Training can be hard to manage. You’re managing outcomes and logistics. You’re managing people and priorities. You’re also attempting to build something bigger: A culture of learning and self-improvement. Training is much more than just education.
As your team grows, your training program does, too. And eventually, you might want to hire a training manager (or even a training team). At CBT Nuggets, we have a small team of dedicated training managers to coordinate the individual training plans for every one of our nearly 200 employees.
We thought we’d share the goals of the CBT Nuggets training team, what the training manager job description looks like, and how we picked the right candidate.
Elements of the Training Management Function
In a small organization, a range of training responsibilities might sit on the shoulders of a single person, perhaps even in a part-time capacity. In large organizations, the function is likely to be spread among a number of people, usually a whole department.
Depending on your own circumstances, you will decide whether your training team will be one person or an entire training team. In our case, it started with one full-time person. We now have two.
Here at CBT Nuggets, our job descriptions contain the following sections:
- Scope & General Purpose
- Measures of Success
- Primary Responsibilities
- Skills / Competencies / Education
Let’s take a look at each section and discuss how they relate to your training job description(s).
Scope & General Purpose
Training management actually looks a lot like a project management function. The same skills apply. They don’t have to be expert in all subject matter areas. They simply need to know how to empower, motivate, and, importantly, listen. Take that into consideration when you’re thinking about the scope of the training manager position.
Training managers work across the entire training spectrum — from assessment to measurement. They collaborate with others develop and deliver the training.
For our internal training team, we describe an administrative role as follows:
“The Training Manager will develop and evaluate training programs, perform administrative reporting, and continue the learning experience for CBT Nuggets employees. This position will also create tools and initiatives for maintaining internal product and IT industry knowledge.”
Take that all this into consideration when you’re thinking about the scope of the training manager position.
Measures of Success
Every good job description will have measurements of success. Organizationally, discrete measurements help managers know whether a person is successful in their position. It also provides a benchmark for the program. Training programs can show real results — as long as you’re measuring them.
Depending on the scope of the position, this could entail measures including:
- Identification of training requirements,
- On-time/on-budget development of training courses,
- Selection of third-party training courses,
- On-time/on-budget delivery of training,
- Successful delivery of training to target numbers of students,
- Student adoption rates for specific training types,
- Achievement of learner feedback metrics,
- Achievement of targeted post-training student performances,
You may choose similar measures or others that are more relevant to the job(s) that you are designing.
While the scope and general job description will largely be the same across organizations, primary responsibilities will be different for every organization.
In our case, we develop an individual learning path for every single CBT Nuggets employee. Learning paths can include CBT Nuggets training, outside resources, books, conferences, webinars, and hands-on training. The learning path is coordinated and ultimately managed by supervisors, as well as individuals. Hence, the job functions reflect that process.
To give you an idea of the granularity, here’s some of what we expect our training manager to do:
- Create learning paths for internal training initiatives,
- Create and maintain training documents,
- Identify learning needs through training evaluations for individuals and teams,
- Assist with internal marketing of training,
- Promote and foster a ‘learning culture’ through 30 minutes a day of training,
- Ongoing of evaluation of training tools and resources.
Again, this job spans the full training spectrum but is not involved directly in course development or delivery.
Skills / Competencies / Education
Finally, it’s important to find a person with the right blend of people and technical skills. Many companies find an incumbent team member looking for a lateral shift (or promotion) to team training manager.
Internal candidates are often a good choice because your training manager will have to function as a project manager, curriculum developer, communicator, motivator, and evangelist. It’s someone who knows about bad training habits and how to fix them. Overall, it’s a tough bill of traits to fill, but you can certainly find someone up to the challenge.
Full-time training roles will not only shape your employees but your organization. Or that’s at least the idea. Even smaller companies are realizing the effects that training has on recruiting, retention, and strengthening their workforce — and that’s a good thing. However, a culture of learning needs to be tended and curated. And that’s the job for a full-time training manager.