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Jo Hartley

Open Colleges

Freelance Writer

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What defines a good trainer?


In any business finding a good trainer is imperative to getting the best out of your employees and benefiting your company as a result.

Focusing on in house training and providing people access to quality trainers is an effective way to show staff that you’re invested in them and their development. Subsequently, it’s also a good way to ensure your employees are up to date with latest technologies and skills to give your business the competitive edge.

However, finding a good trainer isn’t always easy, and it’s something that

Antonio Di Meola knows only too well. As the founder of training and development for employees at Open Colleges, Antonio is no stranger to training. Responsible for delivering skills training to support staff, his role also incorporates coordination of external specialist course delivery for specific internal needs, and running DiSC and Situational Leadership workshops. 

Antonio’s primary goal is to help path the way for employee career development within the organisation, whilst helping employees achieve the greater strategic goals and objectives of Open Colleges.

Antonio’s passion and dedication as a trainer was recently recognised by Trainer Magazine as they noted him as an Emerging Training Leader, for his stellar leadership skills which have inspired and engaged Open Colleges as an organisation.

So armed with so much knowledge and experience, what would Antonio advise employers when it comes to choosing a good trainer?

The ability to be supportive and accessible

“The most important thing to look for in a trainer is someone who’s able to fully support students and work with them in a way that helps them through any issues,” says Antonio.

“A trainer needs to be accessible to employees at a time that suits them and needs to be solely focused on the training or issues at hand.”

"They also need to be conscious of supporting employees in a way that works for them.”

Whilst Antonio Di Meola admits that he takes a ‘no excuses’ disciplined approach to training, he says that he always remains positive and encouraging to get the best from his trainees.

Consider your employees’ personality types

“Consider what sort of personality the majority of your employees are and what sort of trainer would get the best results with that in mind,” says Antonio.

“For example, at Open Colleges we have trainers who are really good at organising and motivating.  We have trainers who are assertive and clear, and others who have a softer, gentler approach.”

Someone with passion and knowledge

Antonio advises that it’s key to have a trainer who’s passionate about what they do.

“Trainees will feed off a trainer, so the delivery of the training is really important,” he says.

“If a trainer seems unenthused by the topic or training in general, then it’s not likely to motivate the trainees.”

Subsequently, Antonio notes that this goes hand in hand with a trainer who has extensive up to date knowledge of their topic, which they can effectively relay to employees.

“A knowledgeable trainer will be more engaging to students and make them feel confident that they’re receiving the best,” he says.

“A good trainer will have a passion for education, and for helping others, so employees will feel confident that they’re getting the right support and information.”

Approachable nature

“Employees need to feel comfortable asking questions, even if they feel like they are silly ones,” says Antonio.

He notes that if employees don’t feel they can do this, they may struggle which could potentially lead to failure or loss of interest in the training.

“Insight and active empathy are important qualities in helping to truly inspire the trainees,” he says.

“So a dedicated trainer understands the person they’re talking to, and applies their knowledge and skills to help the trainee to achieve their goals.”

Signs of a bad trainer

In terms of a bad trainer, Antonio says that there’s no one thing that distinguishes one from another.  However, there are some warning signs to look out for.

“If a trainer is unenthusiastic, unfocused or just generally unresponsive they’re potentially not providing the best service or opportunities to your staff,” he advises.

“Likewise, if their training is not clear and concise it may fail to get the right message across and employees may feel demotivated or confused.”

Ultimately however, Antonio says that finding the right trainer can purely come down to personal preference and goals.

“Each employee is an individual, and you’ll have different reasons for encouraging them to do different types of training,” he says.  “However, what works for one, may not necessarily work for another.”

In conclusion, Antonio says that it pays to do your homework when it comes to a trainer.  So, searching out recommendations from colleagues or even other business contacts is recommended as a good investment of your time.

“A good trainer is worth their weight in gold,” says Antonio.  “Not only will the employees get results but, as a business, you will benefit too so it’s a winning combination for everyone.”

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Jo Hartley

Freelance Writer

Read more from Jo Hartley

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