If you have a training manager that is unable to perform some of their responsibilities, and yet there is no one in the company to mentor them, how do you provide them support? You don’t want to replace them, you want them to learn how to do the job better.
You could hire a mentor, or a coach but this is an expensive route to take. In fact one company compared the cost of having a onsite mentor as more than they were paying the training manager. When even a part-time person costs more than hiring another full-time person, it becomes a challenge to keep the staff currently in place.
In one company, the decision was made to hire a more experienced training manager, and make the current manager the assistant. The thought was they could learn from this new person on the job, and be a successor to the role (they had) someday down the road. The problem was this demotion was not taken in the spirit it was meant, and the employee resigned to lead a training function at another company.
As a former Chief Learning Officer, and someone who has performed every role in training for the past 24 years, I can provide a lot of guidance to training managers. Yet, I know to hire me even part-time is out of range in a lot of budgets, so a client and I came up with a solution that they are able to work with. I call it “Dial a Training Manager.”
To support their new hire, that has limited experience in training but a lot of the spirit and heart to make a good one, I am now available to talk with any time they need help. The retention agreement is a flat fee each month for a year, and of course comes with some limitation on my time, but gives anyone in training and HR the ability to reach out to a resource as they rebuild their training function. Since I am affordable, they have help when needed, and the training manager will learn on the job.
I was lucky enough to be working for Bank of America in my initial days in learning development, where we had many mentors to learn from. Unless you are working for a large company, mentors are hard to come by in-house, so you have to go to consultants. “Dial A Training Manager” is just one more way to keep training in your company and make it an effective solution to improve performance.