Allen F. Weitzel has spent 45 seasons in the recreation field and is safety and training manager at a California amusement park.

This topic will raise some eyebrows and spark comments. Should your trainers be required to train on subjects or philosophies that they strongly disagree with? Some would say, “It is their job. It does not matter if they agree or disagree!” But, let me tell why this may not be the best policy.

What Makes A Good Trainer?

Before you address the material being taught, you need to have good trainers. Trainers must be passionate about educating others. They must communicate information clearly, in an easy to understand way. They must keep the attention of their trainees, be upbeat, animated and show that they are interested in the programs they are explaining.

What Do You Look For When Selecting A Trainer?

It is important that you look for employees within your crew that like the work they do and like the company. It is important that you single out prospective trainers who agree with the philosophies you practice in managing your facility. As you select, promote and educate them, be sure to teach them the procedures you want followed and tell them why each procedure is important to the success of the company. When you finally select a trainer from your existing crew, make sure you discuss all the material that the new trainer will be covering. Let them read the material they will be expected to cover in training, then allow them to comment on how they feel about each key point. If there is a disagreement between you and your trainer, discuss it and work out any differences you may have. The trainer may have a new point of view that you might not have considered.

What Happens If The Trainer Does Not Support The Message?

A great training presentation requires passion and enthusiasm. That can only happen when the trainer can support the words and message being delivered. If the trainer does not “buy into” the message, they may cover the material, but may also speed through those points of the presentation. If your trainer is at odds with the core values you embrace in running your operation, no one wins.

During my years as a trainer, if I were asked to present new material that I felt was not healthy for the employees or the company, I would not schedule classes until I could meet with my supervisor and resolve our differences. You never want to reach a point where the trainer is editing the syllabus without proper approval.

It is also important to allow your trainer to have a hand in selecting the stories that are told in class to support the training material. Training must be memorable to be effective. True-to-life examples will enhance the learning process, especially if the stories are humorous. Someone should review all stories to make sure the examples apply to the subject, are not off target, and are not offensive. However, letting the trainer select the support stories will ensure the trainer can remain comfortable and upbeat with his or her audience.

So What Now?
There are two types of trainers that are needed in running a successful operation. You have your corporate trainer that covers classes and trainings that present new employee orientation and company core values. They also present leadership training as workers are promoted. These trainers must reflect company philosophy. The other trainers are “task-oriented” trainers who only train workers on basic skills sets, such as cooking fries, running a ride, sweeping the grounds and other direct customer service tasks, without having to teach company philosophy.

The End Result

Managers must do a perfect job of selecting and educating a training crew that supports the ethics, philosophies and culture of the facility. Pick those enthusiastic, well-spoken and loyal employees to train your line workers, and use them and their skills correctly.

So, should trainers be required to train on subjects they disagree with? No, they should not. You need your core philosophy to be taught by those who support it and the values you have. Those trainers who cannot agree with a core subject should not teach that particular subject.