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8 Of The Most Effective Employee Training Methods

Posted by Joe Moriarty on October 23, 2020

In Employees, Corporate Training

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When tasked with devising and delivering corporate training sessions, there’s always a lot to consider. However, the most important consideration should always be which employee training methods will benefit your employees and your business.

Getting the right balance of impact, understanding, and ease of implementation is essential too. This means understanding your teams’ training preferences and learning styles, as well the learning objectives being set, the overall cost, and the perceived performance benefits for staff once employee training is complete.

If you decide your training sessions will take the form of online training, another important thing you should focus on is finding the best employee training software.  It will allow you and your employees to monitor how much they have learned and to evaluate their performance.

There are a lot of different employee training methods to choose from. This article will cover the eight most effective ones available today. 

1. E-Learning

Computers have been used to create and deliver training content for many years. As technology evolves, the depth of customization increases – and the same goes for ways the trainees can interact with their online training. E-learning courses are now most commonly accessed by logging in to an online portal or corporate LMS where a training course is broken down into sections that the trainee can complete at their own pace.

E-learning courses are top-rated for many reasons.

At the top are, of course, cost and scalability. Without the need for dedicated physical environments and traditional classroom training, employees can learn at any time and in any place - as long as they have access to a computer. A large amount of e-learning can also be automated, lowering overhead and decreasing the instructor’s need to be involved in the student’s learning experience constantly. 

But is that enough?

You might think this training method could leave learners feeling distanced from their peers and tutors or unable to fully participate in ‘classroom’ discussions like they can in hands-on training. But, given dramatic growth in online learning’s popularity in recent months, the e-learning experience will continue to get better and better. In fact, even the small EdTech companies saw the single biggest percentage increase of 328.35% for engagement. 

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Source: https://www.rootstrap.com/annual-report-online-education-statistics/

2. Classroom Training

Classroom-style training remains incredibly popular when it comes to old-fashioned learning – primarily due to both trainers’ and trainees’ familiarity with the instructor-led training. This setup involves the trainer presenting to a classroom – like a lecture – often supported by a presentation containing the content covered in front of the whole class.

The significant benefit of this training method is that it provides direct, in-person communication between instructor and trainee. Questions that arise during the training session can be brought up and responded to quickly and effectively. They can also be used as broader talking points – creating group discussions around topics to help cement learning.

However, one issue that classroom training has is its lack of scalability. The classroom environment can only house so many students in the same room. Depending on the size of your facility, it is unlikely that you will have a suite of rooms solely dedicated to training. Also, as companies implement remote working, coordinating large groups of people to meet at a central location isn’t possible right now – which may be the case for some time yet.

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3. On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training is another classic approach to providing employee education. Its goal is to equip new employees with the skills required for the job or old employees to take on new roles or tackle specific tasks. An employee can start working in a new function straight away and shadowing someone already in the position.

Aimed at simpler tasks due to the lack of content control, on-the-job training is a great way to give employees a sense of accomplishment, as they know that their role is also providing them with a learning opportunity.

One drawback of this method is that even if they are shadowing someone as part of the in-person training, they are unlikely to be a dedicated trainer. This can often mean that the training and advice they provide or the methods the trainee picks up on their own may not be the exact way the company would like a process handled.

4. Mentoring

Mentorship programs have been a staple of employee training environments for a very long time, and for a good reason. Mentoring gives trainees access to a dedicated person who guides them in their professional development and the company. A trainee will learn not only about the job function but also about the company’s culture – with the added benefit of developing their relationship with a team member.

The kind of interactive training goes both ways – with a mentor getting to see their role and others from a different perspective and learning skills through working with a new member of the team. However, training through mentoring is often far less structured than other types of employee training. This is because mentors support a trainee in a more personal capacity instead of guaranteeing that they learn specific content.

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5. Simulations

Simulations are training scenarios that allow trainees to practice tasks that mimic the actual work they will do in their role. A simulation can be created to offer ‘dry runs’ – where a job is done without a key component. Simulations are typically used in environments where the risk of failure is high. This could include danger to the trainee, other people, or materials involved in the activity.

Using simulations is an excellent job training method and a great way to practice tasks that are also difficult to isolate. For example, the use of flight simulators lets trainees prepare for particular events such as technical issues without having to deal with them. The problem with most simulations is training cost.

The price of creating a simulation must be less than the risk of failure in a real environment. Also, most jobs do not have such significant risks attached to them and can be practiced without expensive business equipment.

6. Job Rotation

This training method focuses on moving employees between multiple roles within the company to increase their skill sets. Many of the practical skills learned can often be transferred to other positions – giving people in an organization the opportunity to experience different jobs and the specific tasks associated with those roles.

Job rotation is an excellent way of motivating your teams – as you’re essentially giving your employees the opportunity to take on new tasks that also bolster their professional resumes. It also gives employees the chance to try new things they may be more suited to or more interested in. This employee training method has a two-fold benefit in that it motivates that person but also potentially gives you someone who will do a better job at a particular post.

The obvious disadvantage with this system is that it’s under constant rotation – and learning things about new roles can be time-consuming. While many skills are transferable, there are immutable differences between roles in a business, and overcoming this takes time, making it not so cost-effective. The other major disadvantage of experiential training is that some of the employees may find themselves in a role that they do not enjoy during rotation, which can be demotivating.

7. Video Content

With its roots in classroom-based training, traditional video training started with video cassettes tapes that employees would watch as part of their courses. It has come a long way since then, with training videos being tailored specifically to their audience and being accessible from the cloud at any time. Videos now are typically created using animation or actors to help engage with the audience.

Video content is a large part of consuming content in our personal lives, from TVs to social media. This means that people typically are far more receptive to this teaching style than static presentations. Video content strikes a good balance between cost and efficacy compared to some other methods. A training team creates it to cover all the points required, and there are even free video creation services online that companies can now use.

The main drawback is that videos are notoriously difficult to edit if information changes. This means that they are not always up to date, which leads to the video content becoming dated and inaccurate.

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8. Game-Based Training

Gamification in employee training has become far more popular in recent years due to improvements in computing technology. A subset of e-learning, it delivers training course content through an environment that rewards successful completion of milestones within the training. Giving trainees in-game achievements enables them to quickly connect their learning to a reward system. This solidifies the idea that the training is beneficial to them by creating benefits outside of the training itself.

The confidence and motivation that this instills in a trainee are considered the strongest aspect of this system. However, as a refined version of e-learning, it can alienate people in age groups who don’t have experience with gamified environments, leading to them feeling disconnected from the content.

Streamlined Learning Management

Whatever methods you choose, managing your learning systems is key to delivering practical training. That’s where Raven360’s Learning Management System comes into play. Our comprehensive enterprise LMS supports learning professionals in all kinds of organizations in handling all of their content from one place. It also offers numerous employee training methods – including video coaching, employee gamification, and hands-on online learning.

All things considered, your organization’s culture and size, along with your teams’ working environment, be it remote or office-based, is going to influence your training choices heavily. But if one method isn’t enough, finding a way to broaden employees’ horizons means tailoring learning to their needs. Thankfully, making resonant, lasting change no longer means working with different platforms and partners.

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