When someone is in charge of creating and implementing (or at least contributing to) a big challenging task like a new training program, they want it to be successful. But how can a new training program turn out to be successful? Or how can the success rate of an existing one can be improved?
Anyone who has ever created or participated in the process of implementing an L&D program knows there are no straight answers to these questions — no matter the size of their organization. There is simply no such thing as a one clear way to making it successful.
There are plenty of parts to a training program that are prone to error. Mistakes can creep up everywhere: in the planning phase, when setting the training objectives, when deciding about the content, when creating the training materials, when setting the location, and so on. Each and every one of these aspects can be crucial to the success of the program.
But there is one more thing — too often overlooked — that can ensure success despite any flaws in the above-mentioned parts of training, or making it downright impossible even though these are perfect.
I’m talking about having a great team.
There is no need to get frustrated with creating a training program and if you are in charge of doing one, you must remember that you really don’t have to do it alone. Everyone needs help with something and everyone is better at something, so it’s important to find the people that can help you achieve success.
How to increase your training program success by assembling a great team
Putting together a strong team from the start where each member has a clear role in the training program is paramount to its success. When the right people work together they’ll figure out the best solutions to any problem in any phase of it, align everything with the organizational and learners’ goals and eventually deliver the best results.
It’s important to know not only what the training program needs to achieve, but also how the perfect team should be like, where you need help the most, how to find the right people that are able to give you that help, and how to convince them to join the team. So let’s have a closer look to each of these steps of assembling a great team.
Imagine the perfect team
Any training project is made of various components, such as settings the goals, establishing the content, creating the content, the actual training, promoting the training, gathering feedback, etc. The perfect team will be able to pull all these through.
The first step to take when assembling the team that will ensure the success of your program is to imagine it to be perfect. Think about its structure and define the roles of each team member. For example, there could be a leader and another four members, all doing their part:
- Leader/Manager. This can be the person that has the idea for the training program and is capable of keeping an eye on all sorts of details without losing sight of the big picture. This person is responsible for establishing the training program purpose and goals and supervising if they are being met.
- Content creator. This is the person that creates the content and all the materials required for the training. They know how to express ideas clearly, how to format text documents, how to deal with multimedia learning materials, how to keep the consistency of all training, and generally how to design great courses.
- Tech person. If the training is happening online — perhaps using a business LMS — this is the person that makes sure that everyone has accounts, the system is working well, the internet connection is ok, etc. They can also answer any questions that attendees might have about the platform, how to use it, if they get stuck, and so on. If the training is face to face, then this person is in charge of the location, sets up the room, etc.
- Trainer. This is the person that does the actual training based on the previously developed content. They are a people-person and they know how to read a crowd and how to react in front of it, even if they deliver the training in an online environment.
- Promoter. This team member promotes the training, registers people, gathers feedback at the end of the training and makes training-related announcements when needed.
Since the real world is not perfect, not everyone will be able to create this perfect team as depicted above. One person can step in the shoes of a trainer as well as a content creator, or the leader can easily be the promoter as well. Or one person can do all of that, just by trying on the different “hats”. The bigger the company the easier it can be to find a different person to fill each role of this perfect team, but smaller businesses where the L&D department is made up of one or very few people can achieve training success as well.
Figure out what you need help with
The second step to take in this endeavor is to figure out what you can do with your already available resources, your knowledge and skills. You need to know your fortes, what you can handle with your eyes closed. When you’ll be clear on that you’ll also be clear on where you need help.
Maybe you’re great at creating the learning content and making it as user-friendly as possible, but you’re not as comfortable with the idea of delivering it in front of the trainees. Or maybe you’re great at convincing others and get buy-in from upper management for a new tool and promoting the training program, but you’re not that great at actually making the content perfect.
So once you’ll identify where you’ll need some assistance, spread your antennae throughout your organization and see who can help you out.
Finding the right people
Most people have an inclination towards something and even in a small company among co-workers you can find the right people to help you. They don’t have to be professionals, they just need to be willing to help.
Of course if the company is big, then there probably already is a marketing or sales department that can help with promoting the training program. There might also be a tech team for the LMS that can provide support.
However, if your search for finding the right people turns out to be rather discouraging, never forget that the almighty internet will always have your back. You can easily learn how to give better presentations, how to promote your training program and how to gather feedback. This might seem like a lot of extra work — and it can be — but it can also be enough if you read a few articles to gather ideas and then put them in practice. You'll inevitably perfect your skills in time.
Convincing them to help you
If you do have the human resources available then you need to find a way to convince them to help you. Of course, you shouldn’t take people away from any important task that they might already have. Nobody will want to join you if you do that. Instead, try asking nicely for volunteers. You might be surprised by the number of people willing to get involved.
If you set your eyes on someone in particular to help you because you know they’re very good at something and you badly need them in your team, remember the reciprocity principle: give them something valuable first, help them with something they need, and they’ll be more willing to offer you a helping hand with the training program when you'll ask them to.
The success of a training program is correlated to how good the team doing the training is. By putting together from the start a great team, there is a better change of the program being successful. Therefore it’s important to know the goals of the training program, how the perfect team can achieve these goals, where help is needed, how to find people to help you, and how to convince them to join you.
After you’ve assembled your team, you need to get them all together and make sure they all work well with each other. Then it’s show time!