How to become influential trainers

Last year I found myself contributing to a forum on the subject of measuring the return on investment. What I found from the comments individuals made, was that people generally did not find measuring the return on investment (ROI) simple. Was I then over-simplifying it? Or is it not really that complicated once you know how?

I have just joined a LinkedIn group called “Influential Trainers” and finding out the aims of the group has got me thinking again about how we all, as trainers, can become not only “influential” but also strategic.

The danger with being neither of these is that L&D or training is seen as an “add-on” or “optional extra”. Last year I was involved in a big project with Durham constabulary, working as an associate for Pearlcatchers. Facing massive cuts in funding, they made the very brave leap to invest £100,000 in their managers and take them through a huge change programme.

Before they went into the programme they had ideas about what measures they would be monitoring in order that they could demonstrate the value of the whole programme.Have a listen to what Mike Barton the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary said about the programme. It gives some great insights into what we all as trainers and training managers should be planning into our programmes before we start!

Putting together a business case….

I meet many trainers in my role as a “Trainer who trains trainers” and as a CIPD facilitator/tutor for the CLDP (Certificate in Learning & Development Practice) and so many I have come across do not know how to put together a simple business case.

When they ask if they can spend some money on their own development and told there is no budget, that seems to be the end of it. I have recently passed onto some trainers, this simple “back of an envelope” calculation to show them how they can justify the spend on their own development:

Let’s say the cost of the learning is £3000 for 8 trainers and through taking part, they can cut down their trainer preparation time by 30%. Assume 7.5 hours is spent on preparation time each week.
Average trainer hourly rate = £12
7.5 hrs per week spent on prep = £4140 annually per trainer (assuming they train for 46 weeks a year)
Using a 30% cut in prep time = £1242 saving annually
For 8 trainers annual saving = £9936
Which means that they would recoup their costs in 3.6 months and be saving £6936 in the first year £9936 every year after that.
One step in becoming an influential trainer is to network. Some people may think that this applies only to external trainers and that networking is a part of selling. Networking has benefits for both internal and external trainers. As an external trainer it can help sell your services but as an internal trainer it can do the same. In addition for an internal trainer these can be some of the benefits:

For the trainer:

  1. A deeper understanding of the organisation
  2. Contacts within the organisation that could become advocates
  3. Greater visibility of L&D and understanding of what value they bring to the organisation

For the organisation:

  1. An L&D team that are in touch with what is happening now
  2. If the L&D team know what is happening, the organisation learns what it needs to learn
  3. An understanding of the strengths and limitations of L&D

One thought on “How to become influential trainers

  1. Good point Krystyna, all trainers need to be able to show the real value of their contribution, especially at the moment. Then we can show training to be an investment, not a cost.

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