Making sure everyone in the flight department is current on training can be an all consuming task. But is there more to life for Training Managers? Much more. These people have a key role to play in changing the way our industry looks at training.
Training Managers Set the Tone
The old saying, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” applies to the caretakers of your training department. If Training Managers are bogged down with the day to day scheduling and paperwork, chances are they won’t find much pleasure in the training process. That attitude circulates to the rest of the staff. Conversely, if Training Mangers have a passion for training and the professional growth and safety of the department, then others will follow their lead.Training Managers have the Power to Motivate
People are inspired by passion. They care about the “why” of the training just as much as they do the “what” and the “how. If Training Managers can make it clear to others in your department that there is a need for training and clearly state how the training will make improvements at the individual level and at the departmental level, then the money and time spent on training is going to be much more worthwhile.
Training Managers Build Trust
There seems to be an atmosphere of mistrust that surrounds many aviation training departments. Recipients are skeptical that any information or suggestions they make will be taken seriously. Management is skeptical that asking the team for input will produce any value to the department. And yet, asking for input and then acting on what people share is a key to building trust and collaboration. It is a great tool for Training Managers. Don’t be surprised, though, if people are a little skeptical at first. Jack Shaw opens our minds and articulates the questions that need to be answered in order to gain trust and benefit from the information and ideas provided. Consider these poignant questions that people may be silently asking.
- Do you want my “input or buy-in”?
- “How will (my) information be used?”
- “Will it (the information I give you) be used for more funding to do the job more to your liking, or just sit there coupled with an excuse of why that can’t be accomplished?”
- “what happened to “what’s in it for me?””
Training Managers are Problem Solvers
Whether its analyzing data through C-FOQA, implementing a department’s SMS, or just listening to the details of a completed flight, Training Managers have the opportunity to tailor training to the threats and hazards that are unique to each individual and department. They also have the capacity to see beyond formal training and implement measures which help people in a personal way. For example, after noticing several incidences involving thunderstorm avoidance, one Training Manager asked everyone to read an article on the topic and to review the SOP. A discussion then developed which generated ideas on how the SOP could be revised. It was a simple, proactive, and inexpensive means of solving a problem.
Training Managers are a Valuable Asset
Be sure to encourage and value your training managers. Often times, these people carry the same workload as everyone else and then have the added responsibility of managing the training. They often receive little extra pay for a lot more work. Many of them have creative ideas and goals, but are not always supported by management, the budget, or the work schedule. Do what you can to support and thank them. And if you are one of these extraordinary individuals, push aside the paperwork for a moment and relish the fact that you really are a key player in keeping our industry safe and professional.
What other skills do you see Aviation Training Managers contributing to our industry? Consider sharing some examples of how Training Managers have made training more practical and worthwhile so that we can all benefit.