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Employee Training Manager

Frances McNeal

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I manage a team of facilitators (professional trainers) who provide classroom and "technology" based training and support to new employees. The purpose of our area is to help new employees understand the vision, values, business objectives, policies and procedures of our organization. Through training and supportive activities that may include seminars , mentoring , independent projects , job assignments, etc. - employees can be more informed and productive, more quickly. What skills are needed? Skills to be a training manager include the ability to manage people and projects, understand, communicate, translate business objectives into measurable and observable training objectives, and the ability to effectively measure and market the internal products and services within the organization. Five to 7 years of business experience is required. What was your major? My major was American History . I chose that major because it gave me the opportunity to review, understand, synthesize, and communicate large amounts of information. The analytical, organization, communication, and project management skills have been invaluable to me throughout my career. How did you get started in your career? I had a summer internship with IBM between my junior and senior year. While the focus was on computer programming, the opportunity to be have responsibilities in a professional work environment was invaluable to helping me recognize the value of excellent study, research and communication skills. After my college graduation I was part of a management-training program which gave me exposure to the sales, recruiting, and manufacturing functions. I started my own computer (software training) business, which I ran successful for 8 years. I then consulted, and joined my current employer as a training manager. What experience do you need in this job? Experience as a "stand-up/platform" trainer or facilitator is critical. You should have either " technical training " or " soft-skills training " topic/knowledge expertise from which you provide the training. Knowledge and experience with " e-learning " and alternate forms of training (CD-ROM, Multi-media, videos, audio and video conferences, self-study, mentor/buddy based, on the job training, manager led, etc.) is important. Trainers should also know and have experience with the basic stages of the training profession (needs assessment, design, development, implementation, measurement and marketing). Describe your "typical" workday? I arrive to work by 7:30 a.m. By 8:30 a.m. others are arriving in the office so I take time to say hello, check-in, and network . Most meetings start at 9 a.m., and I have a mixture of meetings with my direct report team members (three local, three located in other cities), my manager (located in another city), projects and troubleshooting. My lunch is usually eaten at my desk (I really try to take at least a 1/2-hour for myself), and I'm back in meetings until 5pm. I try to wrap up and catch a 5:30 p.m. train. Some evenings I have professional development or non-profit organization board meetings at other locations. I typically need to be at those meetings by 6 p.m. I occasionally volunteer for non-profit organizations. Additionally, I take "e-learning" courses that have 8 hours of homework a week, so I'm doing "homework" in the evenings. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Maintaining the balance between being a manager/leader of a team of six, personal project work, team project work, self/professional development, internal/external networking, and my "real life". What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Helping develop my team of six and helping others within the organization reach their business and personal objectives through training and non-training initiatives that I support, direct, manage, and influence. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Talk and network with trainers (informal interviews, attend professional training meetings, read professional training magazines, research web sites, etc.). Identify topics that you can "train" others on (even if it is informal through a non-profit organization), in order to improve your "stand-up, presentation skills". Take a "train-the-trainer" courses as well as courses in training needs assessment, design, development, implementation, measurement and marketing). Learn more about the e-learning and alternative forms of training.