Training For Multiple Business Locations: Train The Trainer Approach
Integrating new technology into one business location is difficult enough, but in multiple locations can seem like a daunting task. But, this is a necessity when you have chosen a technology to be used across the company, no matter how many locations your business has. There are a few ways the implementation and training can be handled. The option you choose will be based largely on how tech savvy your employees (and how much you trust them to really use the new technology).
Implementing any new type of technology, systems, or processes requires training the employees. If employees are not fully and adequately trained, then the business is setting itself up for failure. As far as training employees on the use of the new technology, there are three basic ways to ensure training is spread across the company to all employees using the new technology: Train-the-Trainer, Hands-On Training, and Virtual Training. We will focus on Train-the-Training type of training here.
Train-the-Trainer type of training is a common practice in business when lots of employees need to be trained on one topic or system, and is one of the best options for training several business locations. A train-the-trainer system is when specific group of individuals (usually one person from each department affected by the change) are trained on the new system or topic. These individuals then go back and train everyone else in their departments based on the needs of those individuals and can spend more one-on-one time with employees who may have challenges grasping the new technology. They become the SMEs, or the Subject Matter Experts, on the topic or system. This way, when others in the department have questions, they can go the SME to get answers.
This helps move communication, challenges, and training through a structured system that decreases confusion and limits the communication to the head trainer. If a trainer is bombarded with too many questions or communication about the new technology, some of the questions may fall through the cracks and may not be answered.
This system also helps the head trainer focus on specific needs for each department. If, for example, a department will use limited functionality of the new system, the head trainer can tailor the training for the specific needs for the SME for that department. There is no sense in training employees on functionality that they will not use.
In many cases the company will send the SMEs they have chosen to one central location to receive the training. The SME then comes back and setups up group trainings with each department based on the needs of that department. This is a much less time-consuming process because the SME is already in that location and can work around the schedules of employees that need the training.