Training is defined as an organized process that helps people to learn skills and knowledge for a particular purpose. It is a basic concept that helps to develop a specific skill to a desired and set standard via instructions and practice.
The type of training needed for an employee is dependent upon the nature of his job and his responsibility. Important factors to consider before offering training is how often will the employee need training and what method will prove most useful for both the employee and the company. Remember training is a handy tool that is offered to selected employees so that it can prove a help in future positions.
An organization offers training to its new and current employees. It is one of the most critical concepts that have a direct impact on the growth and development of both the employee and the company.
New employees need the training to absorb information about their responsibilities and role in the company along with the existing policies and processes whereas the current employees are offered training to enhance their skills and know-how so that they can gain better efficiency and productivity. Advancements in technology and science have created more options in training methods for employees. Some of the popular ones are described below-
1) The instructor-led classroom training method
One of the most popular and traditional methods that are used for several trainees at once is instructor-led classroom training. It is used in several forms like-
- Overhead projector
- Blackboard or whiteboard
- PowerPoint presentation
- Storytelling grabs the attention of the trainee and helps him in remembering keywords easily
- It is considered cost-effective
- Ensures the same information is distributed to the whole group at the same time
- It offers a personal touch because of face-to-face interaction and has the ability to influence greatly
- A large body of material can be distributed in the group easily
- It is not considered interactive
- The success of the training is fully dependent on the trainer
- It is difficult to arrange sessions if the number of trainees is large especially if they are at multiple locations
Examples- One of the real-life examples of instructor-led training methods is the popular clothing brand Bonobos. It has several successful experiences to its credit like Learn.Know.Bos.
It was a classroom-style training that was stretched for a week and included lectures on retail, public speaking and emotional intelligence. The company announced that the training had boosted cross-functional awareness and sharpened the skills of its employees
2) Interactive methods
The interactive training methods add group activities to the classroom-style method.
The various types of interactive training methods are-
- Small group discussions
- Active summaries
- Case studies
- Participant control
- Question cards
- Q & A sessions
- The trainees are more receptive to new information as an interactive method keeps their concentration levels engaged
- It proves enjoyable
- It includes passing of experience and knowledge from veteran employees to the new recruits
- Offers in-session feedback to trainers on the performance of the trainees
- Interactive methods are considered time-consuming
- Need for a less structured method to cover all the important information
Examples- An important example of an Interactive training method is the company Pixar and its program Pixar University. It organizes interactive classes weekly and employees are encouraged to attend it. The program includes skills training and fine arts
3) Hands-on training
Hands-on-training is a practical way to dive headlong into the job and find means to learn skills that will pave their way smoothly.
The various types of hands-on-training are-
- Drills Apprenticeships
- It is an effective training process for implementing new equipment and procedures
- Hands-on-training are applicable to the job profile of a trainee
- It enables the trainer to determine whether the trainee has learned the process and skill at the spot
- Personal coaching minimizes and disrupts the productivity of the coach
- Apprenticeships are an expensive training method
- Hands-on-training is not useful for a large group until and unless every trainee is able to use personal equipment for learning
Examples – One of the organizations that use the Hands-on-training method is Seattle Genetics, a tech company. It offers a one-year fellowship via its hands-on-training method.
4) Computer-based training
As technology is advancing computer-based training is gaining more and more prominence in society.
The various types of computer-based training methods are
- Virtual reality
- It can be customized as per specific needs of the trainee
- Applicable to self-directed training
- The training method is flexible. As it is available 24*7 the trainee can use it as per his convenience
- Some of the computer-based training methods are interactive where interaction helps in greater understanding and retention
- The computer-based training method is very easy-to-use
- Great for refresher training
- Considered good to develop and practice new skills in employees
- The computer-based is measurable and trackable
- Is cost-effective as the same equipment and program is used by several trainees
- As it is uniform by nature the training method is considered standardized
- One of the limitations of computer-based training methods is that every trainee must be computer literate
- The trainee must have access to computers
- If not designed properly the training method proves ineffective
- There is no direct interaction with a trainer and it is difficult to solve relevant issues at once
- Computer-based training methods cannot train a trainee in soft skills
Example- CBT training methods are used by Lynda.com of LinkedIn, where professionals can buy or take classes on several subjects like career development and programming
5) Online training or e-learning
As access to the web is increasing e-learning is becoming a more and more popular training method for employees.
The various types of
- Web-based training
- Online colleges and universities
- Collaborative document preparation
- It is effective if training is required across multiple locations
- Is cost-effective due to lack of travel expenses
- Useful for refresher training
- Considered effective for self-directed learning
- Is easy to update
- The trainee must be computer literate
- Are generic and not customized
- Is an impersonal form of training
- Looks intimidating
- Outdated hardware can result in a malfunction
6) Video training
Video training has proved itself as a great employee training method. It is considered a game-changer and is used for internal and external use.
