facts rather than assuming that an L&D professional will surely invest time in learning. After all, even they are humans who repel from things that are not interesting. Hence you need to track how much an L&D professional learned and how engaged were they in the learning journey. When you have a clear picture of how the learning courses are performing, you can effortlessly control the outcome and lead it in a positive direction. 

All set to train the trainers 

Leadership development is no walk in the park, especially if you are training the L&D leaders. However, you need strategically plan the entire training the trainer model to ensure the L&D heads are equipped with the right skills to train the employees of the organisations. The L&D head needs functional skills, leadership skills as well as meta-skills to prioritise and address the most pressing learning issues and requirements. Regularly training the L&D head might be a challenge without the right learning solution. Using an AI-powered LXP, you can automate the learning process. Based on the selected skill and past learning behaviour, the trainers will be recommended relevant courses to stay updated in the learning space. 

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