A competent and empathetic training manager will invariably ensure that communication with their training staff is continuously maintained, so that their perspective of ‘what is going on’ with the staff is clear. However, the inherent difficulty with this position is that one can never be truly aware of staff workload and related performance.
A trainer will, as part of their function, implement tasks required of them by the training manager, but each trainer will approach that workload differently. Some will absorb and immerse themselves totally in their work, whilst others will not feel the need to be so committed. Thus the initial workload given to the trainer may be perceived by the training manager as the end of the matter, whereas the trainer may perceive it as the beginning. That the psychological workload may be far greater than the actual corporate workload can in many cases be evident, but it is for trainers and training managers to have a mutual understanding of this if the professional relationship between both is to flourish.
Similarly, a training manager’s perception of trainer performance when delivering training will invariably be limited to questioning the trainer themselves outside the training delivery environment, speaking to their colleagues, or evaluating courses through speaking to students at course debriefs. It is argued however that, to get a true and full picture of trainer performance, the training manager must be more closely involved in the process, for example with a course itself through regular observations of the trainer. If this occurs then a more understanding relationship can develop between manager and staff. Inevitably, time constraints and commitments will always serve to create barriers to such a relationship, and trainers can find it difficult to perform naturally when under scrutiny from management, but it is for both trainers and training managers to be acutely aware of this, so that they can jointly develop the most effective means of evaluating trainer performance, whilst at the same time not adding to the psychological workload.
How do you manage this process to ensure your relationship, as a trainer or training manager, encourages participation and healthy productive communication between you?