Training The Training Manager

If you are one of the many lucky Training Managers that went from being a trainer to The Training Manager role, you may be feeling that it is time to learn a new set of skills.  I’ve been hearing from a lot of training managers that have been struggling with their role of managing a function and are looking for help.

Unless you developed your training skills in a large organization, chances are you were a super sharp employee that someone decided would make a great trainer.  Some folks are natural trainers, so teaching others how to do what they know how to do was an easy transition and they obtained success.  And then because you were the only one standing in the hall, you got nominated to become the manager.

Yet when it comes to designing a program outside of your subject matter expertise, you have found it difficult to put a training workshop together.  When someone asked you to figure out why their employees were unable to meet performance goals you didn’t know how to proceed.  When you were tasked with developing an annual training plan and budget, you felt like you were drowning.

In a larger organization, we have a lot of people in the training role and they learn from each other.  Managers are often grooming their successors, and a trainer becomes a learning professional over time.  While these are the best candidates for smaller organization to recruit from, it is often difficult to impossible to pull it off.  They simply don’t want to leave their company.

So smaller companies promote from within, or will hire external talent that oversold their abilities in the interview.  In the end, the company does not have a skilled training manager, even though they are paying for one.

The solution is to hire a training manager coach.  Someone that can mentor your training manager on specific projects, and/or jump in and complete other projects with your employee learning along the way.  In The Training Physical, I talk about the need for this kind of development for your training manager.  There are some workshops that train some of these skills, but they are far and few between, which makes them costly and involves a lot of travel for a generic class.  Using a coach trains skills within your work environment so they are learning and accomplishing internal tasks at the same time.

Another skill set might also be missing in your training “manager” if you have never provided this person with management development training.  Be sure that they are inserted into this development, or better yet, make them the trainer.  Nothing works faster at learning a skill than having to train others to perform it.

If you want to learn more about bringing a training manager coach into your work environment, email me at


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