How-to Choose a Corporate Training and evaluate the Trainer

Looking for a Leadership (or other) Training? How-to Chose one
How-to Choose a Corporate Training and evaluate the Trainer
29.12.2018 LISTEN

We get all these phone-calls from employers in almost any sector asking us for a Leadership Training. The request starts with a simple: “I am looking for a Leadership Training of my Employees” and it stops there.

When we ask them what they mean with that sexy phrase: “Leadership Training”, they all get uncomfortable and they either feel embarrassed or challenged.

By the way, that behavior extends to the full spectrum of all possible training offerings. And unfortunately, there are so many low-quality or low-impact trainings delivered here in Ghana and possibly most of Africa.

What are we all doing wrong? Two things:

  1. We never ask the training provider (and unfortunately they never offer either) to have a meeting with us and together define the content & the exact curriculum that will be used to train our employees.
  2. We interview our employees but we never find it necessary or care to interview the person who will train them.

Please allow me to elaborate on those 2 items.
Defining the Content & the Curriculum

To go back to the Leadership Training example - which is a real one:

  • What is it really meant with ‘Leadership Training’?
  • Are both parties meaning the same thing with ‘Leadership Training’?
  • What are the expectations from such a training?
  • How realistic are they? (no, you can’t train someone to become a Leader)
  • How will they address your organizational needs? Is that measurable?
  • There are a lot of elements/ ‘skills’ defining Leadership. Which ones are you going to hone / develop in such a training?
  • How will practically the attendees expected to have impact in their organization after the training? How will that impact be measured?
  • What has been the impact of similar trainings that the Training Provider has given to other organizations similar to yours? (e.g. similar as in size, industry, maturity-level, etc..). Can you visit them and talk to them?
  • ….

Curriculum refers to the overall content, taught in an educational system or a course and its delivery schedule and methodologies are intrinsic parts of it.

What makes a Curriculum relevant & effective? (so attendees don’t fall asleep after a heavy breakfast or kenkey lunch)

  1. Relevant Content and clear how to apply it immediately to one’s job.
  2. Microlearning.

Microlearning is the use of brief exercises and concise training materials – usually a video or interactive presentation – to explain a single but hard to ‘instantly understand’ idea or process or their implementation.

  1. Don’t assume the basics.

Some of the most fundamental skills are taken for granted and are never properly taught.

  1. Lots of Group Exercises - Start building a team with the new knowledge
  1. Focus all examples & exercises on Real Life Situations relevant to the organization.
  1. Individual and ‘Buddy’ Mentoring

Buddying up peers is especially effective when they have just had the same training experience. Such arrangements don’t need to be very formal and structured- it is just a great way for providing them with extra course post-delivery support where needed.

  1. Feedback, constant Feedback - Before, during and after the class,

Make sure that all feedback is reviewed asap and act on any issues that can be immediately addressed . Visibly acting on the feedback provided, makes employees more likely to provide open, honest feedback moving forward.

  1. Gamify the Whole Content - Learning should always be fun and playing!
  1. Enable Mobile Learning

No - most likely you are not going to get this from your Training Provider, but there is a plethora of easy-to-use authoring tools out there, some of which are free.

Learning doesn’t have to be limited to the workplace, and Mobile Learning allows employees to refresh or to catch up on areas where they don’t yet feel confident.

  1. Produce your own training videos!

In 2018, video-recording equipment can be bought cheaply, and anyone can learn the basics of editing online.

Why not create an online video-training library to both enhance postdelivery support and also an introduction to the topic for all future attendees. May that might enable you to reduce your training expenses too!

  1. Highly Customized Training Material

Training material should be relevant and reinforce the Customized Curriculum that was used to train your employees.

Golden Tip: Avoid Training Providers who are unable to customize their Training Material! Unless you are after another mediocre training.

  1. You should always approve the Training Curriculum and Training Materials!

Interviewing the Trainer.
Actually, if you are paying someone to do any job, it is not a far-fetched idea that you would want to see that person , pre-screen them and approve them before they come and deliver any piece of work.

It should not be that different for a Trainer. Demand to meet and interview that Trainer.

