5 Training Methods for Employees in The Workplace

5 Training Methods for Employees in The Workplace

When new employees join your team, the major consideration is not simply what you will teach them but how you will teach them. Companies must ensure that their employees have the necessary knowledge base and skills to succeed, but rarely have an unlimited amount of time and resources to devote to training them. This is why it is absolutely critical to choose the training method that most efficiently communicates the company’s main message, its goals, procedures and policies, and of course the employers’ individual roles and responsibilities.

When attempting to communicate the company’s main message, its goals, procedures and policies and of course the employees’ individual roles and responsibilities, it is important to choose the most efficient training method.

In addition to adding these new members of the team and getting them up to speed, it is also important to continue engaging current employees with ongoing training, new skills, and fresh challenges.  With various workplace training methods growing in number, and coming in all shapes and sizes (along with various time commitments and costs surrounding each), which is the most effective training method for your team?   

1.Instructor-led training / Classroom Based Training

The training method that comes to mind is most likely the classic instructor-led or classroom based training.  The training approach mimics that of a traditional, educational classroom setting, with an instructor delivering lectures to the students with basic aids like slides or presentations.  

Classroom based training is advantageous in the fact that a large amount of employees can all be together in this physical space, learning at the same time. But not only may the costs of gathering numerous employees in one large room be quite exorbitant in terms of travel and venue costs, the experience might have insufficient interactivity due to the large size and become a bit boring.

If you decide to carry out an instructor-led training session, you must carry out active measures to build the relationship between you, the trainer, and your trainees.  If the sessions are too long, or the instructor fails to maintain a high enough energy level, the quality of the session may begin to slip. If the class size it not too large, it may be advantageous to break up students for more one-on-one interactions.

2.Interactive Training / Breaking People Into Groups

More interactions and interactivity in a training session can help valuable information be absorbed much more easily.  Maximum retention is key for companies. An interactive session may contain group activity, simulations, games, quizzes or demonstrations that will help ensure employees are active participants.  Engaged students will find trainings more inspiring, they will develop better working relationships with their teammates, and retain more by not simply being passive recipients of an instructor’s lecture.

One potential downside of creating a more interactive based training is that certain individuals might have problems interacting comfortably with others.  It is the role of the facilitator to ensure they have chosen an appropriate activity that gets everyone involved equally so that all members can exit the session having gained the full scope of the lesson.

And lastly, the instructor must be active in monitoring group activity to ensure the teams are on task, giving ample amount of feedback and ensuring they are heading in the right direction. It can surely be a difficult task to monitor large groups of people so being organized in terms of time is crucial.

3.Hands On/On the Job Training

Why speak abstractly or conceptually on a subject when you can have trainees participate in activities directly connected to the work at hand?  On the job, hands on instructions can be effective by throwing employees into the deep end and getting them going quickly.

Engaging directly in the activity will prevent concepts from becoming too abstract, maximising retention within a limited amount of learning time.  Of course, this type of training could be very demanding for an instructor, who must balance their time most effectively to ensure everyone is progressing.  Some individuals may struggle to process the subtleties of their position and responsibilities without first having the proper context. Others might simply struggle with the pressures of this fast paced, hands on environment.  

In order to succeed in using this method, a best practice would be for employers to first understand how receptive trainees would be in this particular learning environment and if the method best suits the subject matter at hand.  If an employer decides hands on training is the most effective method of communicating something, their best bet might be to provide certain resources beforehand to help learners be able to hit the ground running when the official training begins.

4.Online Training/E-learning

One of the benefits of learning within the realm of Online Training nowadays is that all of the training methods mentioned above can be incorporated into certain e-Learning or online virtual classroom platforms.  First off, virtual online learning platforms can mimic instructor-led training, placing a facilitator equipped with a microphone and webcam front and center.  Trainees can observe passively in webinar mode, or connect with a webcam and microphone so they can participate more actively in a virtual classroom with the instructor and their fellow students.

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of interactivity so as to create a more engaging, dynamic experience for students.  In eLearning, the instructor has the option of assigning students to breakout rooms so they can participate in smaller group collaborations, engaging one another through tools like video and text chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and whiteboard.

These tools can also be convenient for hands on learning, as the instructor can demonstrate what they are doing live or play a video and ask the students to do the same under the teacher’s observation.  eLearning has become one of the most recognised training solutions out there because it has the ability to incorporate various training methods for employees into one with participants spread geographically across the globe.

5.Video Training

As mentioned above, it is important to gauge who your trainees are as well as which type of training method would be most suitable for the subject at hand.  Perhaps some subject matters can be discussed more easily than with these other options, and a simple video might be the best option for training purposes.

Since there are obstacles to getting many individuals in a room for an instructor-led lesson, and if your instruction does not require hands on assistance or increased interactivity, a video might suffice to communicate basic information. Evidence suggests that students are more likely to watch a video than read articles or emails and in most cases you can watch from anywhere on your smartphone.

Video can also be seamlessly incorporated into eLearning so you can combine it with other training elements.  Video is dynamic, adds context to your instruction, facilities storytelling, and reinforces learning, so it should definitely be included in any training initiates you do.

Conclusion

Companies must continue to explore the most effective ways to onboard new employees, while continuing to help current employees gain new skills and grow.  In a majority of cases, a mix of various training methods is the best approach to prepare employees to succeed.

Understanding the goals of the training program, who the individual trainees are, as well as the benefits and limitations of the various training methods will better prepare you to develop your employees skills to benefit your company and save you valuable time and resources in the process.  

Danny Swibel

Danny Swibel is the Customer Success Manager for Newrow, a company dedicated to helping corporations and educational institutions distribute their knowledge easily, elegantly and personally through virtual classrooms, webinars, and online courses. After completing his Masters degree, Danny has over 15 years of experience working in video, television and media. Danny is responsible for ensuring customer success, content writing and product marketing for Newrow.