Think you’ve got it figured out?
My guess is that most people would say the most important role in the training process in the Trainer, DURING class. Would you agree?
For self-serving trainers, the answer would most definitely be YES! But to the trained trainer, they know their role in the classroom is vitally important, but not as important as the manager’s role and the learner’s role BEFORE and AFTER training. I like to think of the corporate training process like the process athletes follow when preparing for a big event.
BEFORE an event they work with their team of supporters (Managers and Trainers) to prepare and plan their winning strategies during the event. The athlete fuels their bodies for what’s to come and they visualize their success. They ensure they’ll have adequate energy to perform at optimal capacity and that their approach and technique will carry them successfully across the finish line.
DURING the event, the athlete is present 100% of the time and they maintain optimal hydration and nutrition to continue to fuel their bodies and limit fatigue. Their friends, trainers and family cheer them on and help them to keep their eyes on the prize, not getting in the way, but supporting the athlete’s efforts.
AFTER the event, the athlete doesn’t just curl up into a ball and go to bed to recover. They re-fuel their bodies to optimize recovery, and they spent a lot of time in thought about their performance. They will often watch replays of their performance to identify did-wells and next-times and may also work with experts (Managers and Trainers) who critique their efforts and offer suggestions for future growth.
The preparation and follow-up is often what leads to the best overall performance, but most training programs focus only on the “event” of training. We all know what happens when you go out and try to run a marathon without preparation and stopping abruptly after a hard work out can cause heart failure! Don’t make the mistake of only focusing on crossing the finish line!
When planning training ask yourself questions like this:
- How have we addressed what should happen BEFORE, DURING and AFTER training for all three roles of Learner, Manager and Trainer? For instance: What have we done to prepare managers for what their staff will experience during training and have we provided them tools to help reinforce key objectives after training?
- Does our training evaluation process ask for feedback about all phases of training, including thoughts of how prepared learners felt going into training and how supported they felt AFTER training?