Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Care and Feeding of Remote Trainers. (Training)

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Care and Feeding of Remote Trainers. (Training)

Article excerpt

LET'S SUPPOSE YOU ARE THE EXECUTIVE in charge of a huge servicing operation headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. (No jokes about cruel and unusual punishment.)

There are four satellite servicing locations scattered around the country, and each houses one or two trainers. A question about jurisdiction has arisen: Should these trainers report to the local site manager or to the Nebraska-based training director?

This question comes up frequently, and it is usually answered incorrectly. The incorrect, but superficially compelling, answer is to have the trainers report to the local site manager.

Here is the reasoning. The local manager can more easily provide day-to-day direction, knows what needs to be trained at her location, and can best provide just-in-time feedback and support.

You can't fault that resoning too much in theory, but I have seen it in practice a dozen times--and it simply doesn't work.

First, let's talk about the most important thing in the trainer's life: day-to-day direction. Remote trainers report the same thing almost without exception: "I'm micro-managed 5 percent of the time when there's some kind of crisis, like a system cut-over, and virtually ignored the other 95 percent of the time. And that's not because my boss is mean or stupid, it's just that she's got an operation to run and I'm kind of a sidebar."

Second, the site manager thinks she knows what needs to be trained, but what she really knows (from her reports) is what is messed up. …

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