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The task of operator training is typically delegated to the department supervisor or lead.  Rarely, if ever, is the supervisor or lead given the proper tools to be an effective trainer. And since the supervisor is also evaluating the operator’s performance, the feedback loop on training effectiveness may be lost. Being an effective trainer goes beyond knowing the material.  It requires an ability to communicate in such a way that the trainee can learn the required information.

Listed below are some suggestions on how ways to improve the effectiveness of your training.

  1. Ensure the trainer has the necessary skills to conduct operator training.  Check out this blog for what I consider the necessary skills to be an effective trainer. In some cases, it may be necessary to delegate training to an individual who may not be a lead/supervisor in order to ensure the training is as effective as possible.
  2. Periodically observe the training being conducted and provide feedback for the trainer.
  3. If possible, also have the trainee provide feedback on the trainer.
  4. Make sure there is some way to demonstrate the operator has learned the necessary information in order to do this task on his or her own.  This can be through a verbal test, written quiz or a demonstration.
  5. Invest in some “train the trainer” training so the supervisors and/or lead can develop their skills as a trainer.

Creating an environment of learning can go a long way towards improving the performance of your plant.  Increasing the skills of your trainers will help operators learn faster, be more engaged and ultimately improve the bottom line.  And isn’t that the name of the game?

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to