Let’s Talk About Corporate Trainers!

西門町密室逃脫

Why do you need a Corporate Trainer?

I’ve been conducting many corporate training events for many years, and many event organizers say that “hiring corporate trainers for employee training is an unnecessary luxury.” I once talked to a manager of a factory for clothing production and he bluntly stated that “corporate trainers don’t know much about our industry, so how can he understand all the information for improving business efficiency through corporate training?  I feel that these “outsiders” do not know the business rules in the industry, the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, or even the world’s macroeconomics, politics, laws and regulations. All these factors directly affect business. Why do we need corporate training?” Later, I explained to him that of course you are the best in the competition, regulations, and business environment of the industry; knowing this type of information is good and, you should know better than me. However in certain situations, there’s always a place for onlookers to observe and see how a team is function and to pick out some problems that may not always be so clear. From the perspective of the third party, we can use some interesting activities to incorporate all the upper and lower levels to participate in fun training exercises, in order to show their true selves. My appearance It’s not about judging your employees’ ability to work, but observing their actions and the shared feelings during the game. As a facilitator, I can let some newer employees speak up, and I can also convey messages of the upper levels in an easy way, so that some potential employees can express their thoughts.

Success Comes After Failure

Once there was a multinational accountant firm who came to the escape game for corporate training and required bilingual training, so I personally followed up their case. At that time, the training involved many senior level management staff. Generally speaking, I would choose to do a simple ice-breaking game to help familiarize the participants with each other, and then brief them on the safety precautions for the escape game, rules of the game, etc. The whole event is divided into two sections, each game session is 45 minutes. In the first game, I let them play freely and let them talk about some strategies and methods. In the second session of the game, I will ask them to choose a “leader” to coordinate the entire team; and a “time-keeper” responsible for time management, because you don’t know how many puzzles will be in the whole game, but you do know when time will be up and how many clues you have left.  Last, there will be assigned a “communication expert” for prompting, this person must be very expressive, and need to ask the key points of the question in the shortest time so that they can ask for clues most precisely if needed. These roles can be exchanged anytime, but it needs to be for a good reason. Many people usually have “illusory superiority” which is a type of bias where an individual thinks they are better than they actually are. This can be commonly seen when groups of people confidently go inside the games and try to solve the puzzles, but when they do not understand how the puzzles are solved they usually blame it on other factors and not their own problem solving abilities.

That’s why it’s important to have a facilitator to oversee the event to solve any disputes. One important lesson for them to learn is the lesson of “trial and error.” Normally, in their line of work mistakes are not allowed, but in this carefree environment it’s important to let them know that making a mistake is no problem at all and that not everyone will always know everything. By making a mistake you can learn how to do it correctly and avoid making similar mistakes again in the future. As a corporate trainer, I will try to look at the whole event and the whole team to find out if there is a communication problem. Is it a problem of expressiveness? Too much contention? Is it a time management issue? Is nobody taking responsibility? Are they being too shy? Is someone being over confrontational? Are there freeriders? Did you not make good use of everyone’s strengths? There are countless explanations for potential problems.

Let’s use this metaphor for example. The role of a corporate trainer is like a traffic light at a busy intersection with vehicles coming from all directions. Some people are like fancy sports cars, some people are functional vehicles like buses or pick-up trucks, and some people are motorcycles. They move at different speeds and have different functions and backgrounds. These vehicles cannot communicate with each other very well and that’s why they need the traffic light to let them know when to go or when to stop. Without it, it may very well lead to an accident!

For more tips on Team Building, please see the “HR’s Team-building cheat sheet!”