Staff Training is a Specialized Skill
The situation is all too common. An organization, in this case a call center, wants the senior associates to coach and train the less experienced employees. So the mandate comes from above that each one of the more experienced staff should plan to do a series of presentations for their units.
Is this a good idea? Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves for a minute. Not everyone is a good presenter. Even with training, there will be those who will stick to reading every word off each slide of a PowerPoint presentation. Others will be long-winded lecturers, and others will simply resent the fact that they are being forced to speak in front of a crowd.
It is true, seniority often means more experience and skill at doing one’s job, but the fact that one can do one’s job well does not immediately translate into being able to train someone else the job. To force staff training on senior staff may lead to conflict and frustration.
Before we send out global mandates like these, let’s remember some of the basic rules of employee engagement. If people are not properly outfitted with the tools for the job, they are likely to fail. If you plan to have your senior staff become the training and coaching body of your junior staff, make sure that you follow these steps
First we need to assess the capabilities of the individual. Perhaps the person is not a good public speaker now, but with training and support he might become one. Or perhaps public speaking is not this person’s strength. Instead this person may be a great coach. See who is best suited for different staff development tasks. Some will be better presenters than others, some will be better coaches, etc.
Then support them by offering them training and resources to become better at their given task (coaching, delivering training, etc.). Finally, continue to assess their skill level and continue to support their growth and development as part of your staff development strategy.