It’s never been more crucial for businesses and organizations to ensure that they’re providing their employees with the means to continue their education. This applies across the board, from professionals with ongoing licensing requirements to general staff members who simply need to improve their skills and career prospects.
Of course, you can’t leave training solely at the discretion of the employee, and you can’t really delegate responsibility to someone with other duties. You need a training manager. What should business owners and decision makers look for when hiring a training manager in this day and age?
Existing Knowledge of Your Business and Industry
We’ll start with perhaps the most obvious qualification – deep knowledge of your business. This is more complicated than it seems, though. The training manager needs to know not only what your business does (product manufacturing, service delivery, etc.), but how the business does it. How are those services delivered to customers? Where are your products sold? He or she should also know how the industry itself operates and the specific rules and regulations that apply here.
Strong Communication Skills
Obviously, the training manager is going to need to interact with employees at all levels within the organization. He or she must be a good communicator. This goes beyond mere verbal skills. They need to be a master of English, but able to understand myriad different accents and dialects. They also need to be good at communicating nonverbally (body language), and electronic communication (email, electronic memos, forums, message boards, etc.). From explaining expectations to updating executives on training progress, communication capabilities are of paramount importance.
A good training manager must be adaptable, and they must be able to adapt “on the fly”. Things can change very quickly within your business, particularly where training is concerned. A manager who can’t “roll with the punches” isn’t going to get very far. They should also be able to stay informed by tapping into the wider industry and even changing legal and societal aspects that impact your business and, thus, your employees and their training needs.
Accurately Assess Training Needs
Anyone can look at a list of whom has completed what courses and decide what needs to happen next. Your training manager needs to look beyond a list. He or she needs to be aware of how crucial training is to your employees and to assess each individual employee’s needs for training. He or she should be able to set priorities for training for different departments, different teams and even individual employees, and then create a plan that moves your business forward.
A Passion for Learning
Your training manager must be a lifelong learner him or herself, and be passionate about instilling the love of learning in others. Of course, not all employees will become enamored of improving their training, but the manager needs to be able motivate even these individuals to improve themselves.
On Good Terms with Technology
More and more, training is going online. Technology plays an increasingly significant role in business training and education. Your training manager needs to be on good terms with technology, and should understand the difference between a MOOC and an LMS, between BYOD and BYOT, and how those differences affect not only employee training, but your business as a whole.
With the right training manager (or team, depending on the size of your business), employee training will be smoother, faster and more organized. While finding someone that fits the bill right off the bat might be a challenge, it’s vital that you do so.