Employee training is a must at any organization. But employee training is often viewed as a necessary evil—something dreaded by employees and mandated by employers. Even worse, a lot of training misses the mark. This doesn’t have to be the case.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to training. There are numerous types of employee training, each one suited for different situations. Using the right type of employee training at the right time can result in a more engaging, effective learning process for your team and better overall business outcomes.
Types of Training Methods
Identifying the best training method for your employees requires a lot of detailed thought and planning, which can be a bit overwhelming for L&D teams. To give you a head start, this article will give you a list of different employee training methods to understand and choose from.
Instructor-led training methods
When it comes to modern and traditional training methods, instructor-led, or “classroom style” still remains the most popular. This training methodology accounts for 42% of a company’s training hours and includes a lecturer or a subject-matter expert that leads the discussion or training in a more formal setting.
The instructor-led training methodology has stood the test of time because of a few benefits. First, this particular training type offers personal interaction. Employees have the opportunity to ask questions that may go unanswered in other methods of training and development. They also have the opportunity to interact with the subject expert directly, which can result in a more enriching learning experience.
In most traditional training methods, a significant disadvantage of other traditional training methods is that learners have to learn at the pace of the instructor. For some employees, this training methodology might move too quickly. For others, they could comprehend more material at a faster rate. With other modern training methods, such as E-Learning, employees can learn at a pace that is best for them.
Hands-on training methods
When it comes to other methods of training and development, the hands-on methodology is one of the most practical. Employees spend less time on conceptual topics and learn through active participation. Hands-on training is also one of the most preferred methods with an astounding 52% of adults preferring this type of training. Additionally, employees tend to learn at an accelerated rate with the hands-on methodology.
There are also limitations to the hands-on methodology. Some might argue that this type of training is only conducive for particular learning styles. Some employees may learn differently and need more of a detailed explanation of their role before they can begin to excel. Employees may also feel they are a cog in the wheel or lack in purpose if the training methodology doesn’t clearly relay the significance of their role in the organization.
Video/e-learning training methods
As one of the emerging modern training methods, video continues to grow steadily. The rise of video is no surprise because almost 75% of employees are more likely to watch a video than read articles or documents. When it comes to other benefits, video training methodology has a few advantages worth mentioning.
- Video is always accessible, unlike other traditional training methods.
- Video training is useful with various training methods, such as E-Learning.
- This type of training methodology can be more engaging than a traditional PowerPoint or set of slides.
- Video training is often less costly than other training types.
Don’t underestimate the power of informal training
Informal training includes learning through self-reflection, learning from your colleagues, supervisors, and mentors and learning from reading articles and books. This is where investing in team building comes in as well, because the better your team gets along, the higher the chance of them learning informally from each other.
How to Choose the Right Method of Training for Your Team
Complete a needs analysis
Before planning a training, you need to know what gaps exist in regards to skills, abilities and knowledge. If you have a group of novice workers, one type of training may work for the whole group. However, you will likely find that your employees vary in these areas. In this case, your learners would benefit from blended learning, or a combination of different training methods.
Set your learning objectives
Before you choose a training tool, you need to identify what you want your trainees to learn and how they will show it. If you know what you want to teach, and why you want to teach it, then you will be able to better identify how you are going to train your employees.
Consider various learning styles
Your team members do not look the same. Underneath, they also don’t always think the same or learn the same way. In order to help your employees thrive, you need to consider how equitable your training is in regards to learning styles. From kinesthetic, to visual or auditory, you need to understand how your employees absorb information in order to ensure that your training is impactful and lasting. A learning styles inventory can help you determine learning styles and start to train your employees more meaningfully.
Determine which method (or combination of methods) is best
This will be entirely up to the above. Whichever method or combination of methods you use, be sure that your training is active, engaging, and relevant. Scenario-based learning, for example, is a great way to make sure that your employees are being challenged with real-life situations that they will encounter and allow them to make mistakes at no cost.
Follow-up after training
Training is not one-size-fits-all. Learning is a science, mastered through trial and error. If one training method did not work best for your team, consider trying a new method or combination of training methods. You want training to be efficient, but you also need to think about long-term outcomes.
By emphasizing continuous learning, you’re showing your team that their development is a priority to your organization. Follow-up your training with new tasks, regular meet-ups or additional training, and you’ll avoid the newly learned information falling to the wayside or getting buried by business as usual.
Today, training is rarely a one-off event. For companies to survive and thrive, they must continuously develop their employees’ skills and encourage workplace learning. So, in most cases, a variety of training methods will be useful at some stage of the learning journey. As long as you choose methods for the right purpose and audience, your training program stands a strong chance of developing your employees the way you intend.