The various types of video training methods are
- Screen recorded
- Video training is considered a faster and better method of training employees
- Is accessible
- Video training is affordable
- Makes the process of learning easy
- Easy to change content
- Not every employee likes to watch videos
- Is an individual experience
7) On-the-job training
On-the-job training is offered to employees that are currently working in an organization. They are trained by superiors, special instructors or veteran employees to develop and enhance occupational skills that are required to manage a particular job profile. On-the-job training is a technique where the concept of learning by doing is encouraged.
- Apprenticeship programs
- Temporary promotions
- Job rotation
- Planned progression
- Job-instruction training
- Creation of assistant-to positions
- This type of training can be acquired in a short time and is thus less time-consuming
- In-the-job training is considered superior to off-the-job training
- It enables the trainee to learn in an actual work environment
- It is motivational by nature and encourages the employee to learn
- The training method is less expensive if compared with off-the-job training
- As the employee does not have any experience of previous training it takes some time to learn the skills and know-how
- If the trainer is not up to the mark it will affect the training of the trainee
8) Off-the-job training methods
Off-the-job training is offered to the employees that need to be separated from the workplace environment to another area where the pressure of the work does not exist. It helps the trainee to learn theoretical information and get exposure to innovative ideas.
- Computer-based training
- Sensitivity training
- Computer-based training
- Vestibule training
- Experimental training
- Behavior modeling
- Business games
- Discussion method
- Straight lectures
- Seminars and conferences
- Video, television and reading instructions
- Case presentation
- Business simulation
- Equipment simulators
- There is no disruption in the normal operations
- It is an organized form of training
- It is special training that is offered to trainees who already have a basic knowledge
- If the training program is good it can add value
- The off-the-job training is often considered formal
- The training is costly by nature
- It is not based on experience
- It is a formal training
- Is considered artificial by nature
- It lacks the necessary motivation
Objectives of training
The objectives of training methods are as follows-
- Boosts job satisfaction
- Offers knowledge about the working system
- Maximizes capacity to implement new methods and technologies
- Increases employee morale
- Acts as a motivational force
- Increases innovation in products and strategies
- Maximizes efficiencies in processes
- Minimizes employee turnover
- Enhances company image
- Developing a suitable process of recruitment and selection program
- Preparing for future assignments
- Identification of training needs
- Competency development
- Improve the productivity of both the employees and organization
- Effective performance by new entrants
- Customer satisfaction
How to choose the right employee training methods?
It is important to choose the right training method for employees to achieve maximum benefits. Some of the factors that will help in choosing the right training options are as follows-
1. How many people need training
It is a fact that training in small groups is more effective than training larger groups. Find out how many people need training and then tailor the size of your session as per the requirement. Make sure you are dividing the group into reasonable numbers, for instance, you cannot accommodate eighty people in one session it is better to divide them into two or three groups as per your preference.
Once you have the knowledge of how many people need training you can easily determine the resources you will need, how expensive it will prove, will the employees have to travel somewhere and how much time an employee will have to spend on that training.
All these are important queries that will need clarification if you are looking to choose the right training method for your employees
2. Which training style will you use
There are numerous training styles available or a company to choose from but it has to look at its own needs and requirements before shortlisting the one that is going to prove useful. Look at your own resources and facilities that can be used as a training ground.
This will have a direct impact on the training method you opt for.
3. Company goal in offering training
A business entity has a specific mission and goals. What is the goal of the company is offering training to its employees is an important query that needs to be thought carefully before making any decision.
Does it want its new employees to learn the basics of the job or is it interested in enhancing the current skills of present employees? Will one-day workshop prove effective or will the training need to be continued for some time, is dependent on the company goal in offering the training.
4. Taking workplace culture into account
Is your organization laid-back or it is fast-paced? Do you have the younger generation more in number than older or middle-aged one? Is your business structure conservative or do the employees have more workplace freedom?
A company has to take into account all the factors before coming to a decision and choosing the right kind of employee training
5. Does the organization have the necessary tools and resources to offer training
Training methods require the use of several resources like equipment, materials, time, place, money and effort to name a few.
If a company has the necessary resources then it is well and good to offer viable training to its methods but if the resources are limited it is best to focus on simple training methods or offering training to only those employees that will have the most impact on the business.
6. Does the company want its employees to gain all the knowledge at once
Sometimes companies want to make their employees highly trained and offer some of the best training available in the market. Later the expectation of the employee rises but he is not paid a salary that is at par with the one offered by competitors.
In that case, some of them shift their allegiance and move to another company. The training cost goes in vain for the firm that had offered it. Focus on the current requirement and offer them the necessary training only. If required offer them again when needed as this will keep employee dependency on its company intact.
7. Are you choosing the right employee for training
It is important not to make hasty decisions regarding the training. Make sure the employee actually needs it before offering it to him.
It is only when you determine the right employee can you choose the right training method for him so that it proves a perfect fit.