Employee training and development programs are essential to an organization’s growth and success. Effective employee training programs ensure your business has a well-trained workforce. This also means your employees are more productive and efficient in their roles, allowing them to contribute at a higher level.
Workplace training does not only benefit the organization. In fact, there is scientific evidence linking learning to happiness. Providing training courses to your employees allows them to develop skills and gain new knowledge, therefore increasing their satisfaction with the company and improving overall employee retention.
Each person has their own learning style. Some are visual learners, others have better knowledge retention through on-the-job training. The employee training method you choose can affect the outcome of training programs.
Choosing the best training method from a long list of employee training methods can be quite daunting. However, taking the time to figure out the best employee training method to use can go a long way toward ensuring that the program is effective.
Some training methods target a range of learning styles, whereas others only focus on one particular style. We’ll explore the features of the most popular employee training methods below.
Instructor-led training, also known as classroom learning, is one of the most traditional training methods for employees. This method mimics other classrooms in that an instructor is preparing and leading the program. Normally, instructors use a lecture-style presentation with visual components.
Instructor-led training is popular as it can easily be customized to meet the organization’s specific needs, making it one of the most effective employee training methods. Additionally, it can also be done in several ways, i.e. through in-person training or through online training.
Classroom learning has many benefits, one of which is giving employees the time to interact with their trainers and ask any questions that might otherwise go unaddressed in other training methods.
That being said, instructor-led training can become ineffective if the classroom is too large as it can inhibit trainers from interacting with all students.
Role-playing is a type of interactive training where participants are assigned a role to work through difficult real-life situations, thus training employees on how to manage issues effectively.
Role-playing is an effective employee training method, especially for workers whose job roles include interacting directly with clients or customers. It is also effective in teaching employees how to utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
It is important to note, however, that role-playing requires more time from employees, which means their productivity might suffer. It is also not the most effective employee training method when the topic is simple and straightforward.
Hands-on training or on-the-job training is one of the few employee training methods that allow employees to jump straight to the more technical skills or practical skills needed to efficiently do their job.
For instance, new hires begin working immediately with this training method, thus giving them the opportunity to learn the ropes while getting paid. Conversely, the company also immediately benefits from the work of new hires.
There are different types of employee training methods, specifically for on-the-job training, such as:
On-the-job training produces results quickly. It is also one of the best training methods for developing leadership skills.
That being said hands-on training can be risky and costly. New hires are less experienced, which means they can make more mistakes that can cost the company.
One way to onboard new hires is by pairing them with a mentor. Doing so gives your new hires one-on-one attention and the chance to ask their questions (and be given answers) on the spot. In addition to learning, coaching can also help foster a relationship between employees that continue well after the training.
Contrary to some beliefs, coaching sessions can be implemented both in-person and virtually, making it ideal for office workers or remote employees.
There are several downsides to choosing coaching as the training method. First, it requires a significant amount of time from the supervisor. Second, the relationship formed between the mentor and the learner can be a deciding factor for a successful training program.
Simulation training is a type of employee training that lays out different scenarios to allow participants to practice tasks that mimic the actual work they are expected to perform for a specific role. Often a computer-based training, this method is more commonly used in high-risk or high-stakes fields, such as pilots, military personnel, or doctors.
Simulation training helps employees build skills, including problem-solving and critical thinking, under pressure. They can also make important decisions in a risk-free environment and experience the consequences of different choices.
While it is one of the effective training methods of choice for employees in the medical and aviation industry, simulation training can be quite expensive, especially because it requires the company to conduct regular updates and maintenance based on the ever-changing industry trends. Simulation training also cannot completely recreate all real-life situations.
In some cases, simulation training can desensitize its users as it gives them a faulty sense of safety.
Job shadowing allows new hires to observe what their colleagues are doing and what techniques they use to carry out their jobs effectively. This type of training is most useful for employees working in the restaurant, medical, manufacturing, administration, and trades industries.
Compared to coaching and internship, job shadowing is less time-intensive. It also gives new hires access to first-hand information or knowledge while observing a veteran employee.
That being said, observers should be given initial knowledge of the field, and the workplace behavior required in it before they begin job shadowing. Additionally, job shadowing may not give observers enough time for in-the-moment questions due to the fast-paced nature of this training method.
Video training is fast becoming one of the most preferred training methods over the past years. Unlike traditional training methods for employees, video training delivers sophisticated learning experiences at a lower cost. It also allows viewers to digest information in an easy-to-understand format, which they can go back and rewatch at any time.
There are plenty of ways companies can approach video training, including:
Videos can make difficult material more interactive and engaging. Additionally, the material is easily accessible and users can learn at their own pace. That being said, making videos can be time-consuming.
Gamification is the process of learning that involves different game-like elements to make training programs and lessons more entertaining and impactful. Psychologically, gamified training keeps learners engaged and more willing to take on repetitive tasks.
Gamified learning gives participants instant feedback, badges, and rewards as they progress through the many stages, thereby increasing employee motivation.
There are several game-like elements you can use as part of any training program, including:
Games can be used to enhance different types of training sessions, be it traditional or online training methods. It can also be used to involve learners in their own learning experience, thereby helping them retain information more easily.
Before you choose gamification as your training method of choice, do note that the cost of additional resources required to enhance gameplay can be expensive.
When it comes to choosing the right training method, it is crucial to take the organization’s culture, size, employees’ skills, and training needs into account.
Choosing training methods does not mean having to stick to one particular approach for all employees. You can opt for more than one training method to cover different employee groups.
To choose a training method, here are some things you need to determine:
Different types of training programs have varying aims, which means the best methods to use will also change.
If you’re aiming to teach and develop leadership, emotional intelligence, and change-management skills, coaching may be the best training method to use.
If you’re aiming to disseminate information on new company policies to your entire workforce, or if you have a large group of entry-level employees, e-learning methods such as video learning and online courses, are among the top choices.
When choosing a training method, you should aim for one that would benefit your target audience the most. Older employees often find instructor-led training more comfortable while younger workers usually prefer gamified training or videos.
Additionally, all online training methods are effective for remote employees or senior-level staff with limited availability or who travel a lot.
Employee training is key in ensuring the success of a company. Without investing in training to develop their employees’ existing skills or teach them new skills, companies cannot succeed against their competitors.
Training is also crucial to keeping employees engaged and improving employee satisfaction, both among existing workers and new hires. Choosing the right training methods in integral to ensuring effective training.