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Train-the-Trainer Methodology

Columbus Metro Library

Innovation Leader: Gerald Schwab, OD & Learning Manager, gschwab@columbuslibrary.org

Problem Statement

With over 700 employees at the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), we needed a training solution that would keep staff skills current and gain new skills at a reasonable cost. In addition, we needed a way that would allow ongoing training rather than the cost of multiple events. Traditionally, we contracted with vendors to offer one-time training sessions. This reached limited staff and was expensive to repeat for a new group of staff.

Innovation

We adopted a “train-the-trainer” approach to meet some of our ongoing training needs. We selected best in class vendors to provide a train-the-trainer and had our trainers attend. Our trainers are our staff, in most cases, staff apply to be trainers. Additionally, we do have a Training division that has 3 trainers and 1 Manager. The training vendors provide trainings that are research based, developed by professional designers who are experts in the specific areas, and used in world class organizations. CML has used these four companies to meet our training needs.
  • Development Dimensions International (DDI) provides training materials addressing both soft and hard business skills solutions for all levels of staff. All training materials are integrated and share common foundations. CML has 5 certified trainers.
  • Lominger provides development tools based on competencies. We have incorporated these competencies into our performance assessments. CML has 6 certified facilitators.
  • Business of People (BOP) provides management skills training for supervisors to work effectively with staff and develop skills to increase work effectiveness. CML has 8 certified facilitators.
  • Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) provides specialized training to give staff skills to address disruptive and dangerous events at all our locations. CML currently has 9 certified trainers.
With the purchase of training materials, our staff trainers provide the needed training to staff while customizing the materials to fit our current needs. The train-the-trainer model is used for both internally created (reference source and customer service training) and externally purchased materials.

Progress

By using a train-the-trainer approach, CML meets the training needs of the staff. We customize materials and offer just in time training at a significant reduction of cost. For example, 803 staff members have attended the CPI security training provided by CML staff. To send the staff to training, the cost would have been over $360,000. CML staff was certified for under $13,000. Staff feels safer at work and able to address concerns quickly and within system P&P. We are currently rolling out our 3rd Round of BOP training. We would not be able to train this many staff without this approach.