To implement EHS software successfully, you’ve got to teach employees how to use it. In enterprises, the most efficient way to do this is ‘train-the-trainer’ training.

As an EHS software vendor, we’re often asked about this by EHS professionals.  

Therefore, in this article you’ll learn what the train-the-trainer benefits are for your enterprise EHS software project and what this method entails.

Typically, training happens after the new system has been deployed to ‘test’ servers, but before it goes live.

Train the trainer benefits process

At Pro-Sapien, we combine this with User Acceptance Testing (UAT), although the goals of each process are different.

Additionally, the fact Pro-Sapien is integrated in your Office 365 environment makes training much more straightforward than on new, standalone apps.

With that said, let’s look at what train-the-trainer really is.

What is train-the-trainer?

In the software world, train-the-trainer involves consultants from the vendor training a set of ‘super users’ in your organization.

It focuses on enabling a group of your people to quickly share knowledge internally.

Importantly, train-the-trainer isn’t just for a single trainer—there should be multiple internal trainers who can then go on to train others.

So, what’s the difference to normal training? While super users learn how to use your new EHS software, they’re also learning how to teach others.

For example, instead of just “this is how you do it,” your Pro-Sapien consultant will add, “and the best way to demonstrate that to users is this.” 

In other words, train-the-trainer helps you become as self-sufficient as possible.

That’s why it’s the preferred model for enterprise software projects.

Not the EHS day job

Of course, EHS Directors did not sign up to work in corporate training.

Train-the-trainer recognizes this and aims to empower several members of different teams to take the burden off you who purchased the software.

For example, as well as EHS, we’d expect to see those responsible for UAT plus people from the business training team attend.

The size of the audience depends—in enterprises there may be as many as 40+ internal trainers.

In turn, this increases internal knowledge of and confidence in the product, resulting in better user adoption across the enterprise.

Which brings us onto the benefits of train-the-trainer.

Benefits of train-the-trainer

There are many benefits of train-the-trainer, including:

  • More cost-effective than relying on external trainers. This is particularly true when you have a high staff turnover or temporary workers.
  • Higher quality information. The vendor can focus on providing high quality, in-depth and client-specific training to trainers, rather than mass-produced sessions that scratch the surface.
  • Consistency and continuity of training. By default, your EHS software vendor provides the exact materials trainers were trained on. This helps ensure continuity, rather than requiring internal trainers to create their own program.
  • End-users are familiar with internal trainers. Employees are much more likely to seek advice from people they are familiar with than external resources.
  • Internal trainers know the company culture. They appreciate cultural nuances an external trainer may not and can tailor training to the audience.
  • Fast dissemination of knowledge. If internal trainers are subject matter experts, they can help solve issues quickly without the need for external resources.
  • Better training follow-up and ongoing support in-house. Internal trainers have visibility into how users are adopting the software and can follow up accordingly.

Moreover, it’s well-documented that teaching others is an effective way to learn, so your internal trainers will benefit, too. This is known as the protégé effect.

For example, if you know you’ll be teaching Pro-Sapien to others, you’ll feel more compelled to ask engaging questions, create scenarios, and lead discussions to deepen your understanding.

In addition, the fact that Pro-Sapien EHS software is configured  for your unique business needs makes internal know-how even more important.

Therefore, our consultants train your trainers on your organization’s own instance of Pro-Sapien—not a generic system.

Now, as with all stages of EHS software implementation, train-the-trainer takes planning. So, here’s how to prepare.

How should trainers prepare?

Train-the-trainer starts with setting clear parameters.

The vendor is responsible for content, but your EHS project team must promote train-the-trainer training from within.

Accordingly, we recommend the following steps to prepare:

  1. Get familiar with the specification
  2. Set audience expectations that this is the finished system and now is not the time for change
  3. Plan answers for potential questions – Q&A is an effective way to make information stick

Afterwards, the vendor provides helpful materials for your trainers to use, such as PowerPoint presentations, guide documents and recorded demos.

We also recommend the EHS project sponsor follows up with internal trainers to ensure they feel comfortable with their new knowledge.

Why train-the-trainer for enterprise EHS software?

Clearly, there are many benefits for you as the client, but also for us as the vendor.

Our aim is to help you really OWN your Pro-Sapien application.

Why? You’ll oversee a more successful roll-out, achieve better user engagement over time, and get the most out of your Pro-Sapien system.

In other words, you’ll be a happier customer!

Furthermore, for an enterprise-class EHS app like Pro-Sapien, there will be hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands of users at each client.

Combine that with client-specific configurations, and you will quickly see why train-the-trainer is the most efficient, effective method.

However, Pro-Sapien and many vendors also offer additional options, such as training webinars.

Webinars can be useful in the case of a merger or acquisition, to introduce a large number of new users to the software. Internal trainers would then follow up in smaller groups.

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you feel informed on what train-the-trainer training actually is (besides a mouthful to say!).

At Pro-Sapien, we conduct these sessions over the course of two half days using Microsoft Teams.

Our tried-and-tested approach involves detail and collaboration, as we firmly believe ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. Therefore, training is an important part of how we work to ensure your success with our EHS solutions.

Overall, our thorough ways of working help us help you achieve your goals faster, through great EHS software and a sincere service you can trust.

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Author

  • Hannah Stewart is the Communications Manager at Pro-Sapien, providers of EHS software on Office 365. Since 2015, Hannah’s responsibilities at Pro-Sapien have included collaborating with clients to measure their successes with Pro-Sapien products and to share their achievements with the EHS community. In addition to this, Hannah works closely with industry analysts to understand trends and match Pro-Sapien solutions to emerging EHS challenges. With a keen interest in marketing and languages, in 2015 Hannah received her bachelor’s degree in Media & Communications with First Class Honors from Glasgow Caledonian University.

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