17 Trainer- Interviewing Questions
#1. What percentage of your time is devoted to teaching in your current role?

If it is close to 100%, you got someone who does not keep up / is not anymore hands-on with any development the the topic.

#2. What topic do you teach most often?

Professional trainers tend to teach the same courses repeatedly instead of hopscotching into topics or technologies they don’t really know, so they can get your money.

#3. What is your least favorite subject to teach? Why?

Obviously if s/he is a Leadership Trainer and their least favorite subject is Leadership, stay away from them like a Vampire from Garlic (ok- I see that in movies a lot).

#4. How will you teach that course we asked for? What is your relevant hands-on professional experience on this subject area? How many times have you taught that course?

#5. What is your preferred class size?

This question is all about flexibility of the trainer. And yes, in some classes you can have only 12 people, while in other ones 40-60 people (just a figure of speech)

#6. Can you walk us please through the process of preparing a curriculum?

#7. How will you go about identifying our employee training needs? Are your curricula custom-made?

Give us an example in which you identified the educational needs of your students and successfully developed a way to teach/train them.

#8. How do you measure and evaluate Student Progress?

Even if it is a 1 day course, you don’t want the class to be ‘lost’ after lunch time.

#9. What do you see as the key criteria or even KPIs for a successful training?

#10. In your last training/ course that you gave, how did you ensure the skills/ knowledge were successfully transferred?

#11. How would you deal with an employee who doesn’t think your training session is worthwhile?

#12.People learn in different ways and with varying speeds. How would you ensure that slow learners too develops their skills?

#13. How would you handle an intermediate-level class where four students had never heard of the topic/ subject, four were experts and four were in the right place?

There are lots of techniques for teaching students with varying proficiency levels in the same class/ group. An excellent trainer should be able to talk about at least 2-3 best practices.

One possible response will be to pair the beginners/ the weak students with the advanced students to keep both groups engaged. If the still struggle, a trainer should work with them after class. And to avoid having the advanced students demotivated or bored, the trainer should give them more challenging exercises to work on (in case they finish an assignment earlier than the others)

Golden Tip: Avoid any trainer who claims that they never had this problem!

A Professional trainer should be able to not only stimulate but also engage and motivate both high and low proficiency students.

#14. What has been the most difficult training challenge that you have had to deal with and what did you do?

#15. Do you have experience in training a trainer?

#16. Are you certified as a trainer? By which Accredited Learning Body?

#17. Finally ask them questions to find out what they know about you and your company. Why would you give your business to someone who didn’t bother to find out who your organization is (on Google) or who you are (on LinkedIn)? S/he obviously doesn’t care about you as a client!

Golden Tip: Never hire a trainer who is not passionate about that subject you are seeking training for!

By the way, a good way to see the candidate- Trainer ‘in action’, is to ask them to prepare a presentation in advance. Just provide them with topics you want them to cover.

Other Considerations?
Make sure the Training Provider Organization has some full money-back guarantee. Id there a reason why there will not be any?

Ask them also what is their training’s post-delivery support. What happens if one of your employees has a question 2-3 days or week s later/ Who they can contact and is it for free? (HIREghana for example provides 1-month free post-delivery support- standard practice).

In Conclusion
Please take an active role in defining the right training for your organization and feel welcome to challenge both the training provider as an institution but also the course trainer too.

Otherwise, It is not only your money, but also your employees morale and time that will be wasted.

And if a company provides such great trainings, why don’t they offer a money-back guarantee? We- at HIREghana- do that since our 1st day of business!

So, please invest the time to define your Curricula needs and interview the every actual Trainer who will be teaching any of the needed courses.

Thank you and good Luck,
About the Author:
Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghana, a Leader Ghanaian Recruitment Agency and also a boutique /niche HRM Consultancy, based in Accra. Irene is also busy with her CMI Master’s Course in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring.

HIREghana can be reached at +233 50 228 5155 or +233 266 555 907 - Our website is

Irene welcomes your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions via your email message to Press {at} HIREgh . com.

© 2018 Irene Gloria Addison and © 2018 Human Intelligence Recruitment

Irene Gloria Addison
Irene Gloria Addison

Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghanaPage: IreneEmployerCorner