Communication and Resource Management with Instructors and Trainers

Effective communication and management are pivotal in any collaborative endeavor, and when it comes to trainers, instructors, and even subject matter experts (SMEs), these aspects become even more critical. SMEs provide deep knowledge and professional expertise for any training program, but navigating what’s needed by the learning team to match and complete the training goals can prove to be a daunting issue.

Learning and development (L&D) and human resources professionals rely on trainers to educate their organizations and clients about their fields of expertise. SMEs will have the interchangeable role of consultant and sometimes become a part time trainer, but can sometimes serve a much wider role in advising the L&D team how training programs and courses should be managed and taught.

That being said, it’s important for instructional designers, training managers, and chief learning officers to have a solid communication and management plan with their team of trainers and instructors. In this article, we’ll explore common obstacles, strategies for resolution, and the key role leadership plays in facilitating a harmonious collaboration.

Book a Demo Watch Demo Video

Identifying Challenges between Trainers and L&D

Lack of Clear Communication Channels

Training programs are projects, and with projects comes the need to establish transparent communication with all stakeholders – especially trainers and instructors.

Between L&D team members and assigned trainers, a communication plan and channel must be established so that all aspects of the training course and the respective training goals are met.

Misalignment of Goals and Expectations

When trainers and their training teams are not aligned in their objectives, it can result in confusion and inefficiencies. It’s the training team’s job to establish a primary goal and secondary milestones for what they want to accomplish for their learners. 

In reference to the point above, L&D should establish and address the training courses’ objectives and secondary milestones. For example, the overall goal could be to complete compliance and certification training while the secondary goals can be to establish competency in those skills whilst on the job.

collaboration with instructors

Management Challenges with Trainers and Instructors

Difficulty in Managing Diverse Expertise

Not all instructors are subject matter experts and the same holds true, vice versa. All subject matter experts will be tried and true professionals with their depth of experience in their field. Although it’s safe to say that not all SMEs will be cookie cutter instructors when it comes to time to lead training sessions. 

While SMEs may carry similar profiles with respect to industry experience, instructor qualifications, and industry/association validation, they’ll come with different perspectives and approaches with how to lead training during their courses. Others may be more extroverted than others, or perhaps even speak a different language!

Time Constraints and Conflicting Priorities

Since SMEs can be synonymous with trainers in the world of L&D, they can often be responsible for leading training for multiple courses with different sessions throughout the duration of the training period.

For the L&D team it’s critical that transparency is provided when scheduling a training session and assigning an instructor. Instructors and learning specialists alike should know when courses are scheduled and communicate conflicting issues that may arise when a scheduled session doesn’t work due to priorities or client interests.

Providing Necessary Resources and Support

Trainers, Instructors, and SMEs need the tools and resources they need to excel at the job they do best. As a training team, L&D specialists should be adamant in providing additional supplies and resources if needed to ensure that the quality of training does not fall below the high standard set forth by the training manager leading the program.

Learning specialists will have better direction in supporting their trainers and instructors when they have resourcing reports that break down bandwidth and resources available for training events, whether in person or online. When trainers are fully supported by the training team, it fosters a positive working relationship that leads to success.

eBook: Efficient & Effective ILT Operations: Train More with Less

Scheduling training sessions is just the starting point when it comes to running a training operation.

Discover what comes next.

Download eBook

Strategies for Effective Communication

Empathy When Communicating with Trainers and Instructors

Leading a training course is no easy feat. Whether part-time trainer or full-time instructor, if scheduling isn’t done properly it can be tedious if the trainer is assigned to drive to a far location for an ILT based course or must modify their schedule for an virtual instructor-led training event.

Once a training team communication plan is set in place and there’s a regular check-in call with your team of instructors be sure to listen to their concerns with regards to the training plans and course objectives. Spend an ample amount of time understanding where they’re coming from and the struggles they may be facing as opposed to just jumping to solutions after they’ve voiced their concerns.

Regular Check-Ins and Updates

It’s known within most universities and colleges that professors meet regularly in the faculty office to discuss course curriculums and student progress. The same is true when checking up on your course trainers. 

Regular check-ins and status update reports let the L&D team know the progression of the course and the training program as a whole. When scheduling a check-in, be mindful to establish a regular cadence so that both training administrators and trainers/instructors can adhere to and agree upon. Training updates that are too frequent will draw a sense of micromanagement. Less frequent will make it seem there is no guidance from the training team.

instructor management for learning

Managing Training Talent on a Global Scale

Instructors and Subject Matter Experts are the key to a successful training program. Read how one company streamlined scheduling of instructors for their global training program

Read Case Study

Using Subject Matter Experts to Improve Training Overall

Advise Subject Matter Experts to Improve Training

Recall that the SME is the bridge between the learning team and the learners. Aside from skilled expertise in their discipline they are also in the trenches conducting training where it takes place: in the classroom and virtual classrooms. 

Before, during, and even after the course has ended, the L&D team should continually ask for constructive feedback on how the course or training programs as a whole can be improved for future organizations looking to apply their course offerings. Should instructor-led training courses utilize a more blended learning approach as opposed to a pure VILT approach? Or perhaps it would be better to help to utilize pure ILT for a course that has been purely online instructor-led for a more immersive learning experience? Those are just a few questions to ask.

Provide Feedback to Instructors and Trainers

Constructive criticism goes both ways. The training office can only improve their training program if they can improve their team of subject matter experts with insight on how they’ve performed in the classroom. Learning specialists can provide insight on areas where they can improve based on training KPIs so that during the next course, they’re better equipped and ready to train.

Using a Training Management System to Streamline and Organize SME Communication

Training Orchestra is software designed to meet the needs of L&D specialists and training professionals who are responsible for leading hundreds of courses throughout the year. As a premier training management system (TMS), communication between your talent pool of instructors & subject matter experts and your back-office learning team is critical to ensure the success of not just one training session but the entirety of the training program.

How can a TMS address the communication void with subject matter experts?

As discussed, communication with trainers and full time instructors remains a challenge for high volume training sessions for L&D teams. Without a proper communication protocol and plan, it can be difficult for SMEs and learning specialists to be on the same page about where they are with the training plan.

As a vital piece of technology in the learning tech stack, a training management system can help facilitate and streamline communication in combination with a training instructor engagement portal.

An instructor collaboration portal serves as a centralized platform designed to enhance communication and coordination within a learning and development (L&D) team. This digital tool facilitates seamless collaboration among instructors, enabling them to work together efficiently and contribute to the overall success of educational programs.

Communicate and Collaborate Better

Discover how Training Orchestra can help streamline your training processes with instructors today!

Request a Live Demo   Watch a Preview