How To Prepare Peer To Peer Trainers: 3 Strategies To Guarantee Success
Read Time: 6 minutes
A peer to peer trainer is someone that has the same role as their fellow employee and serves as a guide for them. A peer to peer training program comes with several benefits, but it’s critical to ensure your peer trainers are trained properly and can lead their trainees confidently.
We recommend training your peer trainers in the following 3 ways:
- Complete eLearning Modules — eLearning modules describe the trainer’s role, expectations, and tips for creating a positive relationship.
- Provide Trainer Guides — Organizations can provide a checklist that includes discussion prompts, conversation points, and reflection questions that instill confidence in trainers when entering each session.
- Soft Skills Training — Soft skills training equips peer trainers with the soft skills, like accountability, empathy, and communication, they need to foster meaningful relationships with their trainee.
Who would Harry Potter have been without Dumbledore? Spiderman without Iron Man? Matilda without Miss Honey?
We’ve all probably had some sort of mentor figure in our lives that guided us through new experiences. Maybe an upperclassman took you under their wing at school or a coach looked after you when you played on a sports team. The same situation happens at work with peer trainers!
At the workplace, peer trainers serve as key figures for new hires joining their team. With over 20 years working in the L&D space, we know that a successful peer to peer training program boosts employee morale, strengthens teamwork, and so much more. This occurs only when trainers are prepared and understand the expectations of their role.
This article will explain what peer to peer training is, explore why it’s important to train trainers, and provide three training options that can prepare trainers at your organization.
What Is A Peer To Peer Trainer?
A peer to peer trainer is someone that has the same role as their fellow employee and serves as a guide for new hires or less experienced teammates. Peer training is when two peers come together to learn from one another, engage in meaningful conversation, and offer advice.
Peer to peer training is largely development driven and typically involves the following activities between the trainer and trainee:
- Share job-related knowledge
- Develop personal and professional skills
- Provide psychosocial support
- Offer advice and tips to succeed at work
In general, peer trainers serve as role models to their fellow employees and make them feel supported by addressing their questions and concerns.
A peer training program is a popular way to train new hires or less experienced employees. This type of training creates a much more personal, informal environment where both the trainer and trainee can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and questions about their workplace.
Read More: The Power of Peer Mentoring in the Workplace (now and post COVID-19)
5 Benefits Of Peer To Peer Training
Peer to peer training comes with several benefits, including:
- Convenient Point Of Contact — A peer trainee may feel more comfortable reaching out to their trainer with questions instead of someone like their manager.
- Boosts Employee Wellbeing — Meetings between trainers and trainee adds variety to the normal workday. Trainees and trainers will typically get to know each other more and feel more integrated into their workplace culture. This peer to peer relationship will likely lead to more confident, productive employees that support each other.
- Strengthens Teamwork — When your employees have designated times to meet with one another, it builds teamwork. By sharing ideas and exchanging questions, trainers and trainees will naturally get to know one another by engaging in meaningful conversation.
- Encourages Socialization, Especially For New Hires — Assigning a peer trainer to a newly onboarded employee is a great way to introduce them to a new team member and encourage socialization. New employees also have the benefit of hearing knowledge, tips, and tricks about their new role directly from their trainer.
- Higher Employee Retention — A peer training program is an effective way to retain your employees because it provides an opportunity to develop through a supportive network. When your employees build that network, they’re more likely to stay in their role and grow.
Read More: The Many Benefits of Peer Mentoring in the Workplace
Why Is It Important To Train Peer To Peer Trainers?
It’s critical that peer to peer trainers are prepared for each training session they have with their trainee. Organizations should ensure their peer training program is standardized, scalable, and include the right employees to serve as trainers.
Organizations must train their peer to peer trainers for the following 3 reasons:
- Not Everyone Is Trainer Material — Not everyone is cut out to be a peer trainer. Trainers should have a positive, can-do attitude and be willing to share their experiences. Peer trainers need solid interpersonal skills that help motivate others.
- Trainers Need Support And Structure — To be successful, peer trainers will need to know how to lead, communicate, and share knowledge with their trainee. Without support resources and materials, trainers may not know how to set the right pace and run their meetings.
- Trainers Should Pass On Good Habits — Preparing peer trainers is important because organizations don’t want their trainers to pass on bad habits or wrong information to their trainees. By completing a training, trainers can learn what topics are appropriate to discuss and what information is okay to pass on.
Read More: Top 10 Tips For Being a Good Mentee
3 Strategies To Prepare Your Peer To Peer Trainers
Peer to peer trainers often already have the knowledge and skills needed to be a reliable trainer, but may not know exactly how to conduct sessions and lead conversations.
The following three training strategies can help ensure your peer trainers are prepared for their role and have the confidence needed to develop a solid relationship with their trainee.
Complete eLearning Modules
To train peer to peer trainers, our first recommendation is to have them complete eLearning modules. These modules teach employees critical information regarding training, key training objectives, and what it looks like at their organization.
eLearning modules for peer training teach trainers information through the following interactive tasks:
- Match the correct descriptions and expectations to a trainer and trainee
- Walk through hypothetical scenarios and select the appropriate responses that drive natural conversation
- Learn how to answer trainee questions, share knowledge, and provide advice
Provide Trainer Guides
In addition to eLearning modules, organizations can provide a guide that includes a checklist for trainers. This checklist covers key information about various topics they’ll discuss, while also providing an estimated timeframe for each topic.
This guide can instill confidence in the trainer by including the following information:
- Conversation points
- Discussion prompts
- Reflection questions
These checklists help lead conversations, build a positive relationship, and create training sessions both the trainer and trainee can look forward to.
Soft Skills Training
Peer trainers can complete a custom or off-the-shelf soft skills training program. By completing this training, organizations will equip their peer trainers with the soft skills, like accountability, empathy, and communication, needed to foster meaningful relationships with their trainee.
A custom soft skills training program will be more specific to your organization’s needs, while an off-the-shelf program from platforms like Coursera or LinkedIn Learning will be more general.
Build A Peer To Peer Training Program That Everyone Can Enjoy!
We’ve covered everything you need to know about peer to peer training programs, from the benefits that come with peer training to the importance of training your peer trainers.
Do you need more resources or have additional questions about peer training? Reach out to one of our team members or feel free to start developing the resources you need to support your peer trainers today.