The Many Hats of a Trainer

When people think of training, they often think of someone standing in front of a group droning on and on and on and on … and … on while reading a prepared presentation from the screen. There are ways to be much more useful in those positions. Trainers wear many hats and help a business in several ways.

The first way is to prepare people for new positions. Whether someone transfers within the company or gets hired from the outside to fill a position, training will be needed to bring the person up to speed on the new responsibilities. Some of this training is formalized, but much of it happens on the job with a more experienced person guiding the new one.

Trainers can also equip people to work in a global environment. In one of the publishers I work for, there are staff members and authors from various parts of the United States, England, Canada, and Uganda. A good trainer can help people to adapt to the cultural norms of their coworkers.

“Performance improvement specialist” is another function trainers can play. A performance improvement specialist can help a company analyze a process to locate and fix problems that impair the function of a group.

That plays into the most important reason for training. It can be a valuable tool to support the business strategy of the company. When the plan calls for people to be skilled in multiple areas, a training program can get them there. If new technology or processes are going to be implemented, the right training can help people adapt.

Trainers can serve a number of functions in a company. As needs change, different hats might be necessary.

This is my hat collection. Many of them were my grandmother's, but I have collected several on my own.
This is my hat collection. Many of them were my grandmother’s, but I have collected several on my own.

12 thoughts on “The Many Hats of a Trainer

  1. I always enjoy reading you blog! I can’t believe we are soon done with this adventure. I look forward to another great term with you!


      1. CIndy, I love the way you presented this post. The presentation made me interested in reading further. This is a good way a trainer can obtain the attention of the learners. Presentation!!! I agree that training should be strategic especially for new hires or promoters. Most of the time, the person that is in a new position does not get formal training. They receive just enough to start the job; however, the basics/foundation is learned as you go.


      2. Hi Wendy,

        You’re absolutely right. My first teaching job was a half-year gig in a public school to relieve an overcrowding mess. On my first day there, the principal handed me keys, showed me where my room was and let me know that she would have my roster by the end of the week. Exactly what I was supposed to actually /do/ was not clearly discussed.

        It was a rough start, but I learned a lot and was better prepared for the next time.

        Thanks for the kudos and the comment!


  2. Hi Cindy, I wish I was a pro like you on blogging and RSS feeds! I just got mine set up. I look forward to following you during this class.



  3. Cindy,
    I enjoyed your blog. I like the fact that you are using multiple hats in this training arena. I look at it from a standpoint of apprentice, journeyman, and mastery skill sets. Apprentice are those people just getting started with orientation and beginning to incorporate themselves into the workplace. Journeyman are those people who are receiving that on-the-job training. Mastery are the people who are fully engaged and ready for immediate tasking in the global environment. Well Done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Montez.

      I see trainers as problem-solvers for a company, more along the lines of a “performance improvement specialist” than simply a teacher of adults. A trainer can help someone improve skills in one skillset to advance through the ranks as you describe, but they can also help people diversify and even find out where the real fault is in the system. That’s part of the needs analysis that should precede any training.


  4. You are absolutely right, the trainers don’t drone on and on. They need to connect and engage with their audience, hence they need to make their sessions more interactive which can be absorbed well by their audience. The many hats of the trainers, indeed!